Cole Swindell and Jo Dee Messina Perform “She Had Me at Heads Carolina (Remix)” at ACM Awards

Jo Dee Messina and Cole Swindell were two sides of the same coin on Thursday night (May 11) at the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards. The pair performed Swindell’s latest hit, “She Had Me at Heads Carolina,” a remix of Messina’s debut single, the 1996 classic “Heads Carolina, Tails California.”

Videos by American Songwriter

With guitar in hand, Messina took the lead, grabbing the crowd’s attention with her original chorus. Swindell soon stepped out to take up his redone verses, rife with references to the original song and ’90s country. Together, they sang the reworked chorus as the crowd joined in, belting along with every word.

Swindell’s remake has wracked up several ACM nominations, seeing nods for Single of the Year, Song of the Year, Visual Media of the Year, as well as Music Event of the Year. Immediately following their performance, it was announced that the song took home the ACM for Song of the Year.

Not only did Swindell visit the Messina hit this year, the star herself retraced all the essentials in her catalog, releasing the compilation project, Heads Carolina, Tails California: The Best of Jo Dee Messina, and embarking on a full-fledged tour under the Heads Carolina, Tails California banner for the very first time.

The ’90s hit first catapulted Messina into country consciousness, but it wasn’t a success she got to celebrate long.

“‘Heads Carolina’ was my first single, and they were like, ‘What was that like when that topped the charts?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t remember. Because we were already focused on the next one,’” she told American Songwriter. “And then you’re focused on the next one and making the next record and everything comes at you really fast. So in the moment, you don’t realize, ‘Oh wow, this is cool. I’m doing great or whatever.’ But as I look back on it, I’m like, ‘I had how many in the Top 40?”

(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

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Cole Swindell Wins ACM Song of the Year and Single of the Year for “She Had Me at Heads Carolina”