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Willow Smith Turned Down The Lead In 'Annie' Because She Just Wants To Be A Kid


willow smith at Annual Easter Egg Roll

It's a "Hard Knock Life" for Willow Smith. 

The daughter of megastar Will Smith may only be 12 years old, but the singer and actress has been featured in movies and television shows for the past five years.

She's appeared opposite her dad in "I Am Legend" and most recently made an appearance on Nickelodeon's "True Jackson, VP" in 2010. 

The following year, the young star toured with Justin Bieber performing her 2010 hit "Whip My Hair" and has been set to star in Sony's re-imagining of Broadway play Annie"since early 2011 

So last week, when Sony announced Jay-Z and father Will Smith were officially signed on to produce the remake, it was a surprise when Willow was no longer attached because she's simply "too old."

However, father Will tells a different story.

When Smith recently spoke at Temple University in Philadelphia, he revealed that tour didn't go over so well with his daughter. As a result, she decided to step down from her role in "Annie." 

"Willow was supposed to be doing Annie, we got Jay-Z to do the movie, got the studio to come in and Willow had such a difficult time on tour with Whip My Hair and she said, 'You know Daddy, I don't think so,' and I said, 'Baby, hold up!' I said, 'No, no, no, listen, you'll be in New York with all of your friends and Beyoncé will be there. You will be singing and dancing,' and she looked at me and said, 'Daddy, I have a better idea, how about I just be 12." 

Recently, Willow Smith has undergone a massive overhaul in look and style, shaving her head and stepping out in LA in all black garb. 

She was expected to release a self-titled album last April entitled "Willow," (later reworked to "Knees and Elbows") but nothing ever came of that. Instead, she released three more singles including "21st Century Girl" and "Fireball" featuring Nicki Minaj which were poorly received on the Billboard charts.  

Her most recent music release, "Sugar and Spice" also showed a shift in tone from 2010's upbeat "Whip My Hair":  

"I sat in front of the TV screen
Sad he’s always screaming at me
They wanna puncture me and then wonder why I bleed
The big city everyone is looking for
Step on my ladder and bathe in glory
Inject my soul with darkness
And take my heart and go market it." 

Smith added at Temple that his daughter may be taking a break from the limelight for a while. 

"I'm really learning through Willow the necessity that we have to snap ourselves back and refocus on the emotional needs of the people that we love. Someone's emotional needs can be very, very different from your dreams and what you think they should be doing and where they are supposed to be." 

Her brother Jaden meanwhile will be in full force this year appearing in "After Earth" opposite Will Smith 

SEE ALSO:  50 years of "Star Wars" makeup artist Stuart Freeborn's most memorable works >

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