Martina McBride Shines

3.15.2009

By Chris Azzopardi

How do you feel knowing that some of your songs, like 'From The Ashes' for example, have helped people come out?
Oh, I love it! My music is hopefully empowering to people, and so that's one thing that I hear over and over. And it's definitely something I want to put out there. So when I hear a story like that, I love it. My music's doing when it's supposed to do -- it's empowering people to do whatever they need to do in their life.

And it's cheaper than therapy, too.
[Laughs]

The young girl in the song 'Wild Rebel Rose' from the new disc is kind of an outsider; she's abused and teased. Have you ever felt like an outsider yourself?
Oh, yeah, definitely. When I was growing up I -- well, in any small town -- it's like sports are really important to the high school and I wasn't very good at sports. I was always into music. And none of my friends were really into music the same way I was. So it was just different. It was really not very well understood by most of my friends. They didn't tease me about it -- they just didn't really relate. I wasn't necessarily an outcast, but I never really felt like I fit in.

Your music is obviously very issue-oriented. You've covered abuse, suicide, self-empowerment. How, if ever, do you think you could work gay rights into a song?
Oh! That would be cool. I don't know, that's a good question. That's a good thing to explore. I don't know if there are very many people -- country writers -- writing songs like that [laughs], but I'm starting to write now, so maybe I'll have to bring that up.

What are your style secrets -- you know, in case a Martina McBride drag queen is looking for any inspiration?
The bigger the better with the hair. Make it look big -- you know, flowing like a lion, kind of awesome rock star hair. And clothes wise? I always wear heels on stage, even if they're boots. I've never been into flats. I don't know, it just makes me feel ... sexier.

Now people are quick to call female vocalists 'divas,' especially the ones with the big voices, but outside of having a voice that could knock down a skyscraper, would you consider yourself a diva?
I can be a diva, but generally speaking I'm really down to earth and I don't really pull a lot of diva trips. But I do think part of being a diva is just confidence and being really comfortable with who you are, and that's, I think, the biggest part of it.

So when you're on tour you don't require a certain bottle of wine in your dressing room?
No, I'm very un-diva like when it comes to that. [Laughs]

On the first song from the album, 'Wrong Baby Wrong Baby Wrong,' you share a bottle of wine with a friend who's gone through a bad break-up. What's your favorite kind of wine?
I like Cabernet. That's my favorite. I like white wine, but usually in the day time or in the summertime. But red wine, I love it.

So you're a day drinker then, Martina?
Well, I have been known to drink during the day, sure. [Long pause] I'm not drinking right now. [Laughs]

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