Martina McBride released her first album in 1992, but it was her second album that gave her first substantial career momentum. That album, The Way That I Am, was released on Sept. 14, 1993.
Martina was born in Sharon, Kan., a town of 200 not far from the Oklahoma line. It’s about 75 miles southwest of Wichita, where she began her professional career. Before singing country, she sang in cover bands that often played in the Kansas City area.
The first two singles from that album were Top 10 hits, but it was the third single, Independence Day, that established her as the singer of the Big Anthem. Written by Gretchen Peters, the song offers an unflinching look at how one women resolved the abuse in her marriage. It’s a powerful song, augmented by an equally powerful video. Both song and video were rightly recognized in their respective categories as the year’s best at the Country Music Awards.
Her third album, Wild Angels, built upon the success of The Way That I Am, and lead to her breakthrough in 1997. Evolution was her first Top 10 album and contained her first pop crossover success with Valentine, a duet with Jim Brickman.