Martina McBride is hailed as one of most successful country singers of the ‘90s and 2000s and one of the most recognizable female voices in the history of country music. With a soaring voice among the likes of Reba McEntire and Faith Hill, McBride has released countless hits that make fans sing along and pull at the heartstrings. McBride is not one to shy away from tough topics and has often released songs addressing issues like abuse, illness and more. While McBride has many deserving songs in her catalog, here are just a few that stand out among the rest.
- “My Baby Loves Me” — from The Way That I Am
Martina McBride’s first breakout hit came in the form of an upbeat single called “My Baby Loves Me,” from her sophomore album, The Way That I Am. The song was originally recorded and released by Canadian country singer Patricia Conroy in 1992 with McBride releasing her own version one year later. In the song, McBride praises her partner for not expecting her to be anyone other than who she is and for loving her exactly as she is. “He thinks I’m pretty, he thinks I’m smart / He likes my nerve and he loves my heart / He’s always sayin’ he’s my biggest fan / My baby loves me just the way that I am,” she sings in the chorus. The song was McBride’s first big hit, reaching No. 2 on the US Country chart and No. 1 on the Canadian Country chart. Even today, the song still serves as one of McBride’s most recognizable tunes.
2. “Independence Day” — from The Way That I Am
In 1994, McBride released the second single from her The Way That I Am Album — the fiery “Independence Day.” In this tune, McBride tells a story from the perspective of a young girl whose father abuses her mother. The girl goes to the fair on Independence Day, July 4th, and when she comes home, her mother has burnt the house down with her abusive father presumably inside of it. While the story is a sad one, the song as a whole is victorious, as the girl’s mother has finally found independence from the husband who brought her down. While the song just reached No. 12 on the charts, it has taken on a life of its own — gaining popularity after the September 11, 2001 attacks and continuing to be a popular country anthem to this day.
3. “Wild Angels” — from Wild Angels
One year and a few singles after “Independence Day” made its mark, McBride earned her first No. 1 song in the US with “Wild Angels,” released from the album of the same name. “Wild Angels” is an upbeat, happy song in which McBride sings about angels that help keep her relationship together during trying times. The song clearly resonated with fans, as it took the No. 1 spot, and like many of her singles, is still one of McBride’s more recognizable tunes.
4. “A Broken Wing” — from Evolution
For the second single from her fourth album, Evolution, McBride released “A Broken Wing,” which, like “Independence Day,” addressed a deeper issue. In the song, McBride tells the story of a woman who is in an emotionally abusive relationship, and although she has a “broken wing” from suffering her partner’s mistreatment, she can still fly. In the song’s first verse, McBride describes the hurtful relationship, and in the second verse, she sings of the woman’s escape out of the relationship. McBride again uses her strong voice to her advantage in this song, and she is joined by a gospel choir in the triumphant chorus. “And with a broken wing she still sings, she keeps an eye over the sky / With a broken wing, she carries her dreams, Man, you oughta see her fly,” she sings. “A Broken Wing” became McBride’s second No. 1 on the US Country chart, and it even made an appearance at No. 61 on the all-genre chart.
5. “I Love You” — from Emotion
In 1999, Martina McBride released a peppy love song called “I Love You,” the first single from her Emotion album. The song also appeared on the soundtrack for the Julia Roberts and Richard Gere movie, Runaway Bride. The tune finds McBride describing the way she feels for a significant other, which includes being “wrapped up emotionally, attracted so physically, actin’ so recklessly,” and so forth. “I Love You” was big hit for McBride, charting in the US, Canada, Australia, Germany and Italy. It took the No. 1 spot on the US and Canadian Country charts and landed at No. 24 on the US all-genre chart. The song also earned McBride a Grammy nomination in 2000.
6. “Blessed” — from Greatest Hits
Although McBride’s career would take off even further in the early 2000s, she released her first Greatest Hits album in 2001 to take stock of the first nine years of her music. This album included her greatest hits so far as well as a couple of future hit songs. One of those new songs was “Blessed,” which was released as a single about a month after the album came out. Just like the greatest hits album took stock of McBride’s hits so far, “Blessed” finds her taking stock of all the blessings in her life. From hearing her kids laughing, to sitting on the front porch, to being in love, Martina sings of the many things she enjoys in life. The song became McBride’s fifth No. 1 song on the US country chart. It was also nominated for Song of the Year at the 2002 CMA Awards.
7. “Where Would You Be” — from Greatest Hits
McBride followed up “Blessed” with another new single from her Greatest Hits album, “Where Would You Be.” In this soaring ballad, McBride questions her significant other’s loyalty, asking, “Where would you be if you weren’t here with me? Where would you go if you were single and free? Who would you love, would it be me? Where would you be?” The song showcases McBride’s tremendous vocal range, as she moves up a key in the final chorus while accompanied by strings, adding to the emotion of the song. The song ended up at No. 3 on the US Country chart.
8. “Concrete Angel” — from Greatest Hits
As previously evidenced by “Independence Day” and “A Broken Wing,” Martina McBride never shies away from shining a light on hard-to-swallow issues in her songs, and “Concrete Angel” covers one of the world’s toughest issues: child abuse. In this piano-driven song, McBride tells the story of a little girl living in an abusive home. She describes the girl showing up to school with bruises, but her teachers and neighbors fail to report supposed crime, and the girl eventually dies from the abuse. The heavy emotion of the song certainly didn’t deter radio stations from playing the tune — the single charted at No. 5 on the US country chart and was certified Gold by the RIAA. The song also won Female Video of the Year at the CMT Flameworthy Awards. Even today, the song continues to be one of McBride’s most poignant tracks.
9. “This One’s For The Girls” — from Martina
In 2003, Martina McBride kicked off her new album, aptly titled Martina, with the song that would soon become every girl’s anthem: “This One’s For The Girls.” The track, which still stands the test of time, is quite literally a call out to girls of all ages, reminding them that all women go through the same things in life and they’re not alone. In the verses, Martina addresses girls of different ages — teenage girls going through the trials of high school, girls in their mid-twenties who are still figuring out life, and middle-aged women trying to pave their way. The chorus then brings all women in all stages of their life together and encourages them to keep chasing their dreams. This song was yet another hit for McBride, landing at No. 3 on the Country chart and No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
10. “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” — from Eleven
While there are many other Martina McBride songs would be at home on this list, one of her more modern songs about yet another powerful topic can’t be denied. “I’m Gonna Love You Through It,” released in July 2011, finds McBride singing to those who have been affected by breast cancer. While McBride tells the story of a mother of three who receives the dreaded diagnosis, the chorus of the song is sung from the perspective of someone supporting their loved one through the disease. “When you’re weak, I’ll be strong, When you let go, I’ll hold on, When you need to cry, I swear that I’ll be there to dry your eyes,” she sings. The emotion of the track is only compounded by the music video, which shows breast cancer survivors telling their stories. The video also includes some familiar faces — Sheryl Crow, Katie Couric, Robin Roberts, and Hoda Kotb — who also tell their stories. The song peaked at No. 4 on the Country chart and was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance at the Grammy’s as well as two ACM Awards.