Name:
JoJo
Birth Date:
June 10, 1971
Birth Place:
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Nationality:
American
Profession:
musician, song writer
BIOGRAPHY
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JoJo_140412
Too Little Too Late

Background:

“People say that my music is too mature but I think people really knew what went on in junior high and high school. It's not too mature.” JoJo

American pop/R&B singer-songwriter and actress JoJo released her debut album, “JoJo,” when she was still 13 years old and it was a success. The album peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and went platinum in the US. Its lead single “Leave (Get Out)” scored five weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard  Top 40 Mainstream, making her the youngest solo artist to ever have a No. 1 single on that chart. The song also made the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and received gold certification from the RIAA. JoJo's second album, “The High Road,” followed in 2006. It peaked at No. 3 and has sold 2 million copies worldwide. The lead single “Too Little Too Late” became a Top 5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and remains her biggest hit single in the US to date. JoJo's new album, “Jumping Trains,” was released in the US in April 2012. On the acting front, JoJo has starred in “Aquamarine” (2006),  “RV” (2006) and  “True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet” (Lifetime TV, 2008) as well as made guest appearances in television shows like “The Bernie Mac Show,” “American Dreams” and “Hawaii Five-0.”  She has also appeared in TV commercials and stage productions.

JoJo has worked with various charitable organizations like Boys and Girls Club of America, World Vision, She's the First and Make A Wish Foundation, to name a few. The big fan of Red Sox donated many items to Rocky Stone to be given to less fortunate kids as part of the Toy Mountain Campaign. She is friends with her “Aquamarine” co-stars Sara Paxton and Emma Roberts and has a dog named Sugarpie. As for her love life, JoJo dated American soccer player Freddy Adu from May 2005 to September 2006, and the two remain good friends.             


Joanna Noëlle Blagden Levesque

Childhood and Family:

Daughter of Joel Levesque and Diana Blagden, Joanna Noëlle Blagden Levesque, who would later be popular as Jojo, her childhood nickname, was born on December 20, 1990, in Brattleboro, Vermont, to a low income familyy. She grew up in a one bedroom apartment in Foxborough, Massachusetts. When she was 5 years old, her parents divorced, and she went on to live with her mother, who worked as a cleaning lady and singing for churches to earn a living.

Jojo started singing when she was 2 years old, and grew up being a big fan of Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James and N*sync. At age 6, she was offered a record deal but her mother turned it down due to her age. In the following year, she auditioned for Bill Cosby's “Kids Say the Darnedest Things: On the Road in Boston” and ended up landing an episode on there. Her rendition of Aretha Franklin's 1967 hit “Respect” charmed the host and audience alike, and the rest is history.  JoJo is of French, Irish, American Indian and Polish descent.
    

Aquamarine

Career:

Having been singing since she was a toddler, JoJo got her first break when she landed a spot on the CBS show “Kids Say the Darndest Things On The Road In Boston” (1998), hosted by Bill Cosby. After wowing the crowd with her performance of Aretha Franklin's “Respect,” she received an invitation from Oprah Winfrey to perform on her show. Appearances on talk shows and gospel festivals ensued, including “Maury,” on one of the frequent “kids-with-talent” episodes.

In the meantime, JoJo, who started acting at age 4 and did local theater, radio, and TV commercials in the New England area, and national TV shows from age 7, made her professional stage debut as Mustardseed in a 1998 production of Shakespeare's “A Midsummer Night's Dream” at the Huntington Theater. Two years after getting her first union card from the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (AFTRA), she  made her big screen debut in the Terre Weisman 2002 drama “Developing Sheldon,” opposite Linda Amendola, Bobby DiVito and Monica Farrington. There she played Young Elizabeth. She went on to make guest appearances in “The Bernie Mac Show” (2002, as  Michelle Cooper) and “American Dreams” (2004, as Young Linda Ronstadt).

In 2004, JoJo competed in the television show “America's Most Talented Kid.” Although she did not win the show and lost to Diana DeGarmo, the gifted child did win the attention of producer Vincent Herbert, who asked her to audition for Blackground Records. She was eventually signed to the label, and had recording sessions with celebrated producers like The Underdogs, Soulshock & Karlin, Brian Alexander Morgan, Mike City, and Bink!   

On June 22, 2004, JoJo launched her self titled debut album on Da Family Entertainment and Blackground Records. The album reached No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and No. 4 on the Billboard 200, and was cerified platinum by the RIAA. It also made it into the top 10 in other countries like the UK (#2), Canada (#2), Swiss (#3), Italy (#4), Ireland (#5), France (#6) and Australia (#8), and has sold over 3 million worldwide.

Released on February 24, 2004, the lead single “Leave (Get Out)” became an instant hit for JoJo by reaching top 10 in eleven different countries. In the US, the song peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Mainstream Top 40 (Pop Songs). At age 13, JoJo became the youngest solo artist to have a No. 1 single in the United States. The song went on to receive gold status. The song also  charted at No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart as well as in New Zealand and Australia, and became a top five hit in Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Directed by Erik White, the music video of “Leave (Get Out)” was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards, which made JoJo become the youngest MTV Video Music Award nominee. “Leave (Get Out)” was nominated for Mainstream Top 40 Single Of The Year at the 2004 Billboard Music Award, where JoJo received an additional nomination for Female New Artist Of The Year.  

The Underdogs produced second single “Baby It's You,” featuring rapper Bow Wow, reached No. 22 and No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Mainstream Top 40, respectively, and became her next gold single in the United States. The song reached No. 8 on the UK Singles chart. JoJo performed the song on Nickelodeon's comedy show “All That” in 2005. The third and final single “Not That Kinda Girl” (2005) failed to chart in the US because it was not commercially released there. It also missed the chart in the UK as well as in many other countries, but it did manage to reach No. 52 in Australia and No. 85 in Germany.

JoJo landed a supporting gig on Usher's 2004 “The Truth World Tour.” The same year, she also  performed the song “Secret Love” on the soundtrack of the animated film “Shark Tale” and took part in “Come Together Now,” a charity single to benefit the victims of the 2004 Asian Tsunami. At the request of First Lady Laura Bush, she performed at the 2004 Christmas in Washington special, broadcast by TNT and hosted by Dr. Phil and his wife Robin McGraw.  

JoJo returned with her sophomore effort, “The High Road,” on October 17, 2006. The album received mostly positive reviews from music critics, and debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. It was certified gold by the RIAA after almost a month of its release, on November 28, 2006. The album peaked at No. 12 on the Canadian Albums Chart and No. 24 on the UK Albums chart, and went gold in both countries. To date, the album has sold 2 million copies worldwide. The first single from the album  “Too Little Too Late” reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 2 on the Billboard Pop Songs and No. 21 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary. It charted at No. 4 on the UK Singles chart and No. 10 in Australia, where the song achieved gold status. “Too Little Too Late”  won a 2007 Boston Music for National Female of The Year. The follow up single “How to Touch a Girl” was a commercial failure in the US and was not released worldwide. The song failed to hart on the Billboard Hot 100, tough it peaked at No. 76 on the Billboard Pop 100. The final single “Anything” was another commercial failure for JoJo and became her second consecutive single to miss out on the Billboard Hot 100. The single, however, managed to peak at No. 21 in the UK and No. 18 on Ireland.        

Also in 2006, JoJo had a main role in the Australian/American teen fantasy comedy film “Aquamarine,” opposite Sara Paxton and Emma Roberts. Loosely adapted from Alice Hoffman's children's book of the same name by, the film opened at No. 5 at the US box office with over $7 million, and went on to gross $18,597,342 domestically and $23,006,849 worldwide. JoJo herself was nominated for a 2006 Teen Choice Award for Movies - Choice Breakout (Female) and a 2007 Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress for her performance as Hailey Rogers. The same year, she was cast as Robin Williams' spoiled, surly teenage daughter on the comedy film “RV,” which was directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. The film earned over $87 million worldwide against a budget of $50 million.

In 2008, JoJo returned to acting with a starring role on the Lifetime comedy/drama film “True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet,” based on a young adult book of the same name by author Lola Douglas. There she played Morgan Carter/Claudia Miller. The same year, she was nominated for a Boston Music Award for Outstanding Pop/R&B Act Of The Year.   

After conflict with her record label, JoJo left Da Family Entertainment in October 2009 after having working together for six years. She then signed with Interscope Records for distributing deal.

On September 7, 2010, JoJo released a mixtape titled “Can't Take That Away from Me” digitally on Rap-Up.com as a prelude to her third studio album. It has sold  over 400,000 downloads. She headlined the 2010 Then & Now Concert Tour and served as a special guest at Timbaland's Shock Value II Tour, that same year. In the following year, she was a supporting act at Joe Jonas & Jay Sean Tour and became a headliner for Pinktober tour. She made a guest appearance as Courtney Russell in an episode of “Hawaii Five-0” called “Kai e' e” (2011).

After supporting Big Time Rush on the  American group's “The Better With U Tour” in early 2012, JoJo released her third studio album, “Jumping Trains,” in the United States on April 3, 2012 through Blackground Records, Interscope Records and Streamline Records. The first single “Disaster” was released on US radio on August 29, 2011 and was released for digital download on September 6, 2011. The song reached No. 87 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 29 on the the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 (Pop Songs).


Awards:

Boston Music: National Female of The Year, “Too Little, Too Late,” 2007 Show Less
Was offered the role of Hannah Montana in the hit Disney TV show but turne...
Started singing when she was 2....
After her parents divorced, she lived with her mother and moved often....
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© Fox Searchlight Pictures
© Retna
© Fox Searchlight Pictures
© Retna
© Fox Searchlight Pictures

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