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Music / Jo Dee Messina

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Jo Dee Marie Messina (born August 25, 1970) is an American singer-songwriter from Framingham, Massachusetts native who dominated the Country Music charts for a short time in the late 90s-early 2000s with brassy female empowerment anthems.

After being discovered by Record Producer Byron Gallimore, she signed to Curb Records in 1996. Her first disc for Curb was a modest success with the hits "Heads Carolina, Tails California" and "You're Not in Kansas Anymore", but label mismanagement blunted the album, causing its followup singles to falter and nearly leading to her filing for bankruptcy.

It was in 1998 that a pair of tunes penned by then-future hitmaker Phil Vassar sent her into stardom: "I'm Alright" and "Bye, Bye", both #1 smashes and pop crossovers. Also coming from the album I'm Alright were "Stand Beside Me" and a cover of Dottie West's "Lesson in Leavin'". Burn produced further hits in "That's the Way" and the Tim McGraw duet "Bring On the Rain", but afterward, her career began to falter. Curb delayed her next album to release a Greatest Hits Album and a Christmas CD, but she made one last return in 2005 with a cover of Joe Diffie's "My Give a Damn's Busted". Further indecision over single choices resulted in her career tapering off again, although she put out a trilogy of EPs in 2010, and began releasing independently via Kickstarter.

Messina's peak period was driven by anthemic uptempo songs with motivational messages, often evoking a Fiery Redhead nature.

In 2017, Messina announced that she was diagnosed with cancer.


  • Jo Dee Messina (1996)
  • I'm Alright (1998)
  • Burn (2000)
  • A Joyful Noise (2000)
  • Greatest Hits (2003)
  • Delicious Surprise (2005)
  • Unmistakable: Love, Unmistakable: Drive, Unmistakable: Inspiration (set of three EPs) (2010)
  • Me (2014)

Tropes present:

  • Advertised Extra: Tim McGraw was credited for his barely-noticeable backing vocals on "Bring On the Rain" — especially egregious since Tim was on the same label at the time, he co-produced the song, and he had his own single out at the time competing for airplay ("The Cowboy in Me", which was actually knocked out of the #1 position on the country music charts by "Rain").
  • Break Up Song: "Bye, Bye" has it right there in the title.
  • Flipping the Bird: "Peace Sign" is about doing this to an ex, or "saying goodbye one finger shy of the peace sign".
  • Heads or Tails?: "Heads Carolina, Tails California"
  • Loudness War: "He's Messed Up" has a ton of clipping issues.
  • Not in Kansas Anymore: "You're Not in Kansas Anymore" has her reassuring a country boy who's transplanted to the city of his surroundings.
  • Past In The Rearview Mirror: "Bye, Bye" has the lyric "And a rear view mirror torn off / Cause I ain't ever looking back"
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: In "I'm Alright":
    We kept a lot of friends and skipped a lot of class
    Been on top of the world and knocked on our...
  • Wanderlust Song: "Heads Carolina, Tails California" is about a bored couple deciding where to go to satisfy their wanderlust.
  • You Put the "X" in "XY": "Peace Sign": "You put the FU in fun."