Martina McBride Shines


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.

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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