JoJo Siwa Is 'Ready' for Criticism over Her 'Transition' to Adulthood: 'If You Follow Along, That's All You' (Exclusive)

The singer explains to PEOPLE why she's "very excited"

<p>Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic</p> JoJo Siwa at the 35th Annual GLAAD Awards in Beverly Hills on March 14, 2024


JoJo Siwa at the 35th Annual GLAAD Awards in Beverly Hills on March 14, 2024

JoJo Siwa is excited for her next chapter, even if it generates some criticism from people who aren’t used to seeing a more mature side of her.

Siwa, 20, discussed her new music and “transition” to adulthood with PEOPLE at the 2024 GLAAD Awards on March 14. To kick off her next chapter, Siwa teased the music video for a new song called “Karma” on social media, offering glimpses of the Dance Moms alum donning more revealing outfits, including a sheer cutout catsuit studded with crystals.

Siwa hinted the public can expect to hear and see new content from her they “have not seen from me before.”

<p>JoJo Siwa/YouTube</p> JoJo Siwa in her upcoming music video "Karma."

JoJo Siwa/YouTube

JoJo Siwa in her upcoming music video "Karma."

Related: JoJo Siwa Sheds Child Star Image in Racy Cutout Catsuit for New Music Video

“I've seen people before me make this transition, I've seen how much I loved it, and I've seen also how much the world has criticized us, so I am ready for that. One thing that I think no one's done is given the heads-up,” she says, referring to her recent social media posts, adding, “It was important to me to give that heads-up and be like, look, if you follow along, that's all you. If you want to go, now's your time. But in the best way possible, now's your time.”

The child star, who was introduced to the world at age 9 when she competed on Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition went on to appear on Dance Moms for two seasons. In 2015, she took her fame to YouTube, where she amassed more than 12 million subscribers. Siwa released her first single "Boomerang" in 2016 and turned her iconic bows into a business, launching them at Claire's that same year.

In the years that followed, she expanded her business with branded merchandise and accessories, inked a deal with Nickelodeon and appeared on shows including The Masked Singer. In 2021, she surprised her fans when she came out by way of a viral TikTok lipsyncing to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way."

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<p>Kevin Winter/Getty</p> JoJo Siwa on the red carpet for "Special Forces: World's Toughest Test" in Los Angeles in September 2023

Kevin Winter/Getty

JoJo Siwa on the red carpet for "Special Forces: World's Toughest Test" in Los Angeles in September 2023

Related: JoJo Siwa Opens Up About Her Love Life: 'I Got a Word for It — Messy' (Exclusive)

"Right now what matters is that you guys know that no matter who you love, that it's OK," she said during an Instagram Live in 2022. "It's awesome and the world is there for you. There are so many people that are there for you. I know everyone's situation is different and it might be harder for some people and easier for some people to come out or be themselves, but I think coming out has this stigma around it — that it's this really, really scary thing, but it's not anymore. ... I'm the happiest I've ever been, that's what matters."

In early March, months after withdrawing from Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test, she started teasing "Karma" with a series of Instagram posts that included a "heads-up" that her new content is "not made for children." Siwa hints it will make a "massive statement."

"I feel like a lot of child stars started as a character then they grew into an adult as themselves," she tells PEOPLE. "Whereas for me, I've always been myself, you know what I mean? And so to make this transition while being true to myself, while being artistic, has been interesting to figure out. But I think we've nailed it and I think it definitely makes a massive statement. Maybe even too big of a statement, but I think it's going to be a good one."


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