Martina McBride

Martina McBride (born Martina Mariea Schiff, July 29, 1966 in Sharon, Kansas, USA) is an American country-pop music singer-songwriter. She made her debut in 1992 with the release of her album The Time Has Come; however, it was not until the release of her second album, The Way That I Am, that she first had a major hit with "My Baby Loves Me", which in late 1993 peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts.

She rose to stardom in the late '90s, starting out with a more traditionalist approach and moving into pop-friendlier territory .

Between 1992 and the present, Martina has recorded a total of ten albums: seven studio albums, a Greatest Hits package, a compilation of covers, and an album of Christmas music. Of these ten albums, two are certified gold, and seven are certified platinum or higher. To date, she has also charted more than thirty singles on the U.S. country singles charts. Her biggest hit to date has been "I Love You", which spent five weeks at Number One in the autumn of 1999. In all, Martina has scored six Number One singles: five on the U.S. Billboard country charts, and one on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts. In addition, Martina has won the Country Music Association's "Female Vocalist of the Year" four times (tied with Reba McEntire for the most wins), and the Academy of Country Music's "Top Female Vocalist" award three times.

According to those who know her songs and her voice, she has been called "Celine Dion of Country Music" on account of her soprano vocals Martina has sold over 16 million albums worldwide.


Martina was born in Medicine Lodge, Kansas just outside of Sharon, Kansas, where her parents, Daryl and Jeanne Schiff, owned a dairy farm. She is the third of four children. McBride's three siblings are an older brother, Steve; an older sister, Gina; and a younger brother Martin (shares his birthday with Martina). Martin, called Marty, plays in her band.

McBride began her singing career in the family band "The Schiffters", which played at local dances, in South-Central Kansas. She sang and played keyboard in the band, until she finished high school. After completing a semester of college, she left to join another band made up of family friends, and soon began to play music full-time with rock bands .

Her small-town upbringing was highlighted by her high school graduating class only having nine other students .

Personal life

She met John McBride, a sound engineer, when she contacted him about a studio for rent that he owned. They soon began to date. Four months later the two got engaged, and they married on May 15, 1988. She and John then moved to Nashville in 1990 where they both took jobs touring with Garth Brooks; Martina sold T-shirts during this time. Eventually she got a recording contract with RCA Records and became Garth's opening act.

The McBrides have three daughters: Delaney Katharine (22 Dec 94), Emma Justine (29 Mar 98), and Ava Rose Kathleen (20 Jun 5) . While on tour her children go with her. She schedules her tour around their school schedule. She currently resides in Nashville with her family.

Musical career

Purple envelope story

McBride had heard that RCA Records was looking for a new female artist to add to their company. The McBrides knew that RCA didn't take unsolicited mail and neither had contacts there. In a big purple envelope marked "Requested Material" they put a biography, some pictures and two demo tapes. The demo tapes included "I Can't Sleep," "Regular as Clockwork," "I Put You Behind Me," "Wild Side of Life," "When You Leave Me," and "You Win Again." John dropped it off and three weeks later they got a call asking her to come in for an interview. RCA asked her to do a showcase show to demonstrate her live talent. They were impressed and gave her a record deal. Her first album, "The Time Has Come," was released on the McBrides' fourth wedding anniversary, May 15, 1992. Two weeks later, on June 2, she did her first opening gig for Garth Brooks in Denver,Colorado. Garth Brooks told her to start her own band and that she was wasting her time being a back up singer.

Musical Stylings

McBride, a soprano, has been labeled the "Céline Dion of country music" . McBride, like Dion, is noted for her wide vocal range, power, and minimal use of melisma. During a 2003 CMT Crossroads episode with Pat Benatar, McBride stated that she learned how to sing at such a wide range by listening to Benatar's music and trying to emulate that vocal range .

Country success in the early 90s

Her debut album, "The Time Has Come", was released in 1992, offering a set of songs indebted to traditional honky tonk and progressive-minded country-folk .

The first single (the title track) did reach the Country Top 40 and peaked at No. 23. In addition two more singles were released from the album between 1992 and 1993 that failed to gain much success for McBride.

The 1993 follow-up, The Way That I Am, was her commercial breakthrough, with the lead single "My Baby Loves Me" climbing up the country charts to the number two position . The album was more successful than her previous, spawning three more top 40 Country hits, including the follow-up, "Life #9" which reached the top 10 in 1994. She became even more visible in 1994 with the crossover success of her anti-domestic violence song "Independence Day", also from this album. Despite that the song only reached No. 12 on the Billboard Country charts in 1994, it remains today as one of her best-known songs. In 1994, the CMA Awards awarded McBride's "Independence Day" the Music Video of the Year award. McBride's 1995 follow-up, Wild Angels, gave her a second Top Five hit in "Safe in the Arms of Love," and its title track became her first-ever number one single.

McBride's follow-up singles to her No. 1 hit failed to gain big success, including "Swingin' Doors" and "Cry on the Shoulder of the Road", failing to reach Country's top 20 even, but peaking inside the top 40. However, despite this, the Wild Angels album was certified "Gold" by the RIAA, after achieving a sales of 611,000 copies.

1997-2004: Country-pop

McBride released her fourth album in 1997 titled, Evolution. 1997's Evolution became her first Top Ten country album, and the Jim Brickman duet "Valentine" not only went Top Ten, but crossed over to become her first big hit on the adult contemporary charts. Evolution went on to spawn two number two hits ("Happy Girl" and "Whatever You Say") and two number one hits ("A Broken Wing" and "Wrong Again"), and sold over two million copies. The album was certified 3x Platinum by the RIAA in 1997 and reached a sales of 3,000,000 copies. In 1998, she recorded a duet with Jason Sellers called, "The Small Divide" which charted on the Billboard Country charts.

She issued a Christmas album in late 1998 and returned with a follow-up album, Emotion, in 1999. Its lead single, "I Love You," hit number one country and also crossed over to adult contemporary radio, and the follow-ups "Love's the Only House," "There You Are," and "It's My Time" were successful as well (the first two also reached the Top Ten) . The other single from the album, "There You Are" reached the top 15 on the Adult Contemporary charts, while also reaching No. 10 on the Country charts. Emotion and her Christmas album (White Christmas) were both certified "Platinum" by the RIAA. "I Love You" is on the Runaway Bride soundtrack.

In 1999, she won the CMA Awards' "Female Vocalist of the Year", award. McBride is a four-time Country Music Association's "Female Vocalist of the Year" winner (a record she holds with Reba McEntire), a three-time Academy of Country Music "Top Female Vocalist" winner, and a Grammy Award nominee. She performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Game 3 of the 2004 World Series.

In 2001, McBride released her first "Greatest Hits" album. 2001's Greatest Hits compilation was the first McBride album to top the country charts, and sold well and the pop Top Five as well. It contained four new tracks, all of which were eventually released as singles; "Blessed" hit number one, and "When God-Fearin' Women Get the Blues" and "Where Would You Be" both reached the Top Ten. McBride's "Blessed" from her Greatest Hits album was also a top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 31. "Concrete Angel" was the last single released from the album, and reached No. 5 on the Billboard Country charts and No. 47 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 2003, McBride released her album, Martina. The first two singles, ("This One's for the Girls" and "In My Daughter's Eyes") were Country hits, and also both peaked inside the Adult Contemporary top 10. "This One's for the Girls" reached No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary charts and is her only No. 1 there. Martina was certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA. McBride gained additional visibility during the 2005 season of American Idol, as eventual winner Carrie Underwood declared McBride to be her favorite singer, performing several of her hits in the competition. She was also ranked at No. 25 on CMT's 40 Greatest Women of Country Music special in 2002.

In 2004, McBride recorded a duet with singer-songwriter, Jimmy Buffett for his album, License to Chill. Their duet, "Trip Around the Sun" was a top 20 Country hit in 2004.

2005: Timeless

In 2005, she released an 18-track CD of classic country music standards (Timeless), which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Album Chart in its opening week and received much critical acclaim for its authenticity towards traditional country. The first single from the album, "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden" was a top 20 Country hit in 2005, peaking at No. 18. The original version by Lynn Anderson spent five consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Country charts in 1970, as well as reaching the Pop music top 5. Two more singles were released from the album, only one of which charted called "I Still Miss Someone", a duet with Dolly Parton that peaked outside the Country top 40. In 2006, she embarked on her first headlining tour, the Timeless Tour, which included a special duet of "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden" with Lynn Anderson.

Timeless is currently McBride's highest-charting album on the Billboard 200, reaching No. 3, while it also peaked at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart that same year. Timeless was certified "Platinum" by the RIAA, becoming McBride's fourth album to be certified Platinum.

On August 21, 2006, she appeared as a guest coach on Canadian Idol, and announced on its finale of September 17 that the season winner, which turned out to be Eva Avila, would be invited to join her on her Canadian tour in the spring of 2007. This caused some spark from fans of runner-up Craig Sharpe and previous idol winner Melissa O'Neil due to Sharpe saying in an interview that he'd love to work with McBride again, and O'Neil openly admitting that McBride is her idol.

2007-present: Waking Up Laughing

McBride's ninth studio album, Waking Up Laughing was released on April 3, 2007. The album was McBride's second to be solo-produced by her. Three songs from the album, including the lead-off single "Anyway", were co-written by McBride, marking the first time in her career that she has co-written any of her singles. "Anyway" reached No. 5 on the Country music charts in mid-2007, and became her first single since 2004 to reach Top 5 on the country music charts. The song also reached the Billboard Hot 100 and even reached the Adult Contemporary chart at No. 14, her first since 2003 to chart on the Adult Contemporary charts. "Anyway" was first released November 6, 2006 at the ACM Awards.

McBride began her Waking Up Laughing Tour on April 12, 2007 in Kansas City and played 50 dates through August. Special guests,Rodney Atkins and Little Big Town joined her on the tour. Also, for three dates, Diamond Rio also joined McBride. Since the album's debut, two songs following "Anyway" have charted the Country charts, "How I Feel" (which reached No. 15), and "For These Times" (which reached No. 35).

In 2007, McBride also served as a guest coach on the Fox Networks television series. American Idol.

In July 2007, The ABC Television Network announced a new show 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. Hence, six degrees of separation. The "winner" of this challenge eventually located a direct connection to Martina through her husband John McBride who knew someone, who knew someone else .

Capitol/EMI's "Forever Cool" featured McBride with artists including Kevin Spacey, Joss Stone and Shelby Lynne in duets with the voice of the late Dean Martin. The McBride and Martin version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" was also released as a single.

In January 2008, through her fan club, McBride announced plans to release a live CD/DVD from her upcoming PBS concert special which was taped in September 2007 in Moline, Illinois. A CD/DVD set entitled Martina McBride: Live In Concert was released on April 29, 2008. The track listing for the collection was confirmed as 8 tracks on the CD, and 20 live performances on the DVD.

Martina McBride recently wrapped production of her tenth studio album. The first single, a song called "Ride," will be released to radio in late 2008, with an album set for release in March 2009.

Charity Work

Martina McBride works with a variety of charities. She is currently the spokeswoman for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, as well as 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 the Celebrity Auction, for the YWCA of Middle Tennessee, and the auction 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 She was awarded the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award in 2003.

Recently, 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.



Year Award Category
1994 Country Music Association Awards Music Video of the Year for "Independence Day"
1995 TNN/Music City News Music Video of the Year for "Independence Day"
1999 Country Music Association Awards Female Vocalist of the Year
2002 CMT Music Video Music Flameworthy Awards Female Video of the Year
2001 Academy of Country Music Awards Top Female Vocalist
2002 Academy of Country Music Awards Top Female Vocalist
2002 Country Music Association Awards Female Vocalist of the Year
2003 CMT Flameworthy Music Video Awards Female Video of the Year
2003 Academy of Country Music Awards Top Female Vocalist
2003 Country Music Association Awards Female Vocalist of the Year
2003 American Music Awards Favorite Female Country Artist
2004 Country Music Association Awards Female Vocalist of the Year


  • Ridley, Jim. (1998). "Martina McBride". In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, Editor. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 332.

External links

Search another word or see Martina_McBrideon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature