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Martina McBride Reaches No. 1 With ‘Everlasting’

Martina McBride
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

Move over, Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line. Martina McBride‘s latest album, ‘Everlasting,’ debuted at the top of the charts, knocking out two of country music’s biggest acts to claim the No. 1 spot.

The album, which is a collection of cover songs with her own interpretation of each tune, is her first project released on her own label, distributed by Kobalt Label Services. Famed rock producer Don Was produced the record, which she says resulted in an entirely different process than any of her previous recordings.

“He’s very laid-back,” she tells CMT. “He sits out in the room with the band. We all recorded in one room, and he was sitting out there with them listening. He’s very musical, so even though he does sometimes get meticulous, it’s not necessarily about every note being right. It’s about the feel of the thing which, to me, is just such a musical way and such a free way to making a record.”

The songstress included songs by Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Van Morrison and several others on the new project, but tried to make each song sound like her own.

“The trick is, of course, is to not make a karaoke record,” she concedes. “Sometimes with ‘Timeless,’ I felt like I did stick so close to the originals. With this record, I think we took more liberties. You don’t want to make a karaoke record, but you also don’t want to make it unrecognizable. You have to have a reverence of the original but then try to make it your own in some way.”

McBride has already released the debut single from the album, ‘Little Bit of Rain,’ which was originally recorded by Fred Neil.

“‘Little Bit of Rain’ is a less well-known song than some of the others on the album,” she explains. “I remember hearing Linda Ronstadt’s version of it when I was a teenager. We wanted to do a very simple, acoustic-style arrangement and it’s a little more bluesy than the original by Fred Neil.”

McBride’s record marks the first time a solo female artist has debuted in the No. 1 spot with an independently released and distributed album in the 50-year history of the Billboard Country Albums chart.

“Putting ‘Everlasting’ out on my own label felt like a good decision,” she explains. “Kobalt has many of the elements of a major label and it just seemed like the right time to try a different business model. It is a lot of responsibility, but exciting at the same time to be doing things a bit differently. We put together a great team to carry this project through.”

Download ‘Everlasting’ here.

Next: The Top 10 Martina McBride Songs

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