JoJo Siwa is arguably Gen Z's biggest star. The overwhelmingly upbeat teenager is just as known for her relentlessly positive attitude as she is for her Rainbow Brite-inspired wardrobe. The dancer-turned-singer-turned-millionaire mogul has a devoted fanbase that reaches 10.8 million Instagram followers and 12.3 million YouTube subscribers who've watched her go from internet sensation to profitable worldwide brand with merchandise of every kind imaginable. Her influence is so far reaching that she's now set to front her own "Making the Band"-esque series called "The Siwa Dance Pop Revolution." To celebrate the star's milestone 18th birthday on May 19, 2021, join Wonderwall.com as we run down all the things you might not know (but should!) about JoJo…
JoJo Siwa first garnered attention as the youngest contestant on the second season of "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition" in 2013, making it to the top five. The reality competition series was produced by Abby Lee Miller of "Dance Moms" fame and JoJo eventually joined that popular reality series in 2015. It didn't take long for her to become a fan favorite and grow beyond the series after two seasons when her increased online video traction secured her a lucrative deal with children's television network Nickelodeon. JoJo has since spoken out about the show on TikTok, saying, "You think you can hurt my feelings? I was on 'Dance Moms'!"
Across all social media platforms, JoJo Siwa has racked up more than 42 million followers as of May 2021 — the month she turned 18 — all in less than a decade. After finishing her time on "Dance Moms," she was quick to head to YouTube, where even her early videos amassed millions of views. Always decked out in her signature giant bow, glitter makeup and bright clothing, she posts music videos and dances and gives inside looks at her rainbow explosion of a mansion. Collectively, her online clips have been viewed more than 3.5 billion — yes, billion — times. Her mother, Jessalynn, praised her initiative when it comes to making the videos, pointing out to USA Today in 2018 that she is completely hands-on with them. "The greatest thing about it is she literally was doing it all herself, from filming to editing to thumbnails to producing. To see her have the success is really just the cherry on top," JoJo's mom said.
JoJo Siwa released her first single in 2016. "Boomerang" went double platinum and in five years amassed nearly a billion views on YouTube. Since then, she's released three EPs: 2018's "D.R.E.A.M. The Music," 2019's "Celebrate" and 2020's "JoJo's Rockin' Christmas." In 2018, she was even named breakout artist of the year by online concert ticket retailer Vivid Seats. The children's music sensation didn't stop at singing either — she also plays piano and has been learning to play drums too. JoJo has built such devoted interest in her songs that she's been able to take them on the road for one of the most extensive tours in recent years.
In 2019, JoJo Siwa kicked off her first world tour at 16 years old. "D.R.E.A.M. The Tour" made more than 100 stops across the United States and Canada and she performed to sold-out crowds in Australia and parts of Europe. "I'm so excited to see my fans and to perform my music live. It's going to be amazing and epic. Every single show is going to be the best night of my life," she told Girls' Life at the time. "I have so many surprises in store for everyone — like, millions. So many sparkles, so much glitter! Rainbows, cupcakes, unicorns, all the things. Basically, this is my dream come true." According to Billboard, the tour brought in more than $26 million in ticket sales.
After signing a massive talent deal with Nickelodeon in 2017, JoJo Siwa launched an animated series on the network's YouTube channel titled "The JoJo & BowBow Show Show." The show co-stars — who else? — her beloved teacup Yorkie, BowBow, who she got as a puppy in January 2016. The program has run for two six-episode seasons so far, with each ep featuring a series of three-to-five-minute animated shorts that tell a brand-new story comically showing the duo traveling the world and revealing how BowBow is way more than just a furry bestie to the teen star.
Bows have become synonymous with JoJo Siwa, something her mom likely never could have imagined when she started styling her with a bevy of them as a toddler. She is rarely seen without the accessory and has said she owns "over 700 or 800 bows." She's now at a point where she doesn't know for sure the exact total in her closet because she has too many to count, she shared on YouTube. The star does organize them by color, but she never stops adding to the collection. They're such a popular fashion statement that her line of bows sold more than 40 million pieces in 2018 — or a bow for almost every single one of her social media followers. For JoJo, the item gives her a confidence that she wants to spread to her fans. "Let's say you're at lunch at school and you have nowhere to sit… but then you see a kid wearing a JoJo bow. By wearing that bow, they're saying, 'You can sit with me. I will be your friend and I will love you and I will support you,'" she told Girls' Life.
With a fanbase as massive as JoJo Siwa's, it's no surprise that celebrity offspring are among her followers. In fact, her biggest fan may be Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's eldest child, daughter North. After Kim tweeted that her oldest child was "obsessed with JoJo," they set-up a playdate-turned-YouTube video that's garnered more than 44 million views as of May 2021 — and the footage also ended up on an episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians." The clip saw the JoJo babysitting North, who was dressed up in her best JoJo fashions, as the duo did activities around JoJo's rainbow-hued home. "Kim is one of the sweetest people I have ever met," she said during an appearance on "Today." "She's so nice. She's a very good mom. I wasn't sure what to expect, because you know her as Kim Kardashian… Just such a good human."
The success of her bow line has led JoJo Siwa to launch a never-ending list of branded merchandise. At this point, there is almost no product area that hasn't been touched by her colorful fingers. Her glittery, sparkly goods range from toys and flavored water to electronics, crafts and clothing. The consumer powerhouse has expanded to hair and makeup products as well as kitchenware, activity books and Band-Aids. She even has her own lunch kits that come with peeled apple slices, fruit snacks and animal crackers. At Walmart alone, you can get JoJo clothing, sneakers, books, party plates, hampers, nail polish, dolls, watches, storage cubes and dog tags. She also has lines at Claire's, Target and Amazon. Payless has sold out of JoJo shoes every month since their debut, Walmart blew through all stock of her dolls and Target reported that it couldn't keep up with the demand for her JoJo's Closet collections. JoJo sparked controversy after Claire's announced in 2019 that it was voluntarily recalling the JoJo Siwa Makeup Set because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had issued a warning saying it tested positive for asbestos. JoJo stressed that "safety is myself and Nickelodeon's No. 1 priority in everything, in every JoJo product and in everything out there" and expressed regret over putting "too much trust in other people" with the makeup line.
Unsurprisingly, the endless products have led to major money for the young star — the bows alone have blown up her bank account. JoJo sold 40 million $9.99 hair bows in 2018 — a total of almost $400 million, she said on the "Impaulsive" podcast. Then, in 2019, her tour made $26.9 million, Billboard reported. Her total net worth is reported to be around $14 million as of early 2021. Not bad for someone who wasn't even old enough to vote at the time! While JoJo has never spoken about her exact earnings, she has said she's more than comfortable. "I do not have $50 trillion," she joked on "Today." "I will tell you that I am very happy. My bank account does not matter to me if I have a billion dollars or $2. If I'm happy and if I love what I'm doing, that's what matters to me."
In 2020, JoJo Siwa competed on season 3 of the hit reality competition series "The Masked Singer" as the T-Rex, performing "Jai Ho" by judge Nicole Scherzinger's girl group, The Pussycat Dolls. She was the ninth celebrity eliminated. She didn't sport a bow as part of her costume, which might have helped keep her identity hidden from the show's judges, but clues about her background, like a plate of junk food seasoned with glitter, were dead giveaways for fans. The YouTuber told fans on Instagram that she had "the best time of my life," even though she admitted to Entertainment Weekly that it was really hard to dance in the dinosaur costume. "It was so difficult. Honestly. It was hard and heavy," she said, though she admitted she loved the experience anyway. "I had 18 layers on, but it was still worth it. If I could go back in time, I'd do it all again."
In January 2021, JoJo Siwa came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and told her followers that she's never felt happier. "I have never, ever, ever been this happy before and it feels really awesome," she said in a lengthy Instagram Live. "And now that the world gets to see this side of my life, it makes me really, really happy. Now that I got to share that with the world, it's awesome…. I want people to know that there is so much love in the world and it is so incredible!" She then discussed her sexuality with People magazine in April 2021. JoJo said she usually refers to herself as "gay because it just kind of covers it or queer because I think the keyword is cool," but added that she would also identify as pansexual. "I like queer," she said. "Technically I would say that I am pansexual because that's how I have always been my whole life… my human is my human." Later that month, she even presented at the GLAAD Media Awards (pictured).
JoJo Siwa went Instagram official with girlfriend Kylie Prew in February 2021 to celebrate their one-month anniversary. "After being my best friend for over a year, January 8th 2021 I got to start calling this exceptional human my Girlfriend… and since then I've been the happiest I have ever been! She seriously is the most loving, supportive, happiest, protective, and just the most beautiful perfect person in the world. And I get to call her mine! Happy one month to my girl! I love you more and more everyday!" she captioned an adorable photo slideshow on Instagram. The couple met on a cruise and have been dating long distance. JoJo told People she was impressed by how much Kylie wanted to get to know the "real" her. "I told her my whole spiel that I tell everyone when they ask me my life story," she recalled. "She goes, 'I could have Googled that. I want to know your life story. You just told me about your career. I want to know about you.' And I was like, No one's ever asked me that before." JoJo also opened up about Kylie on "The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon," saying she is "the most amazing, wonderful, perfect, most beautiful girlfriend in the whole world."
In 2019, JoJo Siwa bought a massive 6,111-square-foot home in Tarzana, California, for almost $3.5 million. She lives with mother Jessalyn, father Tom and brother Jayden. Naturally, she gave her YouTube fans a tour of the mansion, revealing her personal touches — including her own "7-Eleven" room, a wet bar-turned-candy bar and a merch room filled with her branded products. "It's my house," she said in the video. "We have to have a candy bar." Her foyer is lined with glass-encased mannequins dressed in her favorite outfits. Beyond the fun stuff, JoJo's house has six bedrooms, five full bathrooms, two living spaces and a formal dining room, according to its original listing. In the backyard, you'll find a basketball court, pool and large lawn. There's also a lounge area — which she said she designed herself — complete with cozy couches, a foosball table and a Ping-Pong table.
In December 2018, JoJo Siwa's parents got her a BMW 4 Series Convertible for Christmas, but with a brightly colored twist. West Coast Customs wrapped the car with photos of the young star's face in honor of her "D.R.E.A.M." concert tour. JoJo told E! her first car was "the best gift I've ever received." In a YouTube tour of the vehicle, fans could see the stars and unicorns all over the doors as well as the rainbow-colored tires. JoJo also pointed out her one stipulation for riding in the car: "I have a rule in my car and that rule is that the only people we are allowed to listen to in this vehicle [are] Queen and my music. So all day every day when I'm driving, we're listening to anything by Queen or anything by me." She's also been spotted cruising around Los Angeles in a Tesla Model X covered with dozens of photos of her face.
Not everyone was as awestruck by JoJo Siwa's unique vehicle, including pop star Justin Bieber. The singer commented on an Instagram photo of the vehicle with an insulting, "BURN IT." But JoJo kept it classy and leaned into the comment, writing a number of Tweets reclaiming the heated expression. She even posted a photo on Instagram of herself inside the car with a cardboard cut-out of Justin, again captioning it, "burn it." The exchange sparked a major response from the two stars' respective fanbases and forced the "Intentions" singer to apologize. "I have nothing against you it was the car and the colors I didn't like I really hope you didn't think it was malicious or mean spirited," he wrote, with JoJo responding, "It's all good bro! you can perform at my 16th birthday party and we'll call it good!"
JoJo Siwa has a life that most teens — and, let's be honest, most adults — would dream of, but the star has spoken out multiple times about her backup career choice: surgeon. "I always have had this dream that I was supposed to be a surgeon and I always have wanted to be a surgeon," she said in a YouTube video back in 2017. "To this day, I would love to be a surgeon," she again told People magazine in 2021. If she hadn't pursued her current path, she'd be attending high school in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, preparing to graduate and applying to pre-med programs. "Being surrounded by kids, high school would have been fun," she admitted. JoJo also told E! News that "Grey's Anatomy" is her favorite show, adding, "The musical episode is my all-time favorite."
JoJo Siwa is best known for her upbeat attitude and positive personality, but that doesn't mean she won't stand up to bullies. "With every nasty comment, you're going to get nice comments," she told Girls' Life of brushing off her haters. She also said she blocks words like "hate," "brat" and "ugly" from social media so she and her fans don't see them. "Just focus on those 10 kind comments and don't let that one hateful comment ruin your day," she added. The star received a slew of snarky responses to a video she posted of herself singing a Queen song, and was quick to fire back with one message: "Hi! I'm JoJo. I love Queen. I know most of you don't like me, and that's OK. I still love Queen. Nothing will change that."
JoJo Siwa seems to have an endless amount of skills on her resume, but many people might not be aware of her ability to communicate in multiple languages. Outside of English, she knows some Spanish, Korean and Russian. She's displayed her language talents in multiple interviews. The Korean lessons came through a foreign exchange student, Jess, her family once hosted, while the rest seem to be from some top-quality homeschooling.
JoJo Siwa is about to get her very first reality competition series. It was announced in May 2021 that JoJo and mom Jessalynn will star in a "Making the Band"-esque series called "The Siwa Dance Pop Revolution." It will feature talented kids going through a series of performances and competitions to land a spot in a pop group with Jessalynn as their manager and JoJo serving as choreographer and mentor. JoJo and her mom will be executive producers on the upcoming show, which will air on streaming platform Peacock. "Surprise!!! A year ago my mom and I started working on a presentation to pitch to networks for an idea that we've had for years…. and now 'The Siwa Dance Pop Revolution' is coming to life!! We found our perfect home for our new project!! so happy to be a part of the @peacocktv family!!! 2021," she shared on Instagram after the news broke.
The incredibly accomplished teen refuses to let fame and success go to her head. JoJo Siwa once told Girls' Life that she and other celebrities are just "normal humans that are walking on planet Earth." JoJo admits it's her friends and family who remind her of who she is no matter what's happening with her career. "My family is so unbelievably supportive. My friends are so awesome and love me for who I am," she said. "I think that's really why I feel so comfortable with who I am — and comfortable with what I do," she added. Bright wardrobe and crazy merchandise aside, she revealed she wants her legacy to be focused on being a good person: "I want to be remembered for being kind, making the world better and my bows."