Martina McBride has been named Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year four times and Academy of County Music’s Top Female Vocalist three times. She’s also a 14-time Grammy Award nominee.

Yet coming to perform at Centre College’s Norton Center Friday is still as much fun for her as when her career started about 30 years ago

“It’s fun to play music and sing for my fans any time,” said McBride, who lives in Nashville with her husband and daughters. “I just love performing and actually I love smaller places. The more intimate, the better. I just love what I do.”

She has a show at War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville Thursday before the show at Centre College Friday. If time permits, she hopes to be able to interact with fans in Danville.

“We try to do whatever we can depending on where I have to be next,” McBride said.

McBride fans know she is usually gracious with her time at shows. Former Danvillian Bo Garrett, who is with Montgomery Gentry, says everyone likes McBride.

“I have never heard anyone say a negative thing about her,” Garrett said.

McBride says she tries to be nice, kind and respectful to everyone — something she obviously does well. She’s a role model to many like Katelyn and Samantha Daugherty of Marion County, the duo that performs as Magnolia Vale.

“I have heard that about being a role model. It’s just hard to say that about myself. I don’t think of it that way, but if it is true that is great. I grew up looking up to people and know that is important,” McBride said. “You just have to be true to yourself and trust your instincts when you are starting out. Know what you want to do and do not get discouraged.”

McBride obviously followed that advice. She received the Country Radio Broadcasters Career Achievement Award this summer.

“I feel like I have had a long relationship with country radio and it was great to get that recognition,” McBride said. “It was not expected and was really a nice surprise.”

She has three daughters — Delaney Katharine, age 22; Emma Justine, 19; and Ava Rose Kathleen, 12.

“One wants to be an actress. One wants to be a teacher. One is 12 years old and has no idea what she might want to be,” McBride laughed and said. “She is smart and funny. All my girls love music, but they are not wanting to be singers.”

McBride relates to her youngest daughter’s thoughts. The popular singer ran track and played volleyball in high school. She started her singing career in her father’s country band in Kansas and sang “all kinds of music” before moving to Nashville. “From then on it was country music,” he said.

There have been no regrets with her choice and that will be obvious during her show in Danville. She’ll do some songs, including “Reckless,” from her most recent albums.

“We also like to throw in older things we have not done for a while. But I want to make every show a little different,” McBride said. “I love to perform. I love to sing and create new music and play for the fans and get their feedback. I feel like this is what I was meant to do.”

She takes great care of her voice. She says conditioning and keeping the voice in shape requires the same type training and dedication elite athletes must do.

“I drink a lot of water. Just try to stay healthy,” McBride laughed and said. “I have about 25 shows between now and the end of the year. I love what I do and want to do it as long as I can even though I may take a little more time off next year to be with my youngest daughter.”

McBride finds a way to spend a lot of time helping charities. She focuses on doing things both locally and nationally. She received the Covenant House Beacon of Hope Award and Music Business Association’s prestigious 2015 Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic efforts on behalf of domestic violence.

She also recently released her first book, Around the Table, a full-color illustrated collection of her favorite recipes, hosting tips, practical menu planning advice, and themed décor inspiration.

“It’s not about finding time but when there is something I can do some good or lend a hand, I want to do it. That’s just me,” McBride said.


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