Martina McBride may be Nashville royalty, but she definitely stays in touch with her fans.
Consider her album "Eleven," which she promoted last year with the "Eleven Across America" Amtrak train trip from Los Angeles to New York with 11 stops in between, including one in D.C. Although that might seem like a purely promotional effort, McBride used the trip to promote breast cancer awareness through several efforts. That was especially fitting because "I'm Gonna Love You Through It," one of the 11 songs on her album, is about surviving breast cancer.
"I just have the best fans," said McBride of the way her fans embraced the album, song and cause. "Nobody can force a fan to listen to something or buy something or stick with you, but from the very first album all the way to now, they've been interested in what I have to say and that is amazing."
|Martina McBride with David Nail|
|» Where: Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Filene Center, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna|
|» When: 8 p.m. Wednesday|
|» Info: $48 in house, $35 lawn; 877-965-3872; wolftrap.org|
So interested, in this case, that the song hit No. 4 on the charts, becoming McBride's first top five hit since "Anyway" in 2006. Perhaps it's not surprising that McBride makes such an effort to reach others through many charitable works. Country superstar Garth Brooks gave McBride a boost into the music business. After meeting her through John McBride, her husband who worked for Brooks, he offered Martina a choice slot opening for him on tour once she was signed with RCA in 1991.
Although McBride and Brooks are both headliners now, the two do apparently stay in touch. At the end of 2010, Brooks hosted a series of sold-out shows to raise money for flood-damaged Nashville, and McBride was one of the celebrities in attendance.
"Saw Garth tonight. ... He's still got it," McBride, who at one time sold merchandise for Brooks, tweeted at the time. "I even sold a few T-shirts for old time's sake."
With all of the high-profile appearances she has made recently on country award shows, the Grammys and charity events, she is continuing to tour behind "Eleven."
"I'm really proud of this album," she said of the record for which she wrote six of the songs. "There are 11 songs [on it] that really show more of the insight of my personality than any other record, and there are just some different things on there. After making 10 records, I think we took some chances and recorded things that are a little more soulful."