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EXCLUSIVE: Late last year, the Country Music Hall of Fame announced Martina McBride would be one of several country legends to be honored with a legacy exhibit showcasing her accomplishments.

The museum’s 2020 exhibit series dubbed “American Currents: State of the Music” was set to open on March 6 to recognize the careers of Chris Stapleton, Bill Anderson, Outlaws & Armadillos and McBride

However, the coronavirus pandemic put the kibosh on such arrangements and the debuts of the exhibits were pushed to next year. McBride’s exhibit was supposed to open on Aug. 21.

“The Country Music Hall of Fame has always been the pinnacle of my career aspirations,” McBride, 54 told Fox News of the accolade. “It’s a truly special honor that brought about a lot of emotions and memories from my career. I couldn’t have imagined this all those years ago as a little girl growing up on a farm.”

The “Independence Day” songstress is also ensuring the relics and artifacts, which will be on display, speak to her longevity and penchant for moving with an entire genre of music through multiple eras.


“I’m sifting through a lot of things from my childhood and early career to include [items] which brings about a lot of memories,” she said. “It’s such a special honor.”

For McBride, one of the many ways she’s managed to keep up with the ever-shifting world of music and streaming is through allowing herself the ability to pivot on a dime in the digital age.

McBride’s most recent single “Girls Like Me” is a stark example of the lengths the 14-time Grammy nominee will go to in order to find the perfect record.

In May, McBride was featured on “Songland,” a music competition show heavily focused on songwriting. The series isn’t about status so much as it acts as an extension of the music business and moves to find the next hit, regardless of genre.

In comes Halie Wooldridge, a 20-year-old writer who moved to Nashville, Tenn., in 2018 with big hopes of getting in on the potentially lucrative business of songwriting and publishing. She co-wrote the track, “Girls Like Me,” with Dan Swank, Lexi Lauren and her brother, Michael Tyler, a 22-year-old songwriter and artist who recently inked a deal of his own with Reviver Records.


For the competition, Wooldridge worked with record producer Ester Dean to rework “Girls Like Me” — and McBride knew the song was a hit.

“It was definitely unorthodox, but I just loved that song so much,” McBride said of the single. “We are all going through some type of heartbreak in life and it’s about saying we’ve all been there and we’ll get through it.”

“There was a ton of support from Halie and the show to build on the incredible lyrics. So while it was different, it was exciting to try something new and see the message resonate with so many people.”

For their efforts, “Girls Like Me” peaked at No. 6 on the country music chart and McBride helped boost the status of an up-and-coming writer who otherwise might not have had an opportunity to show the world what her pen can do.


In addition to recording the hit song and preparing for her Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit, McBride has been busy with a new initiative she recently launched with Country Crock for the brand’s “Cover Crops Project. It encourages farmers to integrate cover crops, which help replenish nutrients and prevent erosion, into their farming practices by providing education, technical assistance and funding to defray related costs.

“I’m teaming with Country Crock because their sustainability mission reflects how important my farm upbringing is to me,” McBride said of her partnership. “As a mom of three, I care about creating a sustainable future for my daughters, where fresh and delicious foods are available for generations to come.”

Martina McBride is channeling her drive into helping emerging country artists with the help of iHeartRadio and Country Crock with the Red Barn Sessions.
(Country Crock/iHeartRadio)

McBride is set to raise awareness for the initiative, as well as help emerging country artists, through music and will headline Country Crock and iHeartRadio’s joint effort, the Red Barn Sessions.


In addition to offering one lucky fan the opportunity to win a virtual meet and greet with McBride and signed Gibson guitar, the event will also connect music fans, offering a rare peek behind the curtain at some of the most exciting new country artists and live-streamed acoustic performances.

Martina McBride. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

“I’m thrilled to be headlining the Red Barn Sessions, a never-before-seen series of interviews and performances with some of the most notable emerging country artists, like Gabby Barrett and Jimmie Allen,” McBride said. “I’m so excited to help tell their stories!”

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