With all these new young artists topping the Billboard chart, it is tough to tell who will truly keep that up in their career. I know that former teen idol, JoJo, deserves that type of success today. If you aren’t familiar with JoJo or feel too cool to remember her at all, her songs “Leave (Get Out)” and “Too Little Too Late” were top hits back in 2004 and 2006. JoJo also starred in the movies “Aquamarine” and “RV,” but her acting and music career actually started during her childhood. Unfortunately, JoJo has not been able to make the Billboard or Grammy’s after her breakout in mid-2000s, and this isn’t her fault.
Her former label Blackground Records would not let her release her third album after her successful album in 2006, “The High Road.” This basically caused the fallout of JoJo’s music career and eventually, fame. Being a strong, determined artist, JoJo sued Blackground Records and in 2015, launched three singles, “When Love Hurts,” “Say Love,” and “Save My Soul.” These songs sound more sophisticated than her R&B hits. I’ve been a fan of JoJo since her breakout, and it sort of disappoints me how she isn’t as praised today as she had been back then. She is mega talented, yet underrated. Here are some reasons why JoJo deserves more recognition:
1. She has a phenomenal singing voice.
Slay, girl, slay!
Sure, so do Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, and Katy Perry (though I disagree with this one since Perry kind of sucks live). But the difference? JoJo can out-sing those three, and possibly half the other young artists in the industry. Spanning a vocal range of four octaves with a whistle register (the bird-like high notes Mariah Carey is known to sing), JoJo’s mezzo-soprano voice hits very low notes and high notes with ease; the tone is soulful, powerful, and slightly raspy and edgy.
JoJo executes melisma (alternating notes in one song phrase) in her singing very well—basically a young Christina Aguilera. But JoJo’s soulful voice gives me goosebumps every time since she’s such a natural. She also has outstanding musicality, as she’s capable of covering songs from other artists effortlessly. Sometimes, her covers sound even better than the original, especially when she pours her heart and soul into the music. Check out JoJo’s cover of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” here.
JoJo shows Swifty what she’s got!
2. She is the youngest artist to have had a Number One song on Billboard.
If you actually do remember “Leave (Get Out),” this was the song that gave JoJo this reputation. What’s amazing, though is that JoJo was only 13 years old when this song released in 2004! Back then, I couldn’t even believe that that was her actual age when my sister got JoJo’s first album. JoJo was not just a child prodigy, but also a singer who always had a deep, true passion for music (and still does). She sings because music completes her, not because it’d make her famous. Most 13-year-olds girls would sit around and complain about boys or fashion, but JoJo had already started her career. How cool is that?
3. Her humble, down-to-earth personality
Many new artists immediately lose their sweet personalities once they become famous, as their lives often revolve around partying, drinking irresponsibly, and dodging paparazzi and fans who actually idolize them. But this isn’t the case with JoJo. She might perform like a diva, but she certainly doesn’t act like one. To top that off, tabloid mags and TMZ don’t even make up rumors/scandals about her, at least not one that blows up on the Internet. They don’t need to! JoJo loves her fans, and in her recent interviews, she is still kind and friendly as she was before. Such a class act.
4. Her songs speak to young women.
Powerful lyrics to her new song "Save My Soul."
While many of her songs follow a typical girl falling in and out of love, their true message is for a girl to stay strong and to take care of herself no matter how tough the romance situation is going for her. JoJo tells those jerky guys to never play a girl’s heart, especially when a girl truly loves them. JoJo’s lyrics are sassy, yet honest and genuine—just like JoJo herself. Her other songs like “Who’s Gonna Fight For Me?” and the new single “Save My Soul” express a young woman’s own struggle to grow up and have more self-control over temptations. JoJo makes women feel empowered and confident, but never to the point of cockiness.
5. She also acts (and is very good at it).
JoJo (left) with "Aquamarine" co-star Emma Roberts.
Sure, the movies JoJo starred in weren’t that great, but that doesn’t mean she lacked acting chops. With her outgoing personality and sassy music, JoJo does a great job of playing the spunky friend of a mermaid, Hailey, in “Aquamarine” and the whiny, boy-crazy teenage daughter, Cassie, in “RV.” JoJo’s acting never looks forced, and she seems to be a natural at it just like her singing. Is there anything JoJo can’t do?
A magnificent singer, a charming actress, and a down-to-earth individual—all the makings of the ideal American superstar. These describe
JoJo, so bring her back to the charts!