After bringing Robbie Williams to tears on The X Factor in 2020, ’90s dance legend Janice Robinson looked ready to resume her music career.
But the singer who wrote the dance hit Dreamer now had those, ahem, dreams shattered by the “imposter” who tours music festivals pretending to be her.
Janice, now 54, was the frontman of Livin’ Joy in the 90s. Her role as lead singer was taken over by Tameko Starr, who wrote the band’s follow-up hit Don’t Stop Movin’, after she left to pursue a solo career.
Janice released the well-received solo album The Color Within Me in 1999 and toured with Tina Tuner in 2000.
But the following year, Janice discovered that a stranger was playing Livin’ Joy at London Pride.
Now, in an exclusive interview with Kristen Bell Tattoos, Janice and Tameko have expressed their fury that a woman who has never been part of Livin’ Joy has been singing along to their hits at festivals across the country for more than a decade.
Recalling the incident at London Pride, Janet says: “She sang over my vocals and then all hell broke loose.
“I called my agents in a rage, like you can’t just put someone in there to sing for my voice, it was an identity scam!
“But she kept going because I was in America caring for my sick parents and I just had a baby.”
Janice was happy that Tameko took her place and “inherited everything she created” when she left Livin’ Joy because she continued to write her own hit songs.
“Then I never complained,” she says. “Tameko went and sang till she dropped. She was talented. And she justified every merit received. She deserved it.
“Now what is happening is that some woman is taking everything that I have created and reaping the rewards, and this is immoral. It’s disgusting.”
“It looks like I have duct tape in my mouth.”
Tameko agrees, “You seem to have had your identity stolen. It feels like someone is holding me in a closet with my mouth taped shut. And I’m screaming, “It’s not me. I need to go out”.
“Seeing someone use my voice is not me. And the public thinks it’s me.
“They think it’s me because I’m black. And this man is black. They think because my hair is afro, like hers, it’s me.”
Recently, a woman posing as Livin’ Joy, whose real name is Luzanne, has performed at UK festivals including Mighty Hoopla and Back To The 90s.
She even created a Facebook page called the band’s name and claims to have “all the qualities to deliver a world-class vocal performance worthy of Livin’ Joy’s original home recordings.”
She is going to play three times at Ibiza Rocks this summer.
Janice and Tameko say they are constantly being tagged on Instagram by fans who have taken pictures with Luzanne.
Tameko explains, “I’ve seen a few comments where people say ‘I’m with the real Livin’ Joy’ and take pictures with someone else other than me or Janice.
“It’s very embarrassing. Janice and I wrote hits, this is our life since we were little.
“We wrote these songs from the bottom of our hearts, and then for someone to come out and reap the rewards of what you’ve done, it’s like decades of pain.”
Janice and Tameko say they both tried to contact Luzan “politely and calmly.”
In fact, Janice, who wrote tracks for High School Musical star Ashley Tisdale, says she even offered to “write her a hit.”
But they claim she gave them back their “attitude”.
Janice recalls: “I said, ‘Let me offer you your own song so you can really feel what it’s like, because all the love that people pour out on you when you get on stage is for Tameko and me. .’
“But the attitude we got from her… it’s a very unpleasant feeling.”
X factor limitation
In 2020, Janice went to The X Factor to try and tell her story and show people what she looks like now to put an end to Luzanne’s pretense.
She sang Dreamer during the performance and brought Judge Robbie Williams to tears when he realized the importance of the moment.
“From the way he reacted, I knew that I created something that has a special place in the lives of many people,” she says.
“And I think now is the time to tell our truth, because people deserve it.
“Tameko and I are now living in a nightmare and we want justice.”
When Kristen Bell Tattoos reached out to Lujeanne for comment, she stated that Janice and Tameko’s account of the events was “inaccurate”.
She added, “I never identified myself as Janice Robinson or Tameko Starr, however I blocked Janice as she became extremely patronizing.”
Behind the scenes of the X Factor
JANICE made it to the second week of The X Factor’s live performances in 2018.
She claims that she never applied for the show and that the contestants are forced to sing whatever the producers want.
Janice says she received a direct message on Instagram from one of the producers inviting her to audition knowing she was from Livin’ Joy.
“They had done their homework and were looking for a band from the 90s,” she tells us.
“I thought it was a joke, but she left her phone number. I called. I said, “Are you serious?”
While many people have to go through several rounds before they face the judges, Janice didn’t.
“I think they wanted me to be a 50-year-old ex who couldn’t sing and didn’t know I had the star power to back it up,” the mom-of-two says.
“These stories are, in a sense, already scripted. Producers know which artists they want to get sympathy for and what stories they want to tell.”
She says she waited all day, “like all regular members,” but swam to the live performances, where she lived with 10 other members.
“They have glam squads, cooks to cook for you, make-up artists, all the bells and whistles, but I just wanted to do my own thing,” she says.
“I can do my makeup and I can cook!”
When it comes to choosing a song, Janice says the contestants don’t have the final say.
She explains, “You have to go to the judge and jury with song selection.
“For my song about guilt, I wanted to sing You Oughta Know Alanis Morissette because I love rock and I’m an amazing rock singer.”
After she performed an incredible impromptu version of You Oughta Know for us, she continues, “They wanted me to do Show me Love. [by Robin S].
“But I said the only way to do it is to honor my friend Robin S.
“She should give me her blessing and be on the show. And that’s the only way I was going to do Show Me Love. And, of course, she gave me her blessing.”