Jo Dee Messina: Wikis


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Jo Dee Messina

Performing in Houston, TX on the 4th of July, 2008.
Background information
Birth name Jo Dee Marie Messina
Born August 25, 1970 (1970-08-25) (age 39)
Origin Holliston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Genres Country
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Rhythm guitar
Years active 1996 – present
Labels Curb
Associated acts Joe Diffie
Tim McGraw
Website Official Website

Jo Dee Marie Messina (born August 25, 1970), known professionally as Jo Dee Messina, is an American country music artist. In her career charted nine Number One singles on the Billboard country music charts. She has been honored by the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music and nominated for a Grammy Award. She was the first female country artist to score three multiple-week Number One songs from the same album.[1] To date, she has two Platinum and three Gold-certified albums by the RIAA.

Messina debuted in 1996 with the single "Heads Carolina, Tails California". Her album was certifified Gold by the RIAA. Her second album, I'm Alright produced five Top 10 Country hits between 1998 in 1999 and sold over a million copies in America. Since her debut, six of her singles have peaked at #1 on the Billboard Country singles chart and five of her albums have received a certification by the RIAA or the CRIA.


Early life

Messina was born Jo Dee Marie Messina on August 25, 1970, in Framingham, Massachusetts. She was raised in Holliston, Massachusetts, by Vincent and Mary Messina, and had two sisters, Terese and Marianne, as well as a brother named Vincent. [2] Messina had a variety of Country music influences, which included Patsy Cline, Reba McEntire, and The Judds. She soon started performing live, and by age 16 she was playing local clubs with a rhythm section made up of her brother and sister.[3] The family band played up until Messina was in her late teens.

Realizing that living in the Northeast would limit her chances of achieving Country music stardom, Messina moved to Nashville at age 19.[4] To support herself, Messina worked various temp jobs, including computer programming and accounting. In her spare time, she entered talent contests around Nashville.

One win led to a regular gig on the radio show Live at Libby's, which in turn caught the interest of producer Byron Gallimore, who helped her assemble a demo tape. Gallimore was also working with the young Tim McGraw around the same time, and Messina befriended him. Backstage at one of his concerts, Messina met an executive from his label, Curb, and jokingly suggested that they needed a redhead. [3] With the help of fellow Curb producer James Stroud, Messina was then signed to the record label. Gallimore and McGraw would later become co-producers of Messina's studio albums under Curb.

Music career

1996 – 1997: Country success

Messina released her self-titled debut album in 1996. It spawned two Top 10 hits, starting with the lead single, "Heads Carolina, Tails California," which peaked at #2 on the Country charts and its follow-up, "You're Not in Kansas Anymore" gained similar success. [3] However, the two additional singles released from the album, "Do You Wanna Make Something of It" and "He'd Never Seen Julie Cry" peaked outside the Country Top 40 and were minor hits between 1996 and 1997. Following her major success, Messina performed 215 shows in 1996 and became one of the most successful new female vocalists of the mid-90s. Her debut album also sold well, and sold over 500,000 copies and received a "Gold" certification by the RIAA.

However, Messina's finances suffered due to a series of poor business decisions and a change of management that led her to nearly declaring bankruptcy. Messina nearly lost her home and her car. [2] She spent nearly a year trying to write new songs and material for a new album that could help bring herself out of bankruptcy.[5] She credited the radio success of "Bye, Bye" and "I'm Alright" with giving her a "second chance."[6]

1998 − 2006: Breakthrough success

In 1998, Messina released her sophomore album, I'm Alright. The album spawned three #1 hit singles on the Billboard Country Chart in 1998, beginning with "Bye, Bye" [7] ,then followed by the title track and then with "Stand Beside Me," all three of which charted on the Billboard Hot 100 as well. The fourth single, "Lesson in Leavin", was a cover of the #1 Country hit by Dottie West in 1980. The song peaked at #2 for 7 weeks (behind Lonestar's huge #1 hit "Amazed)." In 1999, she had another Top 10 hit from the album titled "Because You Love Me," which peaked at #8 on the Billboard Country Chart.

The following year, she won the Country Music Association's "Horizon award," which is awarded to new Country music artists. [7] She also won Billboard magazine's "Most Played Female at Country Radio" and also won three major awards from the Boston Music Awards, located in her home state of Massachusetts. [4] Messina's album also became her biggest-selling album to date, selling an excess of two million copies in the United States, receiving a certification of 2× Platinum by the RIAA. Around the same time, Messina had guest roles on the television shows, Crash and Burn, Nash Bridges and Touched by an Angel. She guest-starred on the series a couple of years earlier and stayed in touch with the show's producer/creator. In the episode titled "Bring On the Rain" (named after Messina's hit song), she appeared as Annie, the single mother of a teenage girl.[4]

She released her third studio album, Burn in 2000, which aimed towards Country pop-styled music. [3] The album's lead single, "That's the Way" peaked at #1 on the Billboard Country Chart and also became her highest-charting single on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #25. Following the success, she had two additional Top 10 hits with "Burn" and "Downtime." [7] Messina had another #1 hit from the album in 2001 with "Bring On the Rain", a duet with Tim McGraw that also became a Top 10 hit on the Adult Contemporary Chart, peaking at #6. In addition to headlining concerts, she also toured with Vince Gill, George Strait, and The Judds' reunion tour.[8]

Messina released her first holiday album in 2002 with A Joyful Noise. The title track was released as a single and peaked at #16 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 2003. The album consisted of remakes of holiday songs previously made famous by other singers.

In 2003 Jo Dee was set to release a new album called "Delicious Surprise", but a Greatest Hits album was issued instead on May 20, 2003 Greatest Hits compilation album, [8] The album covered most of Messina's hits between 1996 and 2003, and also included two new songs that were released as singles. The first single, "Was That My Life," peaked in the Top 25 and the second single, "I Wish," became a Top 15 hit. The album was also certified "Gold" by the RIAA.

In 2005, Messina released her first Country music studio album since 2000, Delicious Surprise. [3] The album peaked at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and #9 on the Billboard 200. [9] In late 2005, the album sold over 500,000 copies and became her fourth album to receive a "Gold" certification by the RIAA. [10] The lead single, "My Give a Damn's Busted," peaked at #1 on the Billboard Country Chart and became Messina's first single since 2001 to become a #1 hit. The three follow-up singles ("Delicious Surprise," "Not Going Down," and "It's Too Late To Worry") were Top 40 hits on the Billboard Country chart between 2005 and 2006, but did not enter the Top 20.

2007 – present: Unmistakable

Performing in Naples, Italy in January 2007

Messina released a new single in July 2007, titled "Biker Chick" off her upcoming fifth studio album, Unmistakable. It was written by Kelly Archer and Max T. Barnes and was recorded in the fall of 2006 in Nashville. [11] Although the album was set for release on November 6, 2007, the album was shelved and therefore, the single was dropped from Country radio after spending 9 weeks on the charts; "Biker Chick" reached a peak of #48.

On March 22, 2008, Messina released her second single from Unmistakable, titled "I'm Done." The single peaked at #34 on the Billboard Country Chart. Messina, who co-wrote "I'm Done," explained that the release of Unmistakable was "truly dictated by the success of the single." [12] On June 10, 2008, Messina and Phil Vassar opened the 2008 CMA Music Festival, where she performed her two #1 hits, "Bye, Bye" and "I'm Alright," both co-written by Vassar. [13] She also performed her latest single, "I'm Done," which received a positive reaction from the audience that day. [14]

In January 2010, Jo Dee released the single, "That's God" in advance of releasing her next album, however, the song failed to chart and the album has been pushed back again and may not be released.

Over the course of 2010, Messina's next album, Unmistakable will be released in 3 phases, with the first being Unmistakable Trilogy: Love, out April 27th. Phase 2, "Drive" will be out in the summer and phase three, "Inspiration" will be out in the fall. Each of the discs will include 2 live tracks of Jo Dee's previous hit singles, performed on her Music Room tour.

Personal life

Messina became involved with the Special Olympics after stumbling across an event while jogging. She has become an ambassador and performs at Special Olympics events in order to increase attendance.[15]

In April 2004, Messina entered a rehabilitation facility in Utah for treatment of alcoholism.[16] Messina says her manager, Stuart Dill, confronted her in Houston following a rough performance after the 2004 Super Bowl. She says she wasn't "stumbling drunk," but she acknowledges that she doesn't recall much about the performance either. "I forgot the words to 'Stand Beside Me.' That's what I can remember," Messina said. After Dill's confrontation, Messina was on a plane to Utah the next day. She entered a detox center for a few days before checking into rehab. Messina doesn't blame Muzquiz or Curb Records for her drinking problem. Instead, she points to her workaholic tendencies. She said rehab gave her the time to focus on herself and her issues, and she was able to turn to songwriting again for the first time in a long time. [17] After finishing rehabilitation, Messina rented a cabin at the "Sundance Ski Resort" in Utah. She resumed touring on May 30, 2004, in Marksville, Louisiana.

In 2004, Messina was engaged to road manager Don Muzquiz, but then broke off the engagement. However, the two remained in a business relationship. [18] On June 22, 2007, Messina announced her engagement to businessman Chris Deffenbaugh from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Deffenbaugh owns and operates Deffenblaster Enterprises, which builds custom road cases and audio equipment. [19] Messina married Deffenbaugh in late 2007 [20] in a ceremony in Nashville. Country singer Danielle Peck served as a bridesmaid. Deffenbaugh gets her flowers every month on the anniversary of the day they met.[21] Messina and Deffenbaugh welcomed their only child, son Noah Roger Deffenbaugh, on January 19, 2009, in Nashville.[22]


Main albums

Awards & honors

Year Award Program[4][23] Award
1998 Academy of Country Music Awards Top New Female Vocalist
1999 Billboard Magazine Most Played Country Female Artist of the Year
Boston Music Awards Outstanding Country Act
Outstanding Female Vocalist
Act of the Year
Country Music Association Awards Horizon award


  1. ^ Jo Dee Messina biography at her official website
  2. ^ a b Taylor, B. Kimberley Jo Dee Messina biography & other information Musician; retrieved 6-26-08
  3. ^ a b c d e Allmusic Jo Dee Messina profile retrieved 6-26-08
  4. ^ a b c d Ask Jo Dee Messina - women singer retrieved 6-26-08
  5. ^ Taylor, Chuck (March 13, 1999), "Curb's Jo Dee Messina Proves She's More Than `Alright' With Hit-Filled Sophomore Set". Billboard. 111 (11):
  6. ^ Flippo, Chet (August 29, 1998), "'97 was a tough year for Jo Dee Messina, but now with a no. 1 song She's `Alright.'" Billboard. 110 (35):39
  7. ^ a b c Jo Dee Messina timeline; retrieved 6-26-08
  8. ^ a b Jo Dee Messina profile Country Music; Also includes music videos, photographs, and news
  9. ^ Wilson, Urban, Nichols Vying for Next No. 1 Country Music; retrieved 6-26-08
  10. ^ Jo Dee Messina nets two more Gold albums Country Music Television News; retrieved 6-26-08
  11. ^ Jo Dee Messina releases latest single, "Biker Chick" Country Standard Time; retrieved 6-26-08
  12. ^ Jo Dee Messina talks about upcoming album, Unmistakable Live; retrieved 6-26-08
  13. ^ Jo Dee Messina & Phil Vassar open the CMA Music Festival Country Music Television news; retrieved 6-26-08
  14. ^ Jo Dee Messina performs at CMA Music festival Curb; retrieved 6-26-08
  15. ^ No byline (August 2009), "Why I Give: Jo Dee Messina". Good Housekeeping. 249 (2):76
  16. ^ Jo Dee Messina news at
  17. ^
  18. ^ Jo Dee Messina breaks engagement Yahoo news from February 20, 2004; retrieved 6-26-08
  19. ^ Country Star Jo Dee Messina Engaged; retrieved 2008-08-26
  20. ^ Jo Dee Messina talks about tying the knot GAC TV; retrieved 6-26-08
  21. ^ Songfacts interview with Jo Dee Messina Songfacts; retrieved 2008-08-13
  22. ^ Clinton, Ivory Jeff (February 2, 2009), "Passages".. People. 71 (4):123
  23. ^ Jo Dee Messina awards Country Music; retrieved 6-26-08


  • Gilbert, Calvin. (1998). "Jo Dee Messina". In The Encyclopedia of County Music. Paul Kingsbury, Editor. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 343.

External links

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