WATCH: Cole Swindell’s ‘She Had Me At Heads Carolina’ Music Video Tributes The Original Jo Dee Messina Hit

The wait for Cole Swindell’s “She Had Me At Heads Carolina” is finally over and the brand new clip pays…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

August 11, 2022

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Cole Swindell, Jo Dee Messina; Photos via YouTube

The wait for Cole Swindell’s “She Had Me At Heads Carolina” is finally over and the brand new clip pays tribute to the original Jo Dee Messina track with a few special guests.

The video premiered on Thursday (Aug. 11), and the one and only Jo Dee Messina is featured in the clip. The music video also pays homage to the songwriters of “Heads Carolina, Tails California” with an appearance by Tim Nichols and a photo of Mark D. Sanders shown on the wall of the bar.

Cole Swindell with Tim Nichols
Cole Swindell with Tim Nichols

If fans look closely, they will also spot Swindell’s girlfriend, Courtney Little, in the video clip. 

Filmed at a Downtown Nashville bar in Printer’s Alley, Swindell and his buddies enter the establishment to have some fun and they “didn’t know till [they] walked in it was karaoke night.” 

The group of friends then partake in the epic karaoke dance party after being served a few drinks from Messina, who is seen slinging drinks behind the bar.

Throughout the clip, Swindell and the bar patrons take to the stage to sing the tune karaoke-style. In true Nashville style, a bachelorette party also joins in on the fun.

Watch the highly-anticipated music video below.

YouTube video

Earlier in the week, Swindell teased the video with behind-the-scenes clips on social media. 

“THURSDAY. 90’s Country Fans. Let’s Go!” Swindell wrote alongside the video teaser on Instagram.

He later shared a behind-the-scenes style video on TikTok that showed Swindell sitting as a patron at a bar as Jo Dee Messina acted as the bartender.

“When your bartender is the inspiration behind your new song/music video…” Swindell wrote in the clip’s subtitles.

Swindell’s teaser clip raked in a whopping 1 million + views in less than 12 hours on TikTok, proving fans were more than ready for the video to be released.

Fans were thrilled to see Messina featured in the clip and shared their excitement via the comments.

“I got wayyyyy too excited when I saw Jo!! I love this music video already and haven’t even seen the whole thing,” wrote one Instagram user, while another said, “Excited to see this one with @jodeemessina in it! let’s gooo!”

The Georgia native was equally excited to have Messina featured in the clip. When a TikTok user wrote, “She has always been a favorite of mine,” he quickly responded, “Same here! She made the video for me 🙏.”

YouTube video

“She Had Me At Heads Carolina” is Swindell’s fastest-rising single to date with the tune landing in the Top 10 on the Country Airplay chart in just eight weeks. The single currently sits at No. 10 on Mediabase/Country Aircheck and hit No. 1 this week on Sirius XM’s The Highway Hot 30 Weekend Countdown.

Co-written by Swindell alongside Ashley Gorley, Jesse Frasure, Thomas Rhett, Mark D. Sanders and Tim Nichols, “She Had Me At Heads Carolina” finds Swindell tipping his hat to country hitmaker Jo Dee Messina as he reimagines her 1996 debut single, “Heads Carolina, Tails California.”

“Out of all the ‘90s country songs we all love, I don’t think anybody would have thought we would have picked that one, but I think that’s what makes it special,” Swindell explained to media outlets during a recent interview.

Swindell previously shared his desire to work directly with Messina admitting, “I hope someday I get to sing it with her or do something. I want her to be involved because we wouldn’t have the song without the writers and without her making it what it is.”

“She Had Me At Heads Carolina” is the follow-up to Swindell’s two back-to-back, multi-week No. 1 hits, “Never Say Never,” a duet with Lainey Wilson, and “Single Saturday Night,” the debut single from his new album Stereotype.

YouTube video

Additionally, the chart-topping hitmaker recently delivered the live television debut of the track during the CMA Fest special on ABC. Watch his performance of the song above.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.