In 2004, JoJo became the youngest solo artist to top the charts in U.S. history with her single “Leave (Get Out).” A rhythmic ballad, it’s about a tween breakup—JoJo was 13—but its vibe is far from helpless or heartbroken. It’s like a middle-school, R&B-lite version of Alanis Morisette. JoJo is no longer as famous as she once was, but she’s a far more interesting musician these days. She has thrived on the edges of pop culture, and has a clever knack for covering top hits, including the rapper Drake’s “Marvin’s Room.” Her original stuff ranges in genre, from dance to R&B, but it’s united by an elegant and sophisticated feeling for heavy beats, as well as her excellent soulful soprano. More people should listen to JoJo, but one wonders if flying just beneath the radar is what has turned her into one of pop’s most interesting acts. —C.J.F.
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