- Jo Dee Messina is a Grammy nominated country music artist.
- She’s a Massachusetts native.
- Jo Dee has been married to Chris Deffenbaugh since 2007.
Jo Dee Messina is returning to the ACM Awards on Thursday, May 11, and it’ll be the culmination of a remarkable career. The country phenom, now 52, burst onto the scene in the mid 1990s with irrepressible hits like “Do You Wanna Make Something of It” and “You’re Not in Kansas Anymore.” She has charted no fewer than six number one singles on the Billboard country music chart and been nominated for two Grammys.
The Academy of Country Music honored her with Top New Female Vocalist in 1998, and at this year’s event she’ll be dueting with Cole Swindell, performing “She Had Me at Heads Carolina (Remix).” But even with all the accolades, Jo Dee has an impressive life backstage, as well. The singer is married to Chris Deffenbaugh, and they have children together.
Here’s everything to know about their marriage.
When were Chris & Jo Dee married?
Businessman Chris and Jo Dee were engaged in June of 2007, and married later that year in October in…where else? Nashville. And how did he adjust to her life on the road. “My husband travels with me,” she said in 2008. “He works out on the road when we’re on the road. He has his own company, so he’s able to come out on the road or work when we’re at home, so it hasn’t changed a whole lot for me. Our relationship is the same as before we were married.”
As for their special bond as husband and wife, she also shared that they loved laughing together. “We still hang out and laugh,” she said at the time. “How many days go by when people don’t have one of those big belly laughs? We have ‘em every day, so that’s fun.”
Do they have children?
They do! Jo Dee and Chris have two sons — they welcomed their first son in January of 2009, Noah Roger. Their second son, Jonah Christopher, was born in January of 2012. In October of 2008, as she awaited the birth of her first child, she shared how she and her hubby were preparing for the big arrival. “We painted the room — chocolate brown, with one wall pale green and one with a square design on it. We got new carpet,” she told PEOPLE at the time. “We haven’t started the whole, ‘Let’s go to the store and buy tons of stuff’ yet, though. Every time I think about it I get overwhelmed.”
After the birth of their second child, Jo Dee gushed in a statement, “Noah couldn’t wait to hold his little brother. He’s so good with him. God has blessed us so much.”
They’ve separated temporarily.
In September of 2017, Jo Dee announced she was battling cancer. According to Popculture, the singer and her husband even separated amid her ongoing health issues. While little is known about her current relationship with Chris, they appear to still be, at least officially, married.
Jo Dee regularly shares photos of her two sons via her Instagram account.
This story originally appeared on Hollywoodlife