Catching Up With Martina McBride
Powerhouse vocalist Martina McBride has made a career of recording songs that empower women. Songs such as “Independence Day,” “Anyway” and “This One’s For the Girls” have resonated with women of all ages. McBride is a four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, three-time ACM Female Vocalist of the Year, a GRAMMY® winner and country music’s most-played female artist of the past 11 years. With more than $18 million in album sales and 24 Top 10 singles, including six No. 1 hits, McBride says her new studio album, Eleven (BMLG/Republic Nashville), is her most personal to date.
To launch Eleven, McBride partnered with Amtrak and Pink Together this fall to travel across the country, making stops in 11 cities in four days. In each city, Pink Together donated $1,000 to local Susan G. Komen affiliates in support of McBride’s latest single, “I’m Gonna Love You Through It,” which continues her trend for championing causes and being a part of songs that impact people on a real-life level. The subsequent video for the song features high-profile women — including Katie Couric, Hoda Kotb, Robin Roberts and Sheryl Crow — whose lives have been profoundly impacted by cancer. Her asked the vocalist about the powerful new song and all of the other new things surrounding her career. We also found out where she likes to shop and why she loves Music City.
You’ve recorded songs all throughout your career that strongly resonate with people. Your current single, “I’m Gonna Love You Through It,” is definitely one of those. What’s the story behind the song and the music video?
Martina: [“I’m Gonna Love You Through It”] is a song that when I heard it I just immediately was blown away. I felt like it would be somebody’s story, [and] it would be a song a lot of people could not only relate to; but hopefully it would be an inspiration. When we did the video, my only specification was I wanted real survivors and their families in the video talking about their experience rather than having actors. We came up with a really beautiful way to do that, and I’m really proud of it.
It seems like you’re as passionate as ever about what you’re doing.
Martina: Oh yeah, absolutely! I just love what I do — it’s a dream come true. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I don’t know what I’m going to do when it’s over. I live, eat and breathe it. I’m having a really great time, and I’m excited about this new album, probably more excited than I’ve been in years!
Everything about your career is fresh, including a new producer, new management and a new label. Do you feel like this is a season of professional rebirth?
Martina: I do, definitely, and I’m loving it so far. It’s exciting to be around such positive people, people who are excited about me and my career and my music. It just feels like a whole new beginning. Sometimes, after you’ve been at a certain place for a really long time, you need to shake it up a little.
What makes Eleven different from your previous 10 albums?
Martina: I think this album is different in several ways. It’s different musically for me. I feel like [I took] less of an analytical approach and more of a creative approach. It feels the most authentic to me of any record I’ve made, and that’s an interesting thing to say on your eleventh record; but I really believe that. I think I show a lot more of my personality. There’s a confidence that comes when I’m really in touch with my creative side. It wasn’t a struggle with this record. It just really came easily.
Where are some of the places you like to go when you’re in town?
Martina: We love to go to Ruth’s Chris. We love Virago. Shopping … Of course, I love the Hill Center — Anthropologie, Cosmetic Market, H. Audrey, and Whole Foods.
What do you love most about living in Nashville?
Martina: I love the people. It’s a [larger] city, obviously, but it has the feel of a [small] town. I think it’s a great place to raise kids. It has a great sense of community, which is something I grew up with. We’ve lived here since 1990, so almost 22 years. It’s really home.
Photo: Randee St. Nicholas, Courtesy of Republic Nashville
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