Alexis Jordan: An Unlikely Club Diva Unlike a lot of club music, "Happiness" stays G-rated: "Through strength I found love / In time I found myself in happiness," Jordan sings. This is disco music for a Disney audience -- and, amazingly enough, it works.
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'Happiness' by Alexis Jordan

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Alexis Jordan: An Unlikely Club Diva

Review

Alexis Jordan: An Unlikely Club Diva

'Happiness' by Alexis Jordan

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Alexis Jordan's "Happiness" is disco music for a Disney audience -- and, amazingly enough, it works. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Tuesday's Pick

Song: "Happiness"

Artist: Alexis Jordan

CD: "Happiness" single

Genre: Pop

Alexis Jordan may be one of the most unlikeliest club divas ever: an 18-year-old singer who broke out, at 14, as a contestant on NBC's America's Got Talent with a thunderous version of Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing." After going viral with her homemade YouTube videos, Jordan has since caught the attention of Jay-Z, who signed the up-and-comer to one of his Roc Nation label imprints.

Not the most likely route for an aspiring disco star -- but Jordan's first single, "Happiness," has been burning up club floors all year, particularly in the U.K. Her success is well-deserved: this four-minute confection (produced by StarGate, the team behind Katy Perry's current smash "Firework") takes Deadmau5's austere 2008 track "Brazil (2nd Edit)" and builds it into a irresistible pop anthem, as Jordan mixes her gale-force pipes with endlessly hummable mmm-mmm-mmms.

Club music is typically ephemeral, but Jordan deserves repeated spins by fusing thumping rhythms with lyrics inspired by a tried-and-true formula of bubblegum pop: the story of boy-meets-girl. Unlike a lot of club music, "Happiness" stays G-rated: "Through strength I found love / In time I found myself in happiness," Jordan sings. This is disco music for a Disney audience -- and, amazingly enough, it works.