Joanna Pacitti (born October 6, 1984 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American singer and lead vocalist in the band City (Comma) State.
Pacitti began pursuing a pop career throughout her teenage years. When she was 14 years old, she was discovered by Michelle Young, who met her in a restaurant and was instantly impressed by her demo tapes. Young introduced her to various people in the music business, ultimately resulting in a five-year record deal with industry giant Ron Fair of A&M records.
At the age of 16, Pacitti was officially signed to A&M Records in 2000. Prior to her own album debut, she appeared in various soundtracks, including the Legally Blonde soundtrack in 2001 and in a five track promotional CD released with Mattel’s My Scene - Chelsea Spring Break (Series 2), called My Scene -Chelsea Mix. In 2002, the Taiwanese girl group S.H.E made a cover of her song "Watch Me Shine". By the age of 18, Pacitti had already written about 100 songs.
In 2003, Pacitti was one of three participants in MTV's First Year, which detailed the process of obtaining various professions over the course of a year. Pacitti is seen attempting to launch a music career in the show.
At age 12, Pacitti was chosen to star in the 20th anniversary revival of the musical Annie after entering a contest sponsored by the department store Macy's. Pacitti starred in 106 performances with the national tour, obtaining mixed reviews.
Shortly before the show was to open on Broadway, she was terminated by the show's producers. The firing generated national publicity. Pacitti appeared for interviews on ABC World News Tonight, Good Morning America, American Journal and Turning Point, an in-depth report with Barbara Walters. Her family employed a public relations strategist to elicit opportunities with various media outlets. After successfully appealing the initial rejection of her case, Pacitti eventually settled out of court on undisclosed terms.
In 2004, she had a brief appearance on the show What I Like About You, in which she played a singer named Amber and sang her song "Ultraviolet".
After many years of delay at the hands of A&M Records, Pacitti's first single, "Let It Slide", was finally released in May 2006 under Geffen Records and went to radio at the end of June. Her debut album, This Crazy Life, was released on August 15, 2006. The album debuted at #31 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.
During the first half of 2007, Pacitti recorded the song "Out From Under" for the Bratz: Motion Picture Soundtrack, the song was later covered by Britney Spears and was featured her sixth studio album, Circus.
When her label faced significant budget cuts, Joanna parted ways with Geffen Records in late 2007. She had been working on a follow-up to This Crazy Life at the time.
Pacitti auditioned for the eighth season of American Idol in Louisville, Kentucky, in an episode that aired on January 21, 2009. She passed the audition into the Hollywood round. Pacitti's past accomplishments have stirred debate about whether American Idol contestants should be strictly amateur performers.
On the February 11 Idol broadcast, she was shown advancing into the Top 36. FOX issued a press release the next morning announcing that Pacitti was "ineligible to continue" and was removed from the competition. According to Star magazine, the reasoning behind this was that Pacitti has "very personal connections" to Michelle Young and Roger Widynowski, two executives that work at the Los Angeles office of American Idol's 19 Entertainment.
In addition to living in the same apartment complex as the 19 Entertainment executives for several years, Pacitti has also allegedly called Young her "manager" and "best friend," and credited Widynowski—a former RCA Records publicist—with "helping me get where I am today." She was replaced on the program by Felicia Barton.
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