Martina McBride

Martina McBride can thank her husband and Garth Brooks -- not to mention her powerful voice -- for her status as one of the most successful acts in country music. Born and raised in Sharon, Kan., McBride performed with her father's local band, the Schiffters (McBride's maiden name is Schiff), as a child, before forming her own local group. The new ensemble rented studio space from her future husband, studio engineer John McBride; the couple married in 1988 and moved to Nashville soon after. When her husband joined Garth Brooks' tour crew, McBride often accompanied him on the road, even selling t-shirts for a time. Brooks promised McBride that if she got a record deal, she could open for him -- and he kept his word: McBride signed with RCA Nashville in 1991 and toured with Brooks in the early '90s. The songstress released her debut album, 'The Time Has Come', in 1992, but it wasn't until her third album, 1995's 'Wild Angels', that McBride earned her first No. 1, with the disc's title track. Her songs "Independence Day" and "A Broken Wing" have become rallying cries for victims of domestic violence, a cause for which McBride is a tireless advocate. In 2014, McBride authored a cookbook, 'Around the Table: Recipes and Inspiration for Gatherings Throughout the Year'; released a record of R&B and soul covers, 'Everlasting'; and signed to the Nash Icon label.

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