On Thursday afternoon, Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill into law that would replace the controversial state song of “Go Mississippi” with multiple state songs.
House Bill 453, a tourism recovery bill, creates a Mississippi State Songs Committee for the purpose of designating “numerous state songs so that Mississippians may enjoy state songs that are appropriate for all occasions, events, and daily activities.”
The State Songs Committee, which will designate songs in various genres including country, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and gospel, will be made up of six members:
- Director of the Division of Tourism at the Mississippi Development Authority
- Executive Director of the Mississippi Tourism Association
- Chair of the House Tourism Committee
- Chair of the Senate Tourism Committee
- Executive Director of the Mississippi Arts Commission
- Director of the Two Mississippi Museums
To get the process rolling, lawmakers went ahead and chose Steve Azar’s “One Mississippi” as the state’s official song for the genre of contemporary music.
“‘One Mississippi’ is a unifying song for all of our state, and Steve Azar is a wonderful ambassador for Mississippi,” Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann said.
Azar, who serves as the state’s Music and Culture Ambassador, has charted nine times on Billboard Hot Country Songs as well as won a multitude of awards throughout his career. However, he says having one of his songs serve as a state banner is the best accolade he has ever received.
“Of all the accolades I have received over my career, being a piece of Mississippi history — forever encapsulated in a song — is no doubt the most important and most meaningful achievement,” he said.