Exclusive - Martina McBride: Hosting From the Heart, Part 1
The beautiful voice of Martina McBride has created many musical memories for fans through the years, but none quite like the ones she is currently creating with her single Marry Me from her album Eleven. The song, which is a duet with Pat Monahan of Train, has provided the soundtrack to weddings, proposals and other romantic events right down to the union of Christina Davidson and Frank Tucci live on the Academy of Country Music Awards during Martina and Pats performance of the ballad.
The idea of having a live wedding during the show came from Martina herself. And, she is no stranger to hosting events. In fact, it is one of the singers biggest interests outside of her musical endeavors.
We recently sat down to talk to the superstar about her latest hit and her friendship with Pat Monahan, plus we got the inside scoop on her event planning prowess for this three-part exclusive series with the lovely and talented Martina McBride.
In our first installment, Martina shares her thoughts on Marry Me and its impact on her fans and reflects on her own wedding to her husband John and other topics.
What was it about Marry Me that really drew you to the song and made you want to record it for Eleven?
I was drawn to the song Marry Me because I just felt like its just so sweet and beautifully written. Every line just has something to say. It had been a long time since I had recorded a love song like that. For me the last one I can really remember being similar is Valentine. [Its] just kind of a simple production and really a heartfelt love song. Yeah, I was just drawn to the writing, the melody and just all the things that make a great song.
What kind of feedback have you been receiving from your fans about the song?
Ive just been hearing that a lot of people are using it for proposals and planning on using it in their wedding. Its fun for them to hear me sing a song thats so simple. Its not like this big huge chorus or anything. Its just sweet and simple.
And, they really love the fact that its a duet with Pat. Everybody loves his voice. Hes just a great singer. So, its different and unique and I think my fans are really enjoying it.
You met Pat Monahan of Train during the taping for your episode of CMT Crossroads. What was the connection between the two of you? You obviously have kept up that friendship since then.
Well, we did have a connection. Hes just a really good person. Hes an inspiring person. Hes positive. Hes literally I think right now my favorite singer. Hes just a great, great singer, emotional and soulful and pure, just a great singer.
Personally, yeah, we just hit it off. You know, sometimes you just have a chemistry with someone. Were a lot alike in a lot of ways. Thats the beautiful thing about this song not only have I gotten a great song out of it but Ive also have been able to develop a friendship out of it that I think will last a lifetime so thats another reason why the song is so special to me.
When it came time to perform Marry Me as part of Crossroads, how did that performance come together and then make the transition to your album?
Well, the song was [Trains] single at the time and of course it wasnt done as a duet, so [with] the nature of Crossroads being that you sing together, we did Marry Me as a duet. In laying it out [and deciding ] who was gonna sing what parts, I kind of came up with the idea of these two people are trying to get up the nerve to talk to each other and theyve kind of fallen in love with each other at first sight. So, I liked the idea of us not singing together until the very end.
I think it fits the song so well, and theres just a magic when we sing together. [For] me, as a listener, Im waiting for that moment. Our voices blend so well together [that] I cant really sometimes tell whos who because he has such a range that he can sing in my range. Its interesting like Im actually singing the lower part on the beginning of the chorus and hes singing the higher part and then we switch. Its just a nice combination of us singing together.
Your performance with Pat on the ACM Awards was one of the most intriguing of the night. It must have been really challenging to put that together.
Well, the challenge was that it had never been done before, so we had a really long rehearsal [where we were] just trying to figure out how it was going to translate because the challenge was to remember that the wedding wasnt background for the song. I mean, this was their wedding, you know? So, giving the wedding enough reverence and also being able to give the song a platform as well, it was just a delicate balance between the two.
I was really concerned that the wedding didnt come off as an afterthought. I was really concerned that this was their wedding, their moment, a life-changing thing for them that theyre sharing with all of us. I really wanted to give it its proper attention, so that was a bit of a challenge, but I think that it came off beautifully. I think that it was very obvious that this was a real wedding and then we also showcased the song well. I was really happy with the way it turned out.
After the performance, what was the atmosphere backstage like? Did you get to spend some time with the newlyweds?
They were so happy. They were just such a sweet, sweet couple and Pat and I got to spend time with them the day before, quite a lot of time actually. I had heard their story, but really to get to hear it one-on-one with them and just to see the love that they had for each other was amazing.
We went up and hugged them and got to spend a little bit of time backstage with them right after the performance. They were just like any other newly-wedded couple. They were happy and excited.
And, theyre country music fans. They were huge fans of the song and were actually I didnt know this until I met them going to use Marry Me in their wedding before they even heard about the ACM performance so theyre Train fans and theyre Martina fans. She had said that Blessed was really inspiring to her when she was going through losing her husband. So, it was just a good connection. I read their story and had thought This really is an amazing story, and then to find out that they were fans as well, it was kind of meant to be.
Youve been married to your husband John for over 20 years. What stands out to you about your wedding day?
The thing about your wedding day is that its kind of a blur, and I remember certain things about it Of course, we had all of our friends and family there and I planned the wedding myself and the reception which we had some of our friends play live music. I got up and sang with the band. It was just very low key and relaxed. The biggest thing that I remember was just being really happy and being able to share that moment with all of our friends and family.
You can find Martina McBrides current single Marry Me on her latest album Eleven.
Join us on Monday, May 21st, for the second part of our conversation with Martina as she takes us inside a couple of the events she has hosted. Plus, she reveals where she finds inspiration when it comes to party planning and more.
Images: Republic Nashville, Ethan Miller/Getty Images and Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Nikita Palmer (@RTNowRadio) for Cumulus Media © 2012