Out of all the early 00s pop tart tween singers, JoJo was among the least likely to make a comeback later on in life. And yet, here she is, nine years after her last single, “Too Little Too Late,” charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number three.
But even before then, JoJo was taking the world by storm in 2004 after becoming the youngest musician to lay claim to a number one single at the age of thirteen with “Leave (Get Out).” While the song’s subject matter possesses a certain lack of credibility when considering how old JoJo was at the time, she more than makes up with ardor what she lacks in experience. Even with the unlikelihood of her having to deal with a cheating boyfriend and the pain of what’s described in the following: “Tell me how we are gonna be together always/Hope you know that when it’s late at night/Hold on to my pillow tight/And think of how you promised me forever.” Forever at thirteen? What is this, Shakespeare?
In spite of her resonance with a youth audience and the many albums she sold for her then record label Da Family Entertainment, they failed to use the ammunition of her widespread exposure to release her third album in an adequate or timely manner. After switching to Blackground Records, however, JoJo’s potential for musical releases didn’t fare much better. She spent the limbo years putting out her own mixtapes and did her best to remain relevant by appearing on other people’s tracks (e.g. Timbaland, Keri Hilson and Clinton Sparks). After a long battle, JoJo finally managed to free herself from her contract and put out a “tringle,” as she’s coined it, of three songs (including the much beloved “When Love Hurts”) as a preview of her forthcoming third album.
Interestingly, Hilary Duff, who also had an incredible amount of success in the early and mid-00s, took a hiatus around the same time (though more for “soul-searching” reasons–i.e. having a baby–than issues with a label) and returned with her fifth studio album, Breathe In. Breathe Out., in June of this year. While favorable reviews of her “K-pop infused” single, “Sparks” signaled a positive reception, there seems to be far more buzz and excitement over little JoJo finally triumphing in her old age of twenty-four.