Getting to Know 2024 Grammy Nominee Jessie Jo Dillon

Friday (November 10) was a good day for songwriter Jessie Jo Dillon. The artist learned she had earned two new Grammy nominations (she previously earned three), one for Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical, and one for Best Country Song.

Videos by American Songwriter

But who is Dillon—what is her history, her successes and her recent work? For that, let’s dive into some of the artist’s backstory here below. From big name collaborations to her latest triumphs, this is the scoop on the two-time 2024 Grammy nominee.

[RELATED: 2024 Grammy Nominations Revealed]

Country’s in Her Roots

The daughter of hit country songwriter Dean Dillon, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2020, the Tennessee-born Jessie Jo Dillon earned her first Grammy Award nomination (for Best Country Song) in 2011 for a song she co-wrote with her father that was recorded by George Strait, “The Breath You Take.”

Later, the photogenic blonde artist earned two more Grammy nominations (both for Best Country Song) for the hits “Break Up In The End” by Cole Swindell in 2019 and “Better Than We Found It” by Maren Morris in 2022. In addition, she has worked with other artists like Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Brett Young, Jon Pardi, LeAnn Rimes, Brandy Clark and Brett Eldredge.

One of her biggest commercial hit songs was the 2019 track, “10,000 Hours,” by Dan + Shay featuring Justin Bieber, which hit No. 1 on the country charts.

This Year’s Nominations

With her two Grammy nominations this year, Dillon is looking for her first win at the February 4 awards ceremony. She has been nominated thrice before. Dillon is being acknowledged for her work co-writing the Brandy Clark song “Buried” from Clark’s 2023 self-titled LP. And in the category of Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical, her fellow nominees include Edgar Barrera, Shane McAnally, Theron Thomas and Justin Tranter.

Dillon’s competition in the Best Country Song category includes “I Remember Everything,” by Zach Bryan and Kacey Musgraves; “In Your Love,” by Tyler Childers and Geno Seale; “Last Night,” by John Byron, Ashley Gorley, Jacob Kasher Hindlin and Ryan Vojtesak; and “White Horse,” by Chris Stapleton and Dan Wilson.

What Songs She Wrote This Year

For Dillon, the lyrics and the story are often the most important parts of a song—it’s where she lets her heart bleed out on the page. She is open and honest there most of all. That’s why she’s such a coveted collaborator and why she’s often working. Indeed, she’s collaborated with some of the biggest names in country just this year, alone.

In 2023, songs Dillon co-wrote include “The Town in Your Heart” on Lori McKenna’s LP, 1988; “Neon Cowgirl” by Dan + Shay for their LP Bigger Houses; multiple songs on Brandy Clark’s self-titled LP, including the Grammy-nominated “Buried”; “Love You Too” from Brothers Osborne’s self-titled LP; and “Memory Lane” and “Love Drunk and Happy” from Old Dominion’s Memory Lane.

But perhaps the flashiest collaboration to come out this year is Dillon’s work with the skyrocketing country star Jelly Roll on his 2023 award-winning country LP, Whitsitt Chapel, for which Dillon co-wrote the opening song, “Halfway to Hell.”

Behind the Song “Buried”

The Grammy-nominated “Buried” opens with a resolution: The singer is set to fly to France if her love is not reciprocated.

Along with the vulnerable, heartbreaking lyrics, the song features a beautiful, whispered melody. The delivery of the message—all the things I’ll do if you don’t love me, from leaving to taking drugs—is pillow talk put on its head. A gentle admission, but not one of devotion to the other. Rather, if the singer is not loved, she will devote herself to distance.

It recalls the mournful, stiff upper-lip song “Someone Like You” by Adele. On “Buried,” Clark sings, as if making a promise to herself and the listener,

I’ll read Lonesome Dove
Fall asleep to Hallelujah
I’ll take some trippy drug
Makes me forget I even knew ya
I’ll paint the floor to ceiling blue
Believe me baby, I got things to do

If you don’t want me
If you’re beyond me
If you don’t love me anymore
I’ll be an over-you-achiever
I’ll make you a believer
That I don’t love you either

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for ACM

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Leave a Reply

Exclusive: Justin Tranter is “Beyond Honored” for Grammy Songwriter of the Year Nod

Eagles Final Tour 2023: Remaining Dates and How To Buy Tickets