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Country Roots Festival Performer Profile: Jo Dee Messina

Photo of Jo Dee Messina holding a guitar. Country

Nearly three decades after her debut, Jo Dee Messina is enjoying an unexpected career resurgence thanks to a recent No. 1 hit by Cole Swindell and an electric performance at the 2022 CMA Awards.  

The country legend returned to the road in February for her Heads Carolina, Tails California Tour which includes a stop at the inaugural Country Roots Festival in Kansas City, Kan. Messina will join fellow headliners, Trace Adkins, Chris Young and Gabby Barrett on May 13 at Legends Field. The Country Roots Festival is produced by Kustom 440 and all guests must be 21 or older. 

Then and Now

Messina emerged onto the country music scene in 1996 with her hit single “Heads Carolina, Tails California.” The single peaked at No. 2 on the US Country chart and the second single “You’re Not in Kansas Anymore” reached No. 7.

Fast-forward to 2022 when the song and Messina herself, served as inspiration for Swindell’s “She Had Me at Heads Carolina.” The song hit No. 1 on the Billboard US Country Airplay chart and is now certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The performance even earned a nomination for Musical Event of the Year from the Academy of Country Music Awards.

Shortly after, Messina began plotting her latest tour and announced that she would release a greatest hits compilation called Heads Carolina, Tails California: The Best of Jo Dee Messina. It’s her first album since 2014’s Me although she has released singles as recently as 2018.

Messina’s Other Hits

Messina’s second album I’m Alright, which was released in 1998, was her most commercially successful selling more than two million copies in the U.S. It featured three chart-topping singles in “Bye, Bye,” “I’m Alright” and “Stand Beside Me.” A fourth single titled “Lesson in Leavin’” peaked at No. 2 and “Because You Love Me” hit No. 8. The album, which is now certified double-platinum, helped Messina win the Academy of Country Music Awards title of Top New Female Vocalist and a Horizon Award from the Country Music Association Awards. 

Her next two albums, Burn (2000) and Delicious Surprise (2005) each peaked at No. 1 as well and her 2002 holiday album A Joyful Noise created some buzz too reaching No. 16 on the adult contemporary chart. Five singles from Burn reached the top five on the US Country chart. “That’s the Way” and her duet with Tim McGraw, “Bring On the Rain” each hit No. 1. Both songs also earned Grammy nominations. 

Jo Dee Messina at the Country Roots Festival

Messina is one highlight in the star-studded lineup for Country Roots Festival this spring where Clay Walker and Lonestar will also grace the stage. General admission and VIP tickets are available now. Get your Country Roots Festival tickets from TicketSmarter and get ready to enjoy Kansas City’s next big country music festival. For more information, visit and follow Country Roots Festival on Instagram.