Jojo opens up about 500 calories a day diet and addiction struggle: 'I should be dead'

Jojo (Photo: Getty Images)
Jojo (Photo: Getty Images)

In a candid interview with Uproxx, Jojo recently revealed her battle with addiction and the extreme lengths she went to with her first record label.

The singer said when she first started with Blackground Records, which was founded by Barry Hankerson who was Aaliyah's uncle and moulded the Try Again singer, she was excited. They gave her and her mom a new apartment. "I had my own room for the first time," she said. "They felt like family to us."

But things soon took a turn.

In 2009, after years of fighting her record label who wouldn't let her release her new music or release her from her contract, the singer finally won her case when Blackground settled, reports E! News. According to Billboard, she also went on to rerecord her first two albums.

But now she's revealing the physical and psychological toll growing up in that space had on her. The 29-year-old said she often blamed the way she looked for what happened with her record label, recalling when they told her they just wanted her to "look as healthy as possible".

"When I was 18, I remember being sat down in the Blackground office and the president of the label being like, 'We just want you to look as healthy as possible.' And I was like, 'I'm actually the picture of health. I look like a healthy girl who eats and is active. I don't think this is about my health. I think that you want me to be really skinny.' He's like, 'No, I wouldn't say that,'" she said.

"I ended up working with a nutritionist who had me on a 500-calorie diet a day," she added. "I was taking these injections that make you have no appetite. I was like, 'Let me see how thin I could become because maybe then they will put out an album. Maybe I'm so disgusting that nobody wants to see me in the video and they can't even look at me.' That's really what I thought."

Jojo later turned to drugs and alcohol to drown things out, continuing, "There were definitely nights that I stumbled out of clubs and that I blacked out. I was just completely reckless, did not care. I needed to be buzzed to feel okay. I would go to the edge, stand on my tiptoes on the edge and then come back. I should be dead."

The singer's perspective has changed since then – "This journey has been a journey of learning how to love myself," she says.

She also has new music on the way with the release of her album, Good to Know, expected in May.