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JoJo


At 13 years, Joanna Levesque has transformed herself into JoJo, currently the most vibrant voice in the pop radar. Her killer looks have disarmed the opposite sex. Her awesome voice has caused some of the most influential people in the industry to stop dead in their tracks to seek her out. In today's fickle pop world, any measure of success counts for a lot. It may sound like an unbelievable story - but it also proves that dreams can come true if you try hard enough. With her self-titled debut album keeping cash registers busy in music stores around the world, JoJo is all set to be a desirable flavour. The Massachusetts native grew up in a house whose walls echoed of Whitney Houston, Etta James, Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald. JoJo's mother, a church soloist and theatre performer, sang hymns and arias when she was still a toddler. A few years later, the young future star started singing nursery rhymes and embellishing them with riffs to make them sound jazzier. She was a star waiting to shine. It didn't take too long, though. She auditioned for a spot on the TV show, Kids Say the Darnest Things, and got her foot in the showbiz door. At the request of Bill Cosby, the show's host, JoJo performed a rousing version of Respect for the audience - and got exactly that from the full-house audience. That's when the calls started coming in. First, Oprah Winfrey asked her to appear on her talk show, followed by the Republican Convention, the Boston Celtics, and Rosie O'Donnell. But it was at the 2001 GospelFest that she brought an entire crowd to its feet when she sang a cover of Whitney Houston's I Believe In You And Me. Soon after, JoJo entered the America's Most Talented Kid competition. She didn't win the title, but was introduced to a music executive who gave her a passport to several record companies. After a couple of botched entries, she finally found her match with Blackground Records, an independent label distributed by Universal Music.

She spent four months recording her album and also contributed three songs. The result is a slick set of modern R&B in the vein of Brandy and Monica with plenty of room to introduce the star's larger- than-life presence. "The music industry is flush with teen stars," admits Sandy Monteiro, managing director of Universal Music. "With JoJo, however, we have a promising singer with a tremendous voice. She carries the album without adornments - no attention-hogging guest shots, or irritating skits. She's the centre of focus, and it's a refreshing change for once." Despite the freaky R&B edge, JoJo's clearly courting middle-lane accessibility. She lets her singing to do the talking - and she makes a lasting impression of every note she utters. No one is likely to accuse JoJo of being a musical revolutionary. Her streetwise, modern R&B sound owes a lot to Destiny's Child and a little to the opposite-ends-of-the-genre artistes like Angie Stone and the late Aaliyah.

Here, then, is a teenager with a freshness that's appealing. She's figured out a way to effectively blend innocence with attitude. The final product is an album infused with assured, confident vocals and lyrics that speak way beyond JoJo's formative years. The ballads are deep and soul-filled, and the uptempo tracks bump so loud you just want to dance. Maybe that's what makes JoJo's album so special. She doesn't attempt flirty excursions like Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears - and she's not quite as clean-scrubbed as Hilary Duff. JoJo speaks to her generation of teenagers, and from the response to her album, it seems as though a lot of people are listening. JoJo's self-titled album, released by Universal Music, is now available in music stores.

 

JoJo Says She's No Lindsay Lohan, Scrambles To Ready Herself For 'Aquamarine'

Pop star gearing up for two-and-a-half-month stay in Australia.

JoJo insists she's just a normal girl, but she's certainly not an average one.

While filming her latest video this past week in Los Angeles, the teen pop star was making last-minute plans for her upcoming two-and-a-half-month stay in Australia to film her first movie,
for which she leaves on Wednesday (February 9). "I'm not even packed yet!" she exclaimed. "And I have too much to pack. I want to pack my record plaques, but my mom was like, 'They're too big!' And there's too many."

The only things JoJo knew for sure she'd be taking on her first trip Down Under were her mom and her tutor, so that she can have a bit of normalcy. But like her final scenes in the "Not That Kinda Girl" video, where she downscales from being a glamour puss to just wearing a hoodie and playing with her iPod, she won't need to take too much to make her happy (see "JoJo Unfazed By Trappings Of Fame (In New Video, Anyway)"). Let that be a lesson to any guys who try to woo her, she says.

"It's the little things, like if you knew what kind of flowers I like," she said, adding quickly, "I like daffodils."

"If a guy is trying to talk to me, you have to be confident in yourself. And I know it's so hard to know who you are when you're young, but you need to at least be trying to find out who you are, and want to do something with your life besides stay at home, go to school or play basketball."

That might seem intimidating given JoJo's goals — becoming a film star on top of being a pop star. But, she insists, "I'm certainly not Lindsay Lohan, where everywhere I go, there's a camera in my face." And she plans to stay grounded and in control. That's why she had "100 percent say" in making the video for "Not That Kinda Girl." "I wrote the treatment. I sent it to them. And they just elaborated," JoJo said. "It's very important to me that I'm part of the creative process. I just can't be put out there and not know what's going on."
That's also why she was so particular about choosing her first film. Most of the scripts her agent sent to her, she said, were "real cheesy," until she read the one for "Aquamarine." She immediately liked the script, based on Alice Hoffman's novel, that the director (Elizabeth Allen) would be female, and that her co-star would be Emma Roberts (Julia Roberts' niece). JoJo started talking to Emma about the characters they would be playing — two best friends who find a mermaid and must find a way to get her back to the sea — and they became fast friends themselves . JoJo's character, Hailey, is the tougher of the two.

"She's very insecure," JoJo said, "so she releases that by cussing and wearing baggy clothes and pulling her hair back and being ready to fight anybody. But it's really about the two of them, two best friends, trying to stay together. [My character] is moving away because my mom got a job so I need to move with her. It's a real coming-of-age movie. And it's going to be beautiful and fantastical too."

Though JoJo doesn't relate to her character as far as confidence goes, she's beginning to grasp Hailey's emotional arc, now that she's moving away herself. She's crossing her fingers that some of her friends will make the trek to come visit her in Australia, because she's now realizing what accepting this film role means.

"I thought shooting a music video was long," she said. "No. Shooting a movie for two and a half months? That's long."

JoJo Unfazed By Trappings Of Fame (In New Video, Anyway)

JoJo might play a superstar in her next video, which shoots this week in Los Angeles, but she's not the kinda girl to be impressed by the trappings of fame or money.

So as JoJo's limo rolls by, according to the treatment of the video for her third single, ''Not That
Kinda Girl," she eyeballs people chattering on their cell phones and showing off their convertibles and customized Scions and "2 Fast 2 Furious"-style imported cars. None of this fazes JoJo; neither does the sound of her song being played on the car stereos, nor the sight of her face on billboards behind the cars and her name in lights on the marquee of the venue, her destination.

"It just says, 'You are not impressing me with all the things that you have,' " JoJo said recently about the song, "and I am not that kind of girl that's into those kinds of things."

Surrounded by a throng of exploding flashbulbs and jostling paparazzi, JoJo heads inside the venue, where she sits alone in the empty seats, gets ready in her dressing room, walks around backstage, and then finally gives her performance to the sold-out crowd. The video concludes with JoJo wiping off the glamour and just wearing a hoodie and playing with her iPod as she walks past the paparazzi, who no longer recognize her.

After shooting the video with director Fat Cats (who last helmed T.I.'s "Bring 'Em Out"), JoJo is scheduled to fly to Australia to film her movie debut, "Aquamarine" .

JoJo: Don't Call Her A ''Child Prodigy''

She's just your average, everyday, 13- years- old singer

Thirteen-year-old Joanna Levesque — a.k.a. JoJo — couldn't have a much better pop-singer pedigree. The child of a church-singing mother and a blues-singer father, she was raised on Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Whitney Houston, began freestyling on nursery rhymes as a toddler, and made her television debut at the age of 6 on "Kids Say the Darndest Things," where she bowled over host Bill Cosby with her rendition of Aretha Franklin's "Respect."

Bitten by the performing bug, the young singer performed everywhere from "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" to the Republican National Convention. But JoJo's big break came after her appearance on "America's Most Talented Kid" — she didn't win, but an audience member approached her after the show and hooked her up with producer Vincent Herbert (who's worked with Destiny¹s Child, Toni Braxton and Deborah Cox). She later signed with Blackground Records, whose founder, Barry Hankerson, compared JoJo to his late niece, Aaliyah. But although there are plenty of hitmakers on JoJo's self-titled debut album, she's also a songwriter herself, and three of her songs are featured on the LP.
The singer recently completed a European tour opening for Usher (who no doubt understands the life of a rising teenage pop singer) and her album roared into the Billboard albums chart at #4 in its first week of release. MTV's Curtis Waller caught up with JoJo recently to talk about music, movies and success.

MTV: How was your European tour with Usher?

JoJo: Great! He's so talented and he's the nicest guy. There is not one bad thing I can say about Usher: He takes the time to stop and say hi and ask how I'm doing, and everybody in his camp has been great to me.

MTV: How are the audiences in the U.S. different from audiences in other countries?

JoJo: Well, overseas my record isn't really [being played]. Only in some places in Germany, it's just starting. So going over there was a very different experience, [having] to win them over with them not knowing you. But the audiences have been great and very receptive and embracing. And it'll be interesting to do shows back here, now that I'm on "TRL" and more visible to people. I can't believe that I'm in the company of people like Eminem and D12 and Usher. I'm in a great sandwich right now: I'm in between Eminem and Usher, and that's beautiful.

MTV: Did you watch "TRL" growing up?

JoJo: Absolutely!

MTV: Tell me what "Baby, It's You" is about.

JoJo: It's just talking about wanting a guy for him and not the things he can offer, as far as money and taking you places and things like that. I think all people can relate to it, and that is what we set out to do with this album.

MTV: There's a cover of SWV's "Weak" on the album.

JoJo: Well, SWV is one of those great female R&B groups of the '90s and Vincent Herbert, who's the executive producer of this album, kind of surprised me with the idea one day at the studio. Brian Morgan, who originally [produced] "Weak" for SWV, was at the studio and he was like, "Do you know what song you're doing? You're doing 'Weak,' " and it just made sense. It completed the album, it was perfect and it was a nice throwback, because people remember it and they're like, "That was my song just a few years ago."

MTV: Have you met SWV since you recorded the song?

JoJo: I met Coko. We recorded a remix with her on it. I don't think it's on the album but maybe if it is released as a single, it'll be [on the B-side]. She's very nice — her voice is crazy. I did not even know. She has this incredible range. She was really pleased that I did her song and she said that I did it justice, and that meant a lot to me.

MTV: And what's "Leave" about?

JoJo: "Leave" is a song declaring your independence. All people can relate to it: I have little 11-year-old girls coming up to me like, "I just broke up with my boyfriend. That song really helped me and it means so much to me." [She laughs.] I have girls and guys of all ages telling me that they enjoy it.

MTV: You close your live set with it. Do audiences go crazy when the song starts?

JoJo: Yes. From the moment they hear the [she sings] "Da da da da da...," they get really excited, and it's really cool when I see people singing along to the words. It's like no other feeling.

MTV: "Breezy" seems to be a pretty strong statement as well.

JoJo: Some people might be scared of it. [She laughs.] I was scared of it when I heard it was gonna be the first track on the album because it's kind of in-your-face. It's one of the more hip-hop tracks, and it's telling a girl to fall back because she's trying to get with your boyfriend.

MTV: What music are you listening to now?

JoJo: [Laughing] People look at me like I'm crazy, I swear to God, when I tell them this, but I'm listening to R. Kelly right now, and he's just a musical genius. I think he is absolutely incredible. I listen to all his albums, from 12 Play to Chocolate Factory. He just thinks outside of the box and he keeps reinventing himself musically. I think that's incredible. That's what I'm listening to — take it or leave it.

MTV: Have you seen any recent movies that you liked?

JoJo: You know what? I haven't had the chance to see any movies lately. I would really like to see "Harry Potter." I was really into the books and I would like to see that. I saw the first one, but I didn't see the second one so I'll have to get caught up. But the books are really good and it's easy to get sucked into that Harry Potter world.
MTV: What can fans expect to see at your show?

JoJo: Well, I have four dancers and a DJ, so you can definitely expect a fun show and vocals — because I do sing live.

MTV: Since you're singing to [pre-recorded music tracks], are you looking to get a live band?

JoJo: We would really like to do that, but you know, as far as the industry right now and budgets and stuff like that, it's crazy and it's tight. But I think that we're working with what we have and it's going to be a great show regardless.

MTV: Having started in the business at such an early age, you must really be in tune with what is going on.

JoJo: I absolutely am and my mom makes sure that I am, because she wants me to know what's going on with my money and what's going on in the industry. And I have great people on my side and I think that counts for a lot. It's still fun, but it's not all fantasy — you have to know the realities of it.

MTV: Is it difficult being such a young artist?

JoJo: The term "prodigy," and especially "child prodigy," kind of bothers me. I just think that I shouldn't be treated any differently than other artists. I happen to be a bit younger, and I don't think I should be cut slack, because I can work just as hard as anybody else can ... just maybe under child-labor laws. [She laughs.] I definitely want to explore more of my singing and writing and producing and things like that. I think that as you grow and your audience grows, you change and evolve.

JoJo to Get Out and about

Teenage singing star JoJo is set to hit Sydney next month to begin work on a feature film.

The 14-year-old, whose song Leave (Get Out) made her a sensation in 2004, will begin shooting Aquamarine with Emma Roberts (niece of Julia and daughter of Eric Roberts) and aims to spend some time with Sydney-based relatives during her time here.
JoJo (real name Joanna Levesque) will spend up to 10 weeks in Sydney filming Aquamarine - a story about two girls who discover a mermaid in their beach club swimming pool - and is expected to stay in Bondi during that time.

She previously featured in the film Blow and has so far made enough money through her music career to afford extravagances like a Ferrari sports car, which she purchased despite the fact she can't legally drive it.

 

JoJo Excited About 'Christmas' in D.C.

JoJo, one of the performers at the "Christmas In Washington" special on TNT, said she is more accustomed to having a DJ backing her.

"For real, I was like, this is really different!" she told AP Radio. "I love it though. It's such a change. I mean, usually I have a DJ and he's playing hard beats. This is a little different. I love it though. I like to mix it up."

JoJo, who will turn 15 next week, was talking to some of the choir - who are not much older than she is - and said she thinks she got some of them in trouble because they were supposed to be rehearsing.

She got a little emotional when she saw some of them in baggy jeans and rock T-shirts and realized they were doing something positive with their time.

JoJo on hip-hop’s fast track

The interview with barely teenaged hip-hop phenom JoJo stops suddenly as she pulls the phone slightly away from her mouth and shouts, “Mom, did you know I was playing with Ja Rule?” to her mother in another room of their New Jersey home.

She thought that she’d be coming to the Quad-Cities with producer-turned-industry goliath Kanye West and was slightly surprised to hear that the bill — with Ciara — had taken on a different identity.

It’s easy to understand any confusion she might have with a schedule this week that included an appearance in front of President Bush and family at the White House Monday, schoolwork, magazine photo shoots, press interviews, a big radio station Christmas showcase Friday in Buffalo, N.Y., and two shows with the gruff Rule.

This comes just weeks after her self-titled, debut full-length was certified platinum off the strength of her summer smash, break-up song, “Leave (Get Out).” And it’s not as if any of it has really disrupted her normal routine.
I honestly don’t have that much downtime,” the 14-year-old said. “My tutor comes to my house — when I’m home — and comes with me when I’m on the road and we do five hours of schoolwork a day, which, if you think about it, is a lot. (To pass the time) I try to think about what I have coming up.”

She added another upcoming engagement after performing alongside Vanessa Williams and Ruben Studdard among others Monday in Washington, D.C., before a large Christmas tree and Bush. She sang “The Christmas Song,” “Silent Night” and Sleigh Ride” for the TV special that aired Wednesday on TNT and when after she’d finished Laura Bush made a proposition.

“She asked me to perform at the inauguration. I guess I proved myself,” JoJo said. “(Monday) was amazing. I thought I’d be more nervous than I was. I just said, ‘Hi sir. Nice to meet you.’

“We’d just gotten a call from someone from the White House asking if I’d like to sing for the president. When the president invites you to sing for him, you can’t say no. Mrs. Bush told me that her nephew came just to see me.”

JoJo, who was raised in Boston by her single mother — a trained musical theater performer — has filled her young career with anecdotes of and testimonials to the soul-like voice of an apprentice of Whitney Houston in the body of Lindsay Lohan’s baby sister.

She was given a performing spot on CBS’ “Kids Say the Darndest Things” at the age of 7 when she read a clipping for a local Boston audition in the newspaper. She wowed Bill Cosby and was invited to sing on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” shortly thereafter. The list continues with more breaks following breaks. She admits to having performed with “everyone under the sun,” including Good Charlotte, West and Usher on a UK tour earlier this year.

Her new high-profile is beginning to affect her duties as a 14-year-old American girl.

“It’s actually really hard to go out to the mall now. If you want, you can be mean and just tell people to leave you alone. I can’t do that. But sometimes it’s hard when you just want to walk around,” she said. “I just don’t go now.”

She says that her age is always a conversation stimulant among critics, who knock her for singing so convincingly about relationships while doing so with little experience to back up the words.

“Those people who say that need to sit down and deal with their own problems. I’m not singing about having sex, doing drugs or staying out partying all night,” she said. “There’s nothing inappropriate on my album. I’m singing about appropriate that all teenagers go through. I’m not singing about finding my boyfriend in bed with another girl. People take things a little too deep.”

So how did JoJo celebrate the recent platinum certification of her debut album?

"I just ordered a pizza," the 13-year-old singer said. "It was nothing really big, it was just that special moment."
A special moment Jo Jo would be happy to relive if her album goes double platinum or better.
And she's doing her best to make that happen, planning a tour and preparing to release a third single.

The track she's leaning towards is "Not That Kinda Girl." "It's a great beat," JoJo said. "It just says that you are not impressing me with all the things that you have and all that, and I am not that kind of girl that's into those kinds of things."

Contending with "Not That Kinda Girl" is "Never Say Goodbye," an Underdogs-produced "beautiful ballad," according to the singer, who will make the decision in the next few weeks.

JoJo is also already thinking about her second album and declaring her wish list of collaborators.

"This is so weird, but I would really like to work with Dr. Dre ... because nobody would expect that," she added. "This really is the year of Kanye West, but I feel Dr. Dre is so amazing and I would love to work with him."

After portraying a young Linda Ronstadt on "American Dreams," JoJo also gained an appreciation for band-driven music. "They played the live instruments and it was all real," JoJo said. "And she had amazing vocals and I really appreciated that."

And speaking of acting, JoJo is set to shoot her first movie, "Aquamarine," in February. Co-starring Emma Roberts (Nickelodeon's "Unfabulous"), the flick will be based on the Alice Hoffman novel about two teenage friends spending their last summer together who find a mermaid in their beach club's pool and must find a way to safely get her back to sea.

"They're still casting, so I can't say much about it," JoJo said. "As far as acting goes, as long as it's [a role] I can do well, then I am all for it and willing to give it a try."

JoJo isn't just a 13 year old kid with a big voice

JoJo's crackling single Leave (Get Out) has shot to No. 10 in seven weeks on top 40 radio and generated enough heat to land her a plum spot opening for Usher in Europe. The song is the first track from her self-titled album, due June 22. The 13-year-old first wowed the public when she was 6 by belting out Respect on Bill Cosby's Kids Say the Darndest Things. Soon she was guesting on the likes of The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Rosie O'Donnell Show and singing at the Republican National Convention. A performance at the McDonald's Gospelfest in New York in 2001 helped land her a deal with the late Aaliyah's label, Blackground Records.

Joanna Levesque always knew she wanted to sing. Growing up in a one-bedroom apartment in Foxboro, Mass., she'd hear her church vocalist mother, Diana, singing around the house. "She never really wanted to sing anything except for God," JoJo says. "I would hear her singing and practicing around the house. She never really sat down and said, 'Let me teach you this.' I just listened and learned."

Newfound fame: JoJo and her manager/mom now live in suburban Edgewood, N.J., and she no longer attends public schools but is tutored and home-schooled. She says she doesn't lack for attention. "It's really cool that people recognize me on the street. Girls come up to me and say, 'My boyfriend was a real jerk, and you helped me through it with your song.' I'm happy that I can help people through my music."

Her first tour: "I'm coming out as a new artist, and it's a great opportunity, especially with the audience (Usher) has. It's been great. I was really surprised the European audiences are so embracing. People have been grooving and singing back when I've asked them to."

Taking it seriously : Such producers as Soulshock & Karlin, Vincent Herbert (Destiny's Child, Toni Braxton), Mike City (Brandy), Brian Morgan (SWV) and The Underdogs (Tyrese, Ruben Studdard) worked on her album. Despite her youth, she says, she had plenty of input in the process, particularly when it came to song selection and vocal arrangements. "At the time, I was going to public school, and I'd come to the studio and say, 'Man, this happened today,' and we'd kind of write off of that. I gave them an idea of what was really happening in a teenager's life, but then I don't think the songs are just for teenagers. Everybody can relate to them for different reasons." She wrote three songs herself, including Keep On Keepin' On, which deals with the lean times she experienced in Massachusetts.

JoJo's second album ''Baby It's You'' is Platinum

Da Family/Blackground/Universal recording artist, JoJo's, whose self-titled CD has held steady on the Top 200 album Chart for over 20 weeks, is officially certified Platinum according to the RIAA. "Baby It's You," the second single from JOJO, is #10 on Billboard's Top 40 Radio Chart and features teenage heartthrob Bow Wow. Produced by the Underdogs, this up-tempo dance track further demonstrates JoJo's versatility and unique vocal range.

The success of "Baby It's You" follows the path of success JoJo has with her first single, "Leave (Get Out)," which reached #1 on the Top 40 chart allowing JoJo to break a record as the youngest artist to reach the #1 position. The video has also been a staple in the LAUNCH Top 10 since its debut, reaching over 5.5 million streams to date and is among LAUNCH's Top 5 most streamed videos of the entire year. "Baby It's You" has stayed in MTV.com's Top 10 videos, since its online premiere on September 7th. JoJo's "Baby It's You" Sessions@AOL performance continues to hold strong in the AOL Music Top 11 for its seventh consecutive week, garnering over 2.8 million streams.

JoJo has several upcoming appearances including: American Dreams, where she will portray a young Linda Ronstadt (NBC/Nov. 21); Steve Harvey's Big Time, where she will be joined by Bow Wow for a performance of "Baby It's You" (FOX/Nov. 21); and TNT's Christmas In Washington (TNT/Dec. 15). She has also been tapped to the tennis stars Serena and Venus on their McDonalds Presents Serena and Venus Williams Tour, in Detroit Nov. 18 and Atlanta Dec. 2. Look for JOJO in the January edition of Teen People where she poses with Kanye West for Youth Aids in an effort to educate teens of the dangers of this disease. JoJo will begin filming February, 2005 "Aquamarine," in which she will make her acting debut alongside co-star Emma Roberts.

 

Isn't JoJo too young?

Ah JoJo, so young yet apparently so mature and such a prodigy and Bow Wow fresh out of Jermaine Dupri's child care institute - it’s a match made in heaven. Well for the moguls of the music industry it is, virtually guaranteeing sales from the ever-important tweeny demographic. As for the song it’s a little bit awkward to listen to, almost like these pop-kids are completely detached from any semblance of reality. The bling-bling lyrics are all good and well for people old enough to pretend they’re loaded but you just know that someone JoJo’s age won’t be pulling up with their rims spinning.

Well maybe except for Bow Wow, but the song is even more sickening when you realise that lyrically it’s effectively a reworking of J Lo's Love Don’t Cost A Thing. Far from me to take the moral high ground, but shouldn’t little girls be singing about daisy chains and such? Even Bow Wow seems to think he’s the mack-daddy; it’s just wrong.

 

JoJo knows enough about love

Teenage pop sensation Jojo has hit back at criticism of her debut single - insisting she is mature enough to sing about love. The 13-year-old launched herself into the charts this year with smash hit track Leave (Get Out), which tackles heart-break and infidelity. Critics argued, at such a tender age, JoJo couldn't understand what she was singing about.

But she counters, "Those people need to fall back a little bit and just chill." "Honestly I get very upset, very perturbed about that because I'm an educated person. I'm not a puppet. "I wouldn't be singing about something that's forced upon me. Yeah, boys are boys, boys are stupid some times and that's all it's about. "It's just telling a person to get out of your life because you know you deserve more at the end of the day."

 

JoJo will film her first movie in February 2005

The teen pop star will make her feature debut opposite Emma Roberts in the big-screen adaptation of the poignant Alice Hoffman novel "Aquamarine.'' The teens will star as best friends who, during their final summer together, discover that a recent storm has settled a mermaid into their beach club's swimming pool. Although the mermaid can't survive in this environment, she insists on staying near her the club since she's in love with the boy who runs the gift shop.

Elizabeth Allen will begin shooting the project in February. JoJo's self-titled debut album impressed fans and music industry officials with her jazzy, assured vocals and range. She had a summer hit with the single "Leave (Get Out)" and is promoting her follow-up "Baby It's You," featuring Bow Wow. She also recently taped an episode of "American Dreams." Roberts, niece of Julia Roberts, has appeared on the big screen with "Blow" and has recently wrapped shooting "Daisy Winters." The 13-year-old actress currently stars in her own Nickelodeon series "Unfabulous."

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