Singer JoJo reportedly struggled with a bad contract for years with her former record label – a struggle that apparently lasted for a decade.
25-year-old JoJo Levesque opened up about her 10-year struggle in an interview with HuffPost Live, according to Us Weekly Tuesday – claiming that she did not even have legal rights to her own voice.
“I legally didn’t own my own voice, which is just so weird to think about!”
JoJo signed a contract with Blackground Entertainment and its imprint Da Family Records when she was a 12-year-old child and aspiring singer/actress. She admits that neither her nor her mother knew what was really involved with that blossoming career when she first received that record deal – a lesson that they apparently had to learn the hard way.
“My mom was managing me, and we’re from a small town in Massachusetts. She was cleaning houses before she was managing me, so we didn’t know what we were getting into… I was stuck in a situation where I felt like my hands were tied, and they were.”
JoJo’s debut single with Blackground Records was the 2004 hit song, “Leave (Get Out).” The song introduced JoJo to the world and eventually became a gold-certified hit for the blossoming star who was only 13 years old at the time.
The success of her debut single was enhanced even more with her platinum-selling debut studio album, JoJo, which was releatsed later the same year.
In the years that followed, JoJo worked on and released her second studio album, The High Road, in 2006. However, a more impressive accomplishment was that she quickly transitioned from singer to singer/actress.
JoJo made appearances in such television shows as The Bernie Mac Show and American Dreams. She also racked up a few movie credit as well – including the 2004 animated movie Shark Tale and the 2006 film Aquamarine.
JoJo also played Robin Williams’ daughter in the hit 2006 family comedy, RV which also starred Jeff Daniels, Cheryl Hines, Kristin Chenoweth and a young Josh Hutcherson.
Robin Williams, Cheryl Hines, JoJo & a tiny Josh Hutcherson in RV???? pic.twitter.com/XsHCCdTyQC
— kate (@katecliffy) August 12, 2014
However, JoJo’s music career apparently hit a brick wall around the same time – leaving her biggest fans and critics wanting more but receiving nothing.
JoJo filed a lawsuit against her former record label in 2013, claiming that minors are not allowed to sign contracts with terms that last longer than seven years. She was officially released from her contract in late December of the same year, according to BuzzFeed – giving her the freedom she needed to sign a new deal with a different record label.
She did just that, signing a record deal with Atlantic Records – a deal that she celebrated with an Instagram post.
Even when she was held back by her legal troubles, the singer apparently fell in love with releasing new music on mixtapes instead of studio albums: releasing five EPs and mixtapes between 2010 and 2015.
In her interview with HuffPost Live, she made it clear that she still wants to continue making mixtapes for her fans.
“That’s what I want to continue to do, release content quite regularly. What is the difference between an EP, an album, a mixtape? It’s all music, we are all consuming it.”
As she continues to work on new music, JoJo claims that “it’s really important that [her] identity is going to come through and [her] voice will be heard.”
She definitely made sure that her voice was heard on the emotionally-stirring song, “Save My Soul” – a track about feeling powerless to a life of addiction. When discussing the song during the interview, JoJo mentioned that she reflected on her childhood when she wrote it – especially since she witnessed her family (including herself) struggle with different forms of addiction.
[Image Credit: Mike Windle/Getty Images]