Singer Joanna Levesque, better known as JoJo, is back and better than ever, as a 26-minute documentary is released by UPROXX. About a week ago, the singer posted a blurred picture of what resembled a tour date list, before announcing later in the week that a new album would be released in Spring 2020. The album announcement was followed by an official tour date list; the first performance scheduled for April 21st, but not before she shared that she’d “been working on a lil sumthin with [her] pals at UpRoxx/Honda Backstage”. The post came alongside a sneak peak video that stated when the episode would be released.
’Oh my god, I thought JoJo died! Like, she’s still out here?’ Yeah, b*tch! I’m still here!’”. The video begins with JoJo sitting on the couch as she describes a common quote since her 16-year-long struggle that has left her in minimal spotlight. Broken up into seven parts, it allows JoJo to tell the story of her journey into owning her own label imprint, Clover Music.
The 29-year-old starts with the birth of her passion for music that started when she was just six years old. “I remember being so nervous but really thriving off of that energy. The way I described it when I was little.. I was like ‘the bug just bit me, and I was just infected with this passion,’” said JoJo. Later, at 13, she was approached by Barry Hankerson after appearing on a show called America’s Most Talented Kids. She came in 2nd to a violinist, but Hankerson made it known that he thought Levesque had star quality.
After signing to Blackground Records, Hankerson’s label, at 13, things looked up as her first single, ‘Leave (Get Out)’ hit the number one spot on Billboard. She says the label moved her to New Jersey to make it easier to get around the child labor laws, threatened her film agent when she started getting into her acting career, and got to a point where they were “no longer a functioning record label”;The label reportedly lost their distribution and were getting sued.
The same contract she signed at 12 years old allowed the label to own both all of the masters to her songs and her name and likeness. Thus, beginning her fight to get back her career so that she could share new music; a fight that has lasted until now.
In addition to sharing her struggles with addiction, having to let go of her mom as her manager, and the 500-calorie diet she was put on at 18, she describes the process of rerecording new masters.
Other appearances include Natt Dunn, Katie Gallagher, her current manager, and CEO of Warner Bros. Records, Aaron Bay-Schuck. Watch the video below to hear the full story: