Country star Jo Dee Messina took a break from caring for her sick mother to give a talk to university students in Tennessee on Monday (29Apr13).

The singer has been suffering sleepless nights over the last week after her mum underwent heart surgery, but she put her personal problems aside to fulfil a commitment at Middle Tennessee State University (Mtsu) in Murfreesboro.

Messina addressed pupils studying for a Music Business Degree as part of their Artist Management class, and she won rave reviews for giving a candid talk about her experiences in the industry.

After the event, the star posted a picture of the class on her page, writing, "Thanks Mtsu," while the lecturer in charge, Gloria Green, adds, "Great turnout and an incredible presentation from Jo Dee Messina this evening at Mtsu. What a wonderful end to the semester, and hopefully a great learning experience for my Artist Management students."

Messina has been by her mother Mary's bedside in recent days after she underwent a major operation on Thursday (25Apr13), and the star told fans she has been spending all her time at the hospital.

In a post on Twitter on Sunday (28Apr13), she wrote, "Been at hospital all day and have yet to get any sleep. It's 3:30am. Really rough time for my Mom... I will fill you all in when I have the energy. Thx (thanks) for all ur (your) support."