Teen pop stars arrive by the dozens, but 15-year-old Joanna Levesque (JoJo for short) has all but bypassed the teenie-bop phase, crafting tunes that can dwell comfortably on both the pop and AC charts — her current power ballad hit “Too Little Too Late” is already breaking records and reaching listeners of all ages. Levesque’s sophomore album, “The High Road,” arrives this week via Da Family/Blackground/Universal.
Fueled by 121,000 digital sales, “Too Little Too Late” recently made the biggest jump ever into the top three of the Billboard Hot 100, leaping 66-3 and breaking the record previously held by Mariah Carey’s 2001 hit “Loverboy.”
Levesque attributes the success of the song — written by Billy Steinberg (Madonna’s “Like a Virgin,” Whitney Houston’s “So Emotional”) and produced by Da Family founder/president Vincent Herbert — to its universal draw. Its music video has already been No. 1 on iTunes, Yahoo and AOL. “A lot of people, especially women, can relate to it regardless of age,” Levesque says from her Boston home.
“It’s hard to get over your first heartbreak and that’s what it’s about-moving on,” she says. “Although it’s still a pop song, we added more R&B elements to it with the harmonies and the progressions, but still kept it rock in the hook when it explodes. And there’s some acoustic guitar there as well as some electric.”