Local fan sang with Jo Dee Messina before Sweetland concert

Published 9:45 am Wednesday, July 26, 2023

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Last week at the Tracy Byrd and Jo Dee Messina concert at Sweetland Amphitheatre, Danielle Rockel’s dream came true when she got the opportunity to sing with her idol backstage.

“I have been a fan of Jo Dee Messina for as long as I can remember,” Rockel said. “As a child, I was raised on 90s country music, and now as an adult, it’s still a staple in my everyday listening. Jo Dee Messina has always been one of my favorites.”

Rockel describes singing with Messina as a surreal experience.

“It was really fun, but a little surreal to be able to sing with her. In the past, I have asked a few other famous singers to do the same, and they all agreed. As soon as I found out we had meet-and-greet passes for the concert, I planned to ask Jo Dee as well,” Rockel said.

“My friend Allison and I took pictures with her first, then I nervously said, “I have a favor to ask, could we please sing the chorus to ‘Heads Carolina [Tails California]’ together really quickly while my friend takes a video?’ It was funny at the moment because she seemed confused about what I was asking initially, but then agreed and said ‘OK, let’s do it.’’

Rockel said the best part of the experience was being able to sing one of her favorite songs with her idol.

“The best part of singing with Jo Dee was honestly just having the chance to do so. She could have said no and I am just ecstatic I had the chance to do it,” Rockel said. “I sing mostly for fun, so I’m thankful for this God-given gift that led to this opportunity to sing with my childhood idol.”

She said this was her first time seeing Messina in concert and hopes to do it again in October in Hiawassee with friends.