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Martina McBride Thinks the Country Music Songwriting Formula Is Changing

Martina McBride Reckless albums
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

With over 25 years in the industry, Martina McBride has been privy to plenty of country music trends. She’s become known for songs that are steeped in stories, such as “Independence Day” and “Concrete Angel,” but the country star admits that she has seen a trend toward predictable songwriting recently. Fortunately, in a recent interview, McBride admits that she sees her beloved genre changing — and it might just be returning to the deep storytelling that she loves.

“Songwriting has changed, because, for the past few years, there has been a formula at country radio — ‘bro-country,’ or whatever you want to call it, but there is a formula, definitely,” McBride tells Rolling Stone Country. “Songwriters have to make a living, and they write songs for the formula. But it’s taking a turn again back to — I don’t want to say real songs, because they are real songs — but toward songs that are more lyrics-based, more broad, that really touch on human emotions and human stories, and are not quite so one-dimensional.”

McBride was recently a surprise guest at CMT’s Next Women of Country showcase and has partnered with the initiative for her 2017 Love Unleashed Tour, on which Lauren Alaina will be a special guest. The Next Women of Country series is right in line with McBride’s own efforts to encourage honest and raw songwriting.

“Mentoring, I think, is very important,” says the singer. “I think it’s important that we pass along anything that we’ve learned to the next generation, if they’re willing to listen and want to know.”

McBride goes on to add that this sentiment is especially true for women in country music, saying that “when women support each other, they’re stronger as a whole, and I always felt like any woman that has a win — it’s a win for all of us.”

Fans can find complete details about McBride’s Love Unleashed Tour on

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