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Joi (singer)

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Joi Elaine Gilliam (born January 25, 1971), better known mononymously as Joi, is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer associated with the Dungeon Family collective based in Atlanta, Georgia, and as such often performs with OutKast, Organized Noize, and Goodie Mob (her ex-husband, Big Gipp, is a member of the latter group). Her signature songs include "Sunshine & the Rain", "Lick", and "Freedom".

Joi is the daughter of NFL Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Joe Gilliam and granddaughter of Tennessee State Tigers football coach Joe Gilliam, Sr.

In 1994, Joi released her debut album, The Pendulum Vibe, on EMI with Dallas Austin as the executive producer.[2] While the lead single "Sunshine & the Rain" received heavy airplay on video outlets such as VH1 and MTV, the single failed to become a hit and album sales were disappointing, selling only 76,000 copies in the U.S. Even though album sales were low, Joi received widespread praise from critics, some calling her the new "Madonna". Madonna herself was so impressed with Pendulum Vibe that she changed the direction of her 1994 album Bedtime Stories. Madonna was also responsible for assisting Joi in becoming the first black model in a major Calvin Klein print ad campaign.[3] While Joi was receiving heavy media attention she released two more singles: "I Found My Niche" and "Freedom". During this time, Joi's personal and musical style was the first to be dubbed as "neo soul".[citation needed]

The track "Freedom" from Pendulum Vibe was later used for the Mario Van Peebles film Panther in a re-record featuring Aaliyah, Mary J. Blige, En Vogue, Me'shell Ndegeocello, TLC, Queen Latifah, Vanessa Williams, SWV, Brownstone and many more.

In 1997, Joi prepared for the release of her second album, Amoeba Cleansing Syndrome on Dallas Austin's FreeWorld label. Joi and creative partner Austin brought in the assistance of Fishbone to be her backing band. The song "I Believe" was originally picked to be the first single, a video, which featured a then pregnant Joi was shot, but weeks before its release EMI wanted more "Radio Friendly" tracks for the album, and the video's release was canceled and the album's release was put on hold. Before returning to the studio, Joi gave birth to a healthy baby girl Keypsiia "Blue-Daydreamer" Gipp and took a short hiatus. After almost a year delay, Joi returned with a new single "Ghetto Superstar" which featured her then husband rapper Big Gipp, the song, written for her father Joe Gilliam, coined the term "Ghetto Superstar".[citation needed] A video was shot and released, it featured both Big Gipp and their 1-year-old daughter Keypsiia. Yet, despite its MTV buzz status, when her label Rowdy/EMI folded, so did the release of the album. Even though the album never saw the light of day commercially, months after its cancellation, the album began circulating due to heavy boot-legging, several media outlets were able to obtain copies of the album, giving the project 4 to 5 Star Reviews, calling it "Ahead of its time". But in spite of the positive feedback received for the album, Joi was disappointed about its cancellation and decided to take a hiatus to take care of her family.

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