We all had dreams growing up. Some of us wanted to become police officers, others doctors or firefighters, for Jojo, born Joanne Levesque, she’s always wanted to be a singer. And from a very young age, that dream did come true for her.
She began her singing career at the tender age of six, and by eight she was already performing Aretha Franklin songs on TV shows like “America’s Most Talented Kids” and “Destination Stardom.” At 12, she signed a seven-album record deal with Blackground Records, which in the end proved to be her downfall.
Things started out well with Background, when Jojo at just 13 released her first hit single “Leave (Get Out).” It topped the charts in 2004, making her the youngest solo artist to have a No. 1 single in the United States. And in just two years, she had also managed to secure two Top 10 albums on the charts.
Ironically, that is also when things started to turn sour for Jojo. Instead of riding the wave of success she’d worked so hard to attain, she instead spent the past decade trying to release new material only to have it rejected time and time again by the suits over at Blackstreet. With her hands tied and desperate to play music, Jojo sank deeper and deeper into depression and turned to alcohol for relief. It was a dark time in her past but now 26, Jojo has battled her demons, signed a new contract to Atlantic and returned to the stage to show the world what she’s really made of.
Last night at the Regency Ballroom, she did just that, with a performance that was for the ages. Her vocals were on point, delivered with the style and grace of a young lady who’s now all grown up and freed from the chains that had held her down for so long.
A highlight of the show came towards the beginning when Jojo called out an audience member to perform a risqué version of her hit song High Heels. “I’m feeling a little frisky tonight,” she said. “But I can’t get frisky with my band because they’re like family. Is there anybody out there that wants to get frisky with me? I don’t care if your straight or gay, bisexual or whatever!“ She proceeded to pull up to the stage a lucky young man by the name of Michael and tied him up to a chair. After some seductive banter, she kicked into the refrain of the song and the crowd went berzerk.
It was an exciting moment of the show, one that must have been liberating for the sexy young starlet with the pipes of gold. It felt symbolic in a way, a statement of sorts that this time around it wouldn’t be others keeping her tied down in red tape, but the other way around. On this tour, she was going to be the one doing all the tying.
THANK YOU SAN FRANCISCO!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/yjM6roPo68
— JoJo. (@iamjojo) February 20, 2017
When Love Hurts
Leave Get Out
Like That/Like This
Save My Soul/Little Too Late