Jo Dee Messina, the 47-year-old country singer behind such hits as "I'm Alright" and "Bye Bye," has cancer and will take time away from performing in order to seek treatment.
"Over the years, Jo Dee has built a close relationship with her fans, so those of us at Team JDM wanted to be the first to let you know that she was recently diagnosed with cancer," Messina's representatives wrote in a statement posted to her Facebook page on Sept. 6. "It has been a trying summer, but her heart has been filled with gratitude for the many opportunities she has had to see God's hand at work."
Messina is postponing all 2017 tour dates other than one on Oct. 7 and is taking the semester off from school, the statement explained, adding that though her team doesn't "know anything specific regarding the treatment plan at this point," the singer will begin her treatment in the fall.
"We will continue to keep fans updated on Jo Dee's journey and appreciate the outpouring of love, prayers, and support she has already received," the statement said.
The statement went on to say that Messina is deeply religious and has an unshakeable belief in God "that has brought her the inner peace."
"On her lowest of low days, she has been able to see God's hand at work and feel His love as she continues her walk," the statement said. "It is because of our Father's love that she has been able to find the beauty in the days that could have brought her the most fear, gratitude in moments that most would call unfair, and companionship during times she might feel the loneliest."
Messina has reportedly teamed up with producer Seth Mosley and Christian musician Mia Fieldes. Together, they wrote the song "Here" after Messina was diagnosed with the disease.
"It was one of the most powerful moments I've had in my entire studio career," Mosley told Messina's team, according to the statement. "To see Jo Dee singing 'there's no pain, there's no fear, here' through the cancer and the chaos that she is walking through...God is going to use her and her story to intercept people in their pain and remind them that He is near."
Messina, who won the Country Music Association's Horizon Award in 1999, was the first female country singer to have three multi-week No. 1 hits on the same album, notes USA Today.
Facebook users responded to the announcement with an outpouring of support, with many sharing how Messina's music helped them through tough times.
"It was her music that helped my aunt battle her own cancer," a Facebook user wrote in one such story. " … She refused to accept the grim six month life expectancy and made 'Bring On The Rain' her song. She knew she was fighting a losing game, but it was the lyrics … specifically 'a single battle lost, but not the war' that kept her fighting for four beautiful, grace filled, God glorifying years!"