Where are they now? Jojo

JoJo continues to grow as a successful music artist.

Where are they now? Jojo

Destini Harrell, Staff Writer

From radio hits like “Leave (Get Out)” and “Too Little Too Late” to film cameos, JoJo took the entertainment industry by storm in the early 2000s. Her catchy breakup songs became anthems, and people wanted to know more about the young girl with that unique soulful voice.

New England bred Joanna “JoJo” Levesque, was born on December 20, 1990 into a musical-oriented family. Even at a young age, JoJo’s talent was gaining momentum and attention. By age 6, Levesque had appeared on Kids Say the Darndest Things singing a rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and she went on to be endorsed by Oprah Winfrey and even earned a spot on America’s Most Talented Kids. At age 13, she signed with Blackground Records and released her self-titled album featuring an upbeat pop and R&B flair and a spin on classic SWV song “Weak”. Two years later in 2006, The High Road came out with an even more personal and reflective background. In the midst of her well-received sound and musical achievement, JoJo tried to branch off into tv and movie film rolls such as RV (with Robin Williams and Josh Hutcherson), The Bernie Mac Show, Aquamarine, and Lifetime’s movie drama True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet.

With all of this success, she seemed destined for stardom and a great career longevity, but whatever happened to JoJo? In short, record label problems. The first two albums seemed to have gone out well but following those, whenever she tried to turn in an album, her label didn’t respond or try to put it out.  JoJo signed a seven year contract with Blackground Records and was unable to leave, being forced into some kind of “musical limbo”. Fans were confused asking why nothing was coming out time and time again after hype for a new music arose then died out. Eventually, JoJo spoke out on her troubles which started the “#FreeJoJoMovement” among fans on social media. Meanwhile since she could not release an album, JoJo independently put out mixtapes: Can’t Take That Away From Me (2010), Agape (2012), and #LoveJoJo (2014). Levesque started to gain attention again from her songs such as “Demonstrate”, “Andre”, and her cover of Drake’s “Marvin’s Room”. She also kept up with performing with more intimate shows for her fans and “Hey, remember that one artist named JoJo” started coming up more and more. However, after a legal battle spanning years, in early 2014, the singer announced that she was indeed finally free from Blackground Records and signed with Atlantic. To make matters better, she also added that a new album is in the works to come out in late 2015. From her few bits of leaked material, the fans are very excited to see what is to come.

It is obvious that through this phase of life and restraints placed on her music, JoJo grew up and matured personally, vocally, and lyrically. There is something more raw and honest there, something that yields a universal experience whether it be heartbreak and relationship dysfunction, becoming an individual and rejecting the status quo, falling in love, or just having fun. It’s clear that JoJo has not “lost it”, but if anything, she is back and more ready than ever!