Joanna "JoJo" Levesque is thrilled to be coming home, and even happier she's doing it with new music to share.
In 2004, at 13, the Foxborough native released her eponymous debut album, which spawned the hit "Leave (Get Out)," making her the youngest solo artist in history to have a number one single in the United States. A second album followed, with hits that included "Too Little Too Late." But in the late 2000s she became embroiled in years-long lawsuits with her former record label.
After the case was settled in 2014, JoJo signed with Atlantic Records. She plans to release her long-overdue third album early next year and is currently on a tour that includes a sold-out show at the Sinclair on Monday. She'll play old favorites and her new trio of singles — or, as she dubbed them, a "tringle" — including the house-flavored "When Love Hurts."
On the phone from a Houston tour stop, JoJo, 24 and living in Los Angeles — though she still keeps a condo in Foxborough — says her set list is engineered "to take audiences down memory lane. I wanted to start in 2004 and work my way up to now in chronological order." Unable to tour much as a teen, she's been having fun performing the old songs. "The audience has been so willing to go there with me so far, it's been so much fun. I feel like a lot of us are reliving our childhood together."
In retrospect, JoJo is able to recognize that some good came out of being sidelined.
"I can't help but look back and see it as a silver lining," she says. "There's an incredible base of people who bonded around me and really created this family of supporters." She's also grateful she got to live her late teens outside the scrutiny of the spotlight. "I got to fall on my face and not have people photograph it. I got to make a lot of mistakes. I got to date a couple of idiots and I think that's good," she says with a laugh. "I'm just so thankful that that's not everybody's business to pore over. And I also got to see what's important to me. Having achieved success very young and then also having gone to a low place, where I wasn't sure if I'd ever put out music again or if anybody cared, that depressed state — being on the other side of it makes me a thousand times more appreciative than if I hadn't gone through it. I can honestly tell you that there's nothing I take for granted. I'm absolutely more in love with what I do than ever before and I think it's only because I felt I wasn't going to be able to do it again."