The Heart Behind the Music returns to MSU Riley Center Thursday

The Heart Behind the Music songwriter’s showcase, featuring Oleta Adams, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Richie McDonald and Lee Roy Parnell, will return to the MSU Riley Center in downtown Meridian on Thursday [April 20} at 7:30 p.m.

Concertgoers also get a bonus: A pre-show party featuring free refreshments will start at 6:30 p.m..

The Heart Behind the Music has made several previous Riley Center visits, bringing different groups of musicians each time. The format gives audiences a deeply personal look at how creative artists work. The performers sit on a bare stage and take turns singing favorite songs and sharing stories.

McDonald is lead singer of the country band Lonestar and has co-written several of the group’s hits, including “My Front Porch Looking In” and “Mr. Mom.” Adams sings soul, jazz and gospel and has performed with such rock artists as Tears for Fears and Phil Collins. Chapman has written such hits as “This Kiss” and “Nothing I Can Do About It Now” and has a new album with Amy Sky and Olivia Newton-John called “Liv On.” Lee Roy Parnell has co-written and recorded such country hits as “Tender Moment” and "Heart’s Desire.” He has also recorded two blues albums spotlighting his guitar work.

Tickets are $39 and $33 at the MSU Riley Center Box Office, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and an hour before showtime on the day of the show. Tickets can be purchased online at or by phone through the box office at (601) 696-2200.

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