Blink and you'll miss the grinning Willie Ray Norwood Jr. whizzing by in his Lamborghini. The man about town known as Ray J, 27, is all smiles now—he has a hit single, "Sexy Can I," off his new CD All I Am—but last year was a trying one. His sister Brandy, 29, was involved in a car crash that killed another driver, and a sex tape of him with his ex Kim Kardashian, 27, was leaked. "Because I was the guy, people pointed the finger toward me," he says. "I was thinking, 'Career is over.' But I moved on." Indeed, he returned to making music—and charming ladies like Whitney Houston, 44 ("We like singing, music, movies. We just watched The Pursuit of Happyness"), and current flame Lil' Kim, 33. What's his appeal? "I'm honest and I take control," he says. "But I definitely respect them."