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Published September 26 2012

For Jo Dee Messina, music and motherhood go hand in hand

MAHNOHMEN, Minn. – In 16 years, Jo Dee Messina has had a pretty successful musical career.

Since her debut in 1996, Messina, who takes the stage Friday night at the Shooting Star Casino, has had nine No. 1 singles on the Billboard country music charts, including “Bye Bye,” “I’m Alright” and “That’s the Way.”

But, for Messina, her family is every bit as important as her music.

Family, as well as the theme of motherhood, consistently runs through Messina’s music and other aspects of her professional life.

Messina’s two children, for example, always accompany her and her husband when they’re out on tour.

“I take them all with me,” she says of her children. “Fortunately, most of our shows are on the weekend, so my 3-year-old is able to come with us.”

Messina also keeps a blog called “The Fumbling Mom,” which is linked to her professional website. The blog outlines her thoughts on motherhood and describes the daily adventures she has with her children.

But beyond dedicating herself to her family and personal life, Messina has still found time to focus on her music. She says she hopes to release an album of new songs by the end of the year, which would be her first new material since 2010.

During her tour throughout the summer, Messina says she’s debuted some of the new songs, and has been encouraged by the reaction from fans.

“We have some new material that we’re trying out, and I’m usually nervous about that,” she says. “But man, they’re getting bigger responses than the hits. I’m so thrilled to get out there and perform these songs for everybody.”

One of the biggest responses that she has gotten is for a new song called “A Woman’s Rant,” which, perhaps not coincidentally given the importance of motherhood to Messina, details the grind that a woman goes through during a regular day.

“It lists everything a woman has to do in the course of her day, and all of the woman in the audience are like, ‘This is so funny,’ ” Messina says. “We get the biggest response from that.”

If you go

What: Jo Dee Messina

When: 8 p.m. Friday night

Where: Shooting Star Casino, 777 Casino Rd., Mahnomen, Minn.

Info: Tickets for the all-ages show range from $10 general admission to $30 reserved seating. Tickets are available online at www.starcasino.com or by calling (800) 313-7469.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535