• Lillie Burke

Sophomore performs with musical hero thanks to “Freshman for a Day” contest


JoJo Performs at Belmont for "Freshman for a Day"

Belmont University sophomore Gretchen Macilwaine had the opportunity to join her long time idol, JoJo, onstage Thursday night.

JoJo was hosting a “Freshman for a Day” contest to launch off her new album, “Mad Love.” Belmont students went to work and voted as much as possible.

She was welcomed at 2 p.m. by a large crowd. After attending a class, JoJo did a Q&A session after a short performance, where Macilwaine joined in.

Macilwaine considers JoJo a role model who has inspired her to write music and sing.

“I was 8 years old and I got one of those “Now” albums. Her song “Baby It’s You,” was on there and I got her CD for Christmas that following year,” said Macilwaine.

Macilwaine valued the advice given by the artist to Belmont music students on how to keep humility in the industry.

“If you’re not humble, there’s really no point in what you’re doing,” said Macilwaine.

JoJo gave the crowd a show using a few of the new songs she holds closest to her heart. She performed “Clovers,” a song named after Massachusetts which connects to her roots. “I Am,” was next. She was open with the audience and told them it came from a therapy session.

“I can’t get over how real she is,” said Macilwaine.

Years later she had the chance to not only meet JoJo but also perform by her side.

“I was really just surprised at how she loved being at Belmont. Obviously celebrities get tired of the fast life but it was really humbling,” said Macilwaine.

Photos by Hunter Morgan.

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