Jojo has apparently been through a lot but still managed to come out on top, proving what a fighter she is! The singer got candid about her struggles as a child star during an interview for Uproxx and she had a of shocking details to share.
Jojo, who is now 29 years old, did not shy away from revealing the extreme lengths she had to go to in the past, just to keep up with her former label’s rules and regulations.
As you may know, the star became the youngest artist to ever get a No. 1 hit with Leave (Get Out), at the age of just 13!
But her historical success came with a price!
In fact, what followed not only threatened her future in the industry but also her very life!
Aaliyah’s uncle, Barry Hankerson, who is the founder of Blackground Records scouted her and Jojo’s mother agreed to sign the contract.
She now recalls how ‘He started that label for her because she was so young that nobody would sign her but hearing about how he had made Aaliyah into the icon that she was, we were obviously really interested in that. My label got my mom a car, got us an apartment and I had my own room for the first time. They felt like family to us, and I think that’s what both my mom and I were really longing for deep down.’
The singer mentioned that ‘Both of us come from very unstable family situations and they really appealed to that within us—that we were creating something that was going to last forever.’
However, it turned out to be too good to be true!
The label refused to release her new music as she started to expand her career to film and TV.
Jojo shared that at that point, she chose to fire her mom as her manager since it was really ‘unhealthy for her’ to the point that she feared it would kill her if she continued to do the job.
When she was 18, her label’s president told her they just wanted her to look as healthy as possible.
She argued that she already did, accusing them that, rather than healthy, they wanted her to be really skinny.
But they denied it and in the end, she started working with a nutritionist who limited her food intake to only 500 calories per day!
And that’s not all! Jojo revealed that she would get injections that made her have no appetite.
She remembered thinking: ‘’Let me see how thin I could become because maybe then they will put out an album. Maybe I’m so disgusting that nobody wants to see me in the video and they can’t even look at me.’ That’s really what I thought.’
Eventually, to feel ‘pretty’ and ‘worthy,’ the young artist turned to drugs. For more about her experience, check out the video interview above!