Martina McBride (born July 29, 1966, in Medicine Lodge, Kansas), is an American country music singer and songwriter. She is best-known for her Inspirational-styled ballads about women and children. McBride has been called the, "Céline Dion of Country Music," for her big-voiced ballads and soprano range.
McBride was signed to RCA Records, in 1991, and made her debut the following year as a Neo-Tradionalist country singer with the single, "The Time Has Come." It was not until 1997, when she released her fourth album, Evolution, that she broke through into the country music industry with a new Pop-styled crossover sound, similar to that of Faith Hill and Shania Twain. From that point on, McBride has had a string of major hit singles on the Billboard country chart and occasionally on the adult contemporary chart. Five of these singles went to #1 on the country chart between 1995 and 2001, and one peaked at #1 on adult contemporary chart in 2003.
McBride has recorded a total of nine studio albums, one "greatest hits" compilation, one "live" album, a "Christmas" compilation, as well as two additional compilation albums. Seven of her studio albums and two of her compilations have received an RIAA certification of "Gold," or higher. Worldwide, she has sold over 16 million albums. In addition, Martina has won the Country Music Association's "Female Vocalist of the Year" award four times (tied with Reba McEntire for the most wins) and the Academy of Country Music's "Top Female Vocalist" award three times.
McBride was born Martina Mariea Schiff in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, in 1966. She was raised in nearby Sharon, Kansas, a small town that consisted of about 200 people. Her father, who was a farmer and cabinetry shop owner, exposed McBride to country music at a young age. Listening to country music helped acquire love for singing. After school, she would spend hours singing along to the records of popular artists like Pat Benatar, Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt. Around age 8 or 9, McBride began singing with a band her father fronted called, "The Schiffters." As Schiff grew older her role in the band progressively increased, from simply singing, to also playing keyboard with them. Although she enjoyed performing, Schiff never thought about taking it on as a full-time profession. At the end of high school, Schiff was offered a scholarship to a local college, but she only attended it for one semester. She realized her passions lay in music and she began performing with local rock bands, including the Penetrators and Private Parts throughout her home area. In 1987, Schiff arranged a group of musicians and started to look for rehearsal space. She began renting space by studio engineer, John McBride, whom Schiff met and became engaged to four months later.
After marrying McBride, they moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1989, in the hope of beginning a career in country music. John McBride joined the sound crew of country superstar, Garth Brooks, and would later become his concert production manager. Martina would occasionally join her husband on the road and would help sell Garth Brooks souvenir t-shirts. Brooks, who was impressed by McBride's enthusiastic spirit, offered her the position of his opening act on his 1992 tour, though only if she could obtain a recording contract. During this time, while her husband was working with country artists Charlie Daniels and Ricky Van Shelton, he also helped produce her a demo tape, which helped her gain a recording contract with RCA Nashville Records, in 1991.
McBride released her debut studio album through the RCA label in 1992, titled, The Time Has Come, which contained a variety of differently styled songs from "Honky Tonk" to "Country-Folk." Although the album gained many positive reviews, the singles the album spawned did not gain enough radio airplay to become major hits. The album's titled track was the biggest hit, peaking at #23. It was her second album, 1993's The Way That I Am that gave McBride her first major hits. Its first single, "My Baby Loves Me," went to #2 on the Billboard Country Chart, and its follow-up, "Life #9" also reached the Country Top 10. The third single, "Independence Day," a song about domestic abuse nearly reached the Top 10. "Independence Day" was originally offered to Faith Hill, but she did not record the song. The song didn't reach the Top 10 particularly because many radio programmers went against the song's subject about a mother fighting back by burning their home to the ground. However, the song has become one of McBride's signature hits, and helped lead to the major success of her second album, which has sold a million copies in the United States to date. "Independence Day" won "Video of the Year" by the Country Music Association Awards, and since then she has rarely released a single without a music video to accompany it.
McBride's third studio album was 1995's Wild Angels, which spawned her third Top 10 hit, "Safe in the Arms of Love." The album's title track became her first #1 hit single in 1996. Like her previous album, Wild Angels sold a million copies, and was produced by McBride, Paul Worley, and Ed Seay. That same year she also joined the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. The album's final three singles released between 1996 and 1997, ("Phones Are Ringin' All Over Town," "Cry on the Shoulder of the Road," and "Swingin' Doors") only reached the Top 40 on the country chart.
In 1997, McBride released fourth album, Evolution, which became her first Top 10 country album, reaching #4 on the Top Country Albums chart. The third single spawned from the album, "Valentine," a duet with Jim Brickman, produced by pop producer Dan Shea, was not just a Top 10 hit on the Billboard Country Chart, but also went to #3 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart, giving her one of her first major hits on Adult Contemporary radio. From the album, McBride had two singles that reached #2 on the country charts, "Happy Girl" and "Whatever You Say," as well as two #1 singles, "A Broken Wing" and "Wrong Again." The album was McBride's breakthrough into the country music industry, after acquiring 5 Top 10 hits from it. Towards the end of 1998, the album was certified double platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling two million units. In addition, she also won the Country Music Association Awards' "Female Vocalist of the Year" award in 1999 and also performed for President Bill Clinton during the same time. In 1998 she also issued a Christmas album, White Christmas, which was later reissued.
Her fifth studio album, Emotion, was released in 1999. Its lead single, "I Love You," reached #1 on the Billboard Country Chart in 1999, and also crossed over to the Adult Contemporary chart. The song's three follow-ups, "Love's the Only House," "There You Are," and "It's My Time" were also successful country hits that made the Top 10. In 2001, she released her first compilation, Greatest Hits, which featured four new songs. It was her first album to reach #1 on the Top Country Albums chart, and eventually sold enough copies for it to peak at #5 on the Billboard 200. The four new songs were all released as singles, beginning with "When God-Fearin' Women Get the Blues," followed by "Blessed," (which reached #1), "Where Would You Be," and "Concrete Angel," all of which reached the Country Top 10 between 2001 and 2002. To date, the album has been certified 3× Multi-Platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America, and is her highest-selling album.
In 2003, McBride released her sixth studio album, Martina, which celebrated womanhood. The first single, "This One's for the Girls," went to #3 on the Billboard Country Chart and also went to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. The second single, "In My Daughter's Eyes," reached #3 as well on the country chart and reached the Top 5 on the Adult Contemporary chart. These first two were McBride's first Top 10 solo hits on the Adult Contemporary chart, giving her a larger audience that included Pop music listeners. Two additional singles followed in 2004 that reached the Top 20 on the country chart.
Also in 2003, McBride presented the second, Joy of Christmas Tour, and began to plan it as an annual event. That year she was also featured on an episode of Country Music Television's Crossroads show with her idol from childhood, Pat Benatar. Together they sang Benatar's "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" and McBride's "Independence Day."
After finding success in country pop-styled music, McBride released her next studio album in 2005, Timeless, which was album consisting of country covers. The album included cover versions of country music standards, such as Hank Williams' "You Win Again," Loretta Lynn's "You Ain't Woman Enough," and Kris Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through the Night." To make the album fit its older style, McBride and her husband hired older Nashville session players and outdated analog equipment. The album was very successful, selling over 250,000 copies within its first week, the highest sales start for a Martina McBride album. The lead single, a cover of Lynn Anderson's 5-week #1 hit from 1970, "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden," was a major hit, peaking at #18 on the Billboard Country Chart. The album's other two singles, "I Still Miss Someone" and "You Ain't Woman Enough," were not as successful.
In 2006, McBride served as a guest coach on Canadian Idol. The remaining five finalists traveled to Nashville, where McBride worked with the competitors on the songs they had chosen by country artists such as Gordon Lightfoot and Patsy Cline. Among the other guest judges that year were Nelly Furtado and Cyndi Lauper. McBride later joined Canadian Idol on a tour in the Spring. In 2007, McBride also served as a guest coach on Fox Networks television series, American Idol.
In 2007, McBride released her eighth studio album, Waking Up Laughing. It was the first album in which McBride co-wrote some of the tracks. She set up her Waking Up Laughing Tour in 2007, which included country artists, Rodney Atkins, Little Big Town, and Jason Michael Carroll. The album's lead single, "Anyway," went to #5 on the Billboard Country Chart, becoming her first Top 10 hit since 2003. Its follow-up, "How I Feel," reached the Top 15. In Spring 2008, McBride released Martina McBride: Live In Concert, a CD/DVD set. It was taped in Moline, Illinois in September 2007.
In July 2007, The ABC Television Network announced a special program called Six Degrees of Martina McBride where individuals from around the country were challenged to find their way to Martina McBride on their own connections and research using a maximum of six methods. The "winner" of this challenge eventually located a direct connection to Martina through her husband John McBride who knew someone, who knew someone else. McBride recently recorded an electronically-produced duet with the late Elvis Presley, performing his song, "Blue Christmas" as a duet with him on his latest compilation, The Elvis Presley Christmas Duets. A compilation collection entitled Playlist: The Very Best of Martina McBride was released on December 16, 2008 as part of Sony BMG Playlist series. The album features 11 previously released tracks and three unreleased tracks.
Shine: 2009 — present
Martina McBride recently wrapped up production on her tenth studio album. The first single, a song called "Ride," was released to radio in October 2008. On January 12, 2009, Martina revealed her production of a "Ride" video. The album, Shine was released on March 24, via RCA Records, it debuted at #10 on Billboard 200 and #1 at Country Charts. McBride stated in a March 2009 radio interview that a tour in support of the album will begin in November 2009.
The album was co-produced with Dann Huff and features "Sunny Side Up" a song that Martina her self co-wrote.
In June 2009, Martina released the video for the second single off the album, "I Just Call You Mine."
On July 15, 2009 she performed on the Today Show Throws a Wedding reception.
Martina McBride works with a variety of charities. She is currently the spokeswoman for the, "National Domestic Violence Hotline," as well as for the "National Network to End Domestic Violence" and national spokeswoman for the Tulsa Domestic Violence and Intervention Services. Every year since 1995, she has hosted Middle Tennessee's YWCA, "Celebrity Auction;" and it has raised nearly $400,000, so far. In 2004, she worked with, "Kids Wish Network," to fulfill the wish of a young girl dying from Muscular Dystrophy. McBride was awarded the, "Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award," in 2003.
McBride explained that educating girls and women on domestic violence is something she works on at home with her own daughters, stating that:
“ A lot of teenage girls will be first dating and they'll think, 'Oh he doesn't want me to see my friends. He just wants me all to himself. Isn't that sweet?' Or 'Oh, he's just being protective. Isn't that sweet?' And then it turns into something else and it's controlling. They don't recognize that until it's too late. So it's an ongoing education that you have to give young girls, I think." ”
McBride has also teamed up with, "Loveisrespect, National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline," working with them on a new program called, "My Time to Shine" - A reference to McBride's current album, "Shine".
McBride has been married to her husband, sound engineer John McBride, since May 15, 1988. The couple have three daughters: Delaney Katharine (b. 22 December 1994), Emma Justine (b. 29 March 1998), and Ava Rose Kathleen (b. 20 June 2005). Her father's name is Darryl and her mother's name is Jeanne. She has two brothers, Martin and Steve and a sister, Gina.
At the age of 42, McBride appeared in a bikini on the cover of Shape Magazine, along with 26 year old LeAnn Rimes and 20 year old Julianne Hough.