Born in Kansas in 1966, country singer Martina McBride got her big break when Garth Brooks, for whom her husband worked on a sound crew, gave her an opening slot on his concert tour in 1990. She became highly successful and her songs topped country charts for the next fifteen years.
Country music singer. Born Martina Mariea Schiff on July 29, 1966, in Sharon, Kansas. Growing up on a dairy farm alongside two brothers and a sister, Martina became interested in country music through her father's local band, The Schiffters. Martina eventually joined the band, playing keyboard and singing with other members of her family at local gigs around town. After graduating from high school in a class of nine students, Martina headed to a local college before realizing that she was more interested in a career in music. In 1987, Schiff met local sound engineer John McBride, and the couple became engaged shortly after meeting. They moved to Nashville in 1990 to pursue careers in music.
John found work as a member of Garth Brooks' sound crew, and Martina performed odd jobs for a while, including selling T-shirts at Garth Brooks concerts. She finally caught the attention of Brooks in 1990, and he offered her a chance to be his opening act if she could land a recording contract. With a demo recorded by her husband, she finally signed with RCA and began touring. Her 1992 debut album, The Time Has Come, was followed by her 1993 hit album The Way That I Am. The album's her first hit single, "My Baby Loves Me," jumped to No. 2 on the music charts, followed by "Life #9", which also made it into the Top 10. Her song "Independence Day," about domestic abuse won her Video of the Year by the Country Music Association in 1994.
The next year, McBride released Wild Angels, and the title single became her first No. 1 single. That same year, she was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. Her next album, Evolution (1997), became a Top 10 hit and a double-platinum record. It also brought McBride a string of hits, including "Valentine," "Happy Girl," "A Broken Wing" and "Wrong Again." The project finally pushed McBride into the spotlight, and earned her critical acclaim; she earned her first CMA award for Female Vocalist of the Year in 1999, and was selected to perform for President Bill Clinton.
She snagged her second CMA award for Best Female Vocalist in 2002, after releasing her Greatest Hits (2001) album, which included four new singles. A studio album, Martina, followed in 2003. The record's appeal resonated with audiences in both the country and pop music genres, and landed McBride two Top 10 singles on the Adult Contemporary chart: "The One's for the Girls" and "In My Daughter's Eyes." The success of the singles also caught the attention of the Academy of Country Music, who awarded her the 2003 Top Female Vocalist trophy, as well as the Country Music Association, who presented her with the Female Vocalist of the Year title. In 2005, McBride returned to a more traditional country sound with her album Timeless, which contained country cover songs. The album was a critical success, and gave McBride her highest first-week sales, ever.
In 2007, McBride returned with the studio to create her next successful release, Waking Up Laughing (2007), which was followed by a compilation record called Playlist: The Very Best of Martina McBride and her 2009 album Shine. She is currently on her Shine tour, and has been nominated for the 2009 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year award. She will also perform during the CMAs ceremony.
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