Her career catapulted when she was just a teen, and like many young singers, JoJo had to face off with her record label about her image. When she was 13-years-old, her song “Leave (Get Out)” became a hit record, but for years JoJo didn’t release new music. She was an undeniable talent on the R&B-pop scene, but years went by and still, JoJo claimed her label refused to put out any of her tunes. The reason? The singer now says it was because of “the way I looked.”
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JoJo sat down with UPROXX for an in-depth interview where the singer revealed that when she was 18-years-old, she was so eager to release music that she even restricted herself to a 500-calorie per day diet in an effort to lose weight. “I remember being sat down in the Blackground office, and the president of the label being like, ‘We just want you to look as healthy as possible,’” the 29-year-old shared.
“I was like, ‘I’m actually the picture of health,’” JoJo said. “‘I actually look like a healthy girl who eats and is active. And I don’t think this is about my health. I think that you want me to be really skinny.’ And he’s like, ‘No, I wouldn’t say that,’ blah blah blah,” she added. “But I ended up getting put with a nutritionist that had me on a 500 calorie a day diet, and I was on these injections that make you have no appetite.”
“I was like, ‘Let me see how skinny I can get, because maybe then they’ll put out an album,” JoJo continued. “Maybe I’m just so disgusting that no one wants to see me in a video and they can’t even look at me. That’s really what I thought.” Soon, the singer admitted that she began to spiral out of control.
“So, I started getting really f*cked up, drinking, making out with strangers, looking for validation and attention and looking to feel pretty, looking to feel good, to feel worthy,” she added. “There were definitely nights that I stumbled out of clubs and that I blacked out. I was just completely reckless, did not care. I needed to be buzzed to feel okay. I would go to the edge, stand on my tiptoes on the edge and then come back.”
It wouldn’t be until 2014 that JoJo was finally released from her contract with Blackground. Watch JoJo’s interview below.