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Former Bostonian Superstar Still Struggling with Record Label Debacle

You might remember pop starlet JoJo from the mid-2000s. Yeah, that little Boston-born teenager who sang all of those high school break-up anthems.

According to Billboard, she still holds the title for the youngest solo artist to have a #1 single in the US with her hit “Leave (Get Out),” released in 2004 when JoJo was just 13.

Now, it’s easy to assume she just fell out of fame and works Starbucks or something.

But the truth is, JoJo has been ensnared in a nasty legal battle with her record label, Blackground Records, which is distributed by Interscope Records. Yes, JoJo still has a record deal. So why haven’t we heard any new music from her since 2006?

Blackground Records is shady, that’s why. And they epitomize the flaws in the major record label-dominated music industry. To put it simply, JoJo is still under contract with Blackground Records and literally can’t get out of it. The problem is, they won’t allow her to release any new music, either.

Imagine you are contracted at your job, but aren’t allowed to work and therefore aren’t really getting paid. Sucks, right?

Eager to make new music and reach out to her surprisingly sizable fanbase (she has over 640,000 followers on

JoJo's latest, Agape

JoJo’s latest, Agape

her Twitter), she has released two free mixtapes over the last few years: the first one, “Can’t Take That Away from Me,” was released in 2010, with her latest, “Agape,” released just a couple months ago.

Her music sounds nothing like the pseudo-angsty bubblegum pop she put out when she was a teenager – her latest mixtape fuses a blend of smooth neo-soul with contemporary R&B and pop. Her talent is tremendous. But until her record label releases her, not many outside of her dedicated group of fans will ever get to experience it.

The fact of the matter is that major record labels can get away with doing almost anything to artists they sign. Maybe this is why some artists, including Macklemore who I wrote about in my previous blog post, are turning toward independent labels to get their music out.

Sometimes the prospect of major label profits doesn’t outweigh artists just wanting to be artists.

Posted by on February 18, 2013. Filed under Entertainment,Music. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.