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Joanna ‘JoJo’ Levesque was born in Brattleboro, Vermont, to Diana (Blagden) and Joel Levesque. She has French-Canadian (father) and Polish, English, Irish, and Scottish (mother) ancestry. Her mother, a church soloist and theatre performer, would sing hymns when Joanna was a baby. She grew up being a big fan of Whitney Houston, Etta James, Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald. A few years later she wanted to show her talent to the world and found an audition for Kids Say the Darndest Things (1998). She appeared at the audition and was allowed into the episode on the spot. Then, at Bill Cosby’s request, she performed “Respect” for the audience, and got an amazing response from Cosby. That’s when the calls started pouring in. First Oprah Winfrey asked her to appear on her super-popular talk show, followed by the Republican National Convention, the Boston Celtics, and Rosie O’Donnell. However, it was at the 2001 Gospelfest that she brought an entire crowd to its feet.
Next she auditioned for America’s Most Talented Kids (2003) competition. She didn’t win, but she met a man named James Womack, who introduced her to an executive at Da Family Entertainment. She signed with them, and was offered two contracts before finding her match with Blackground Records. Before her single “Leave (get out)” came out she toured with the prince of R’n’B, Mr Usher Raymond himself. Finally her single came out and went directly to the top of the American charts.