First Listen: JoJo Hailey of Jodeci finds someone "Special"

(February 14, 2020) If you consider yourself a fan of 90s-era R&B, then your eyes and ears are already familiar with the name, and sound, of Joel "JoJo" Hailey. Better known as a member of the hit machine Jodeci ("Feenin," "Love You For Life") and the younger half of the brotherly duo K-Ci & JoJo ("Tell Me Its Real" and the Grammy-award-nominated signature ballad, "My Life"), Hailey's last decade was a chaotic one: fluctuating sales, label-shuffling and a mutual struggle with both K-Ci and alcoholism led to a one-season TV One documentary, Come Clean, and a hiatus from the spotlight as both men sought to rebuild their health and relationships. "Special" is not only JoJo's solo single debut, but a re-introduction of his personal and professional brand for a new decade (and beyond). 

(February 14, 2020) If you consider yourself a fan of 90s-era R&B, then your eyes and ears are already familiar with the name, and sound, of Joel "JoJo" Hailey. Better known as a member of the hit machine Jodeci ("Feenin," "Love You For Life") and the younger half of the brotherly duo K-Ci & JoJo ("Tell Me Its Real" and the Grammy-award-nominated signature ballad, "My Life"), Hailey's last decade was a chaotic one: fluctuating sales, label-shuffling and a mutual struggle with both K-Ci and alcoholism led to a one-season TV One documentary, Come Clean, and a hiatus from the spotlight as both men sought to rebuild their health and relationships. "Special" is not only JoJo's solo single debut, but a re-introduction of his personal and professional brand for a new decade (and beyond). 

With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching, "Special" is the type of song that captures the sugary-sweetness of new love, more glistening than grittiness and waxing poetic about the many ways his lady rocks his world and sets herself apart from the rest: "Everyday's so special, so glad that I met you, I'm never letting go/it's not an option, you've got me locked in." Sure, it's a build-up to the boudoir -- one verse makes that obvious -- but there's something endearing about that slightly-Southern, Monroe, NC twang and familiar vocals willing to bypass the expressway in favor of the scenic route.  

The first release of TJ Entertainment (jointly owned by Hailey and his wife Tashaunda), "Special" eases JoJo back into center stage, makes way for Generation Next (his daughters' and nephew's releases are also on-deck) and reminds fans that just because there's been an intermission doesn't mean the show won't go on. 

By Melody Charles

JoJo Hailey - "Special"

 

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