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]