She’s barely old enough to drive, but 16-year-old JoJo has already achieved more chart success than most artists do in a lifetime.
Joanna Noelle Levesque began singing when she was two. By the time she was five, she knew singing was her future and began absorbing tips from her parents. “My mom sang professionally and dad sang for fun, so I’d hear mom around the house singing and I just picked it up,” she says on her website. In 1998, she charmed Bill Cosby with her adorable appearance on “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” She imitated Cher and ran through a number of classic pop tunes when Cosby instructed her to be a human radio. Her poise and ability to captivate an audience are apparent even at 7-years-old (check her out on YouTube).
She was 12 when she signed with Universal-distributed Da Family/Blackground. Her self-titled 2004 debut featured the smash “Leave (Get Out),” a song about tossing out the bad boy, sung in a voice nuanced far beyond her years. The album reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200. “Leave (Get Out)” soared to No. 12 on the Hot 100, but, more impressively, the song reached No. 1 on the Billboard’s Top 40 Mainstream chart. At 13, JoJo became the youngest solo artist to top a Billboard chart.
This past October, JoJo released her sophomore album, The High Road, which paired her with such top-notch producers as Scott Storch, Swiss Beatz and “J.R.” Rotem. Having undergone a steep learning curve with the first album, JoJo asserted her new-found independence on the new project. “I do all the vocal arrangement, all the harmonies, and all background and lead vocals,” she says on her website. “I decide which songs I want to record, and which ones I don’t. I write melodies and lyrics and change lyrics that other writers have written, if I don’t feel they are appropriate, or I can’t relate to them.”
Her instincts paid off. The album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and first single, “Too Little, Too Late,” reached No. 3 on the Hot 100. The video for second single, “How to Touch a Girl,” debuted on MTV’s “TRL” in December.
Like many artists, JoJo wants to score a No. 1 album. At the rate she’s going, the only question is if it will be before or after she is old enough to vote.