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Willow Smith wants to empower her fans

The Associated Press, Thursday, December 8, 2011, 5:24am (PST)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Willow Smith is all about kid empowerment.

The young singer says she's hoping to inspire listeners with her upcoming album "Knees and Elbows."

"It's gonna make them feel like they have control over their lives and can do what they want to do and be the person they want to be," she said Wednesday night.

Willow is already proving that at just 11. The daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith has become a buzzed-about star thanks to her hit song "Whip My Hair." She's also become a fashion trendsetter with her funky clothes; on Wednesday, her hair was closely cropped with big bangs in the front, and she wore a cropped jacket with decals, including the name of her album, and sequined jeans.

"I get a lot of my style from my friends," she said, also citing her aunt.

Willow recently teamed up with another fashionista, singer-rapper Nicki Minaj, for Willow's new song "Fireball." Willow premiered it for groups of children and their parents at the Sony Store, as well as BET's "106 & Park."

Even though Minaj and Willow are cited for their style, Willow says they didn't share any fashion tips.

"We just kind of vibed off each other and had fun," she said.

"Knees and Elbows" is scheduled to be released in April. Willow said it will be "more R&B." The title ties in to her theme of inspiration: "Everybody falls down and scrapes their knees and elbows but they eventually get back up," she said.

Willow said she and her famous family will be vacationing for the holidays. But she's not anxious about a Christmas gift.

"I have everything I need. I have my mom, my dad, my brothers, my family; I have bunch of people that I work with that are awesome, that's pretty much what I want to keep," she said.

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Online:

http://www.willowsmith.com

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Nekesa Mumbi Moody is the AP's music editor. Follow her at http://www.twitter.com/nekesamumbi

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