Jo O’Meara – full name, Joanne Valda O’Meara – was born 29th April 1979 in Romford Essex, near London to parents Dave and Barbara, with two siblings, brother Shane and sister Julie. She is known as being the lead singer of British pop band, S Club 7.
Rise to Fame
Before she was known as the lead vocalist in S Club 7 – Jo worked as a waitress and also in a pet store. She joined the rap-hip-hop group, 2-4 Family in 1998 after becoming friends with one of the band members, Essence Woods – and they went on to release their first single, Stay. However shortly afterwards, Jo left the band and went on to gain a place in S Club 7. Jo had been working one night and was discovered by a talent scout for 19 Management, who had heard her singing Karaoke, and asked her to audition for Simon Fuller’s label. After a successful audition, she was offered a place in S Club 7.
S Club 7 shot Jo to fame, as they quickly became one of the biggest pop acts in Britain – during their time together, they released 4 studio albums : S Club (1999) , 7 (2000) , Sunshine (2001) and Seeing Double (2002) as well as starring in their own TV series which helped them become well known stateside, and in other countries. They also went on to star in their very own movie, Seeing Double (2002). During their 5 years together, they had 4 number one singles, a UK number 1 album, 3 arena tours and won 2 Brit Awards. In 2002, Paul Cattermole announced that he was leaving S Club 7, and after their departure they were known as just “S Club” having dropped the 7 from their title. The band continued without Paul, before they eventually announced in 2003 that the band would be splitting.
Launching her solo career
Two years after S Club split, Jo announced that she was back and going solo, having signed a new recording deal with Sanctuary Records. During the summer of 2005, she performed at various summer festivals and Universities, to promote the release of her upcoming solo material. She released her first solo single, What Hurts The Most on 26th September 2005, followed by her debut solo album, Relentless on 3rd October 2005. After Sanctuary Records made the announcement that a second single from the album was on it’s way, there was some confusion after they changed the single 3 times, between To ease your Pain, Wish I was over you and Relentless . During this confusing period, Jo eventually announced that she was parting ways with Sanctuary Records, and taking a hiatus from the music industry. For more information on Jo’s solo career, click here
Jo appeared on the fifth series of Celebrity Big Brother which started on 3rd January 2007. She made it all the way until the semi-final, being evicted along-side Cleo Rocos. The show followed 14 celebrities, living in confinement for 24 days inside the Celebrity Big Brother house, located in London. Housemates had to take part in different challenges, to win their weekly shopping budget as well as nominate fellow housemates to face the public vote for eviction. The show was hosted by Davina McCall and this series, was won by Shilpa Shetty.
In January 2008, during an interview and photoshoot with the Daily Mail – Jo announced that she was 6 months pregnant with her first child. Her son, Lenny was born on 12th May 2008. Lenny is Jo’s pride and joy and was named after her grandad.
S Club 3
In 2008, it was announced that Jo would be joining forces with her two S Club band members, Bradley Mcintosh and Paul Cattermole to perform at various shows at summer Festivals, Nightclubs and University Student Unions around the UK, under the name S Club 3, or their alternative stage name – S Club Party. There were some rumours at the beginning, that Tina Barrett was to join the line-up, making them S Club 4 – however this never happened. Jo, Bradley and Paul performed together for six years – from 2008 up until 2014, and also performed some special shows in other countries including Egypt.
S Club 7 Reunion
In November 2014, S Club surprised fans when all 7 members finally reunited for an exclusive performance for BBC’s Children in Need where they performed a medley of their greatest hits. A few day’s later, they announced that they would be going on their “Bring it all Back” Arena tour in May 2015. The reunion proved to be a huge success, however after the tour, the band went their separate ways again but have hinted that they would like to do something to celebrate their 20th anniversary in 2019.
S Club 3 return with a new line up
After S Club 7 completed their reunion tour in May 2015, it was announced that the S Club 3 gigs would continue, with Tina Barrett joining the line-up – however, Paul decided that he no longer wanted to be a part of it and wanted to focus on other commitments. S Club 3 / S Club Party are currently still performing under this line-up at present day, performing shows around the UK as well as some shows in other countries. In December 2017, they released a single called “Family” with money from the sales going towards the Rainbows Trust Children’s Charity
In early 2020, Jo announced that she would be working on her second solo studio album, 15 years after the release of her first album Relentless in 2005. She launched a YouTube channel, where she began posting videos including some of her own songs as well as covers, live from the studio along with some other fun videos such as Q&A’s and Vlogs. However, with covid-19 all of Jo’s plans were pushed back. Jo began posting videos of her performing in her living room during lockdown, and was finally able to get into the studio nearer the end of summer 2020 to start recording the new album. The album will be released in 2021, along with a solo tour.