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Maranda Pleasant: What inspires you?

Jo Dee Messina: Life. People who are passionate and believe in working hard. When a person is kind enough to go out of their way for someone else.

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?

JDM: My kids! They remind me every day how much I don’t know.

MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?

JDM: We’re all in this together. Choose love.

MP: How do you handle emotional pain?

JDM: It’s usually in stages. I first feel the shock, then curl up in a ball and cry, and then hold my head up and keep on moving. Songwriting is a great release as well. It helps me work through things.

MP: Do you have a daily routine?

JDM: The only thing I can count on daily is the unexpected. I usually try to start my day with a run before I even turn on my computer and clog my head with things to be done.

It’s more routine when my children are at school. Wake up; work out; get kids up, dressed, fed; make their lunch; and then car line. Car line again at two thirty, home, dinner, kids in bed at eight, and spend the rest of my waking hours with my husband.

MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life?

JDM: There are a couple I talk about often. One, don’t sell out who you really are to make others happy. Two, keep those who truly love you close at all times.

MP: What causes are you passionate about?

JDM: I have a lot to do with St. Jude [Children’s Research Hospital], Special Olympics, The Salvation Army Christmas tree. I believe every childhood should be magical.

MP: Why did you decide to call this album Me?

JDM: Actually, the fans chose the title. It’s the name of a song on the record. The public chose songs for the record, as well as the title.

MP: What is love for you?

JDM: Patient, kind, able to be the glue when things are tough. Love is timeless and dependable. It’s a safe place where I can breathe.

MP: Why did you choose to do the 21 Day Fix?

JDM: I’ve been into fitness for years. Since my two-year-old, I haven’t been very fit. I decided to do the Fix to create structure with food and diet. Accountability to those doing it with me. I also have twenty-six pairs of pre-baby jeans in my attic screaming out my name.

MP: What message did you want your fans to get from your single “A Woman’s Rant”?

JDM: Exactly what it says. The craziness of a day trying to take care of everyone in your life. We all live it.

JODEEMESSINA.COM

PHOTO: KRISTA LEE PHOTOGRAPHY

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