Country Music Superstar Martina McBride, mother of three daughters ranging from 5 to 16, is putting her girls to work – figuratively speaking that is. There are no plans for sixteen-year-old Delaney to join the band and while Emma (who will be 13 this month) and Ava (5) are natural entertainers, becoming a recording artist isn’t in their near future. But it’s the autobiographical content of McBride’s new single off her upcoming Republic Nashville debut album release that has her girls front and center.
McBride’s “Teenage Daughters” (co-written by McBride and The Warren Brothers) has a universal theme of children coming of age and parents trying to survive their offspring’s transformation into adulthood while reflecting back to their own lost adolescence. While every adult has experienced these tumultuous teenage years – either from the teenager’s perspective, parent’s or both – this topic, told from both a mom and dad’s perspective, is a surprisingly unique and fresh angle for country music.
“There are a lot of country songs about having baby daughters—almost always sung by a tender daddy,” writes Chris Willman in a recent Yahoo! Music blog. “And there are a fair share of country tunes about seeing your adult daughter leave home or get married—again, usually performed by a guy in touch with his sensitive side. But the difficult, in-between years that can drive a parent to drink? Those don’t get written about.”
“Almost everybody goes through it,” says McBride. “So I’m not surprised when people tell me how much they relate to this song…even the dads who were ‘Prince Charming’ in their little girl’s world until she discovered boys. They all get it. This is every day life and it’s why I love country music – It touches us right at the heart of what we are feeling or dealing with on a daily basis.”
The inspiration for the song came naturally. “The Warrens and I were catching up on our lives before we started writing. I was telling them how interesting it is to have a teenager and how it goes from you being the center of their universe, to their life being more about their friends and gaining independence,” says McBride. “The little girl who thought you were so cool and always wanted to hold your hand or would dance with you in the kitchen, suddenly is a little embarrassed by those things. It’s just inevitable as they grow up. It’s their job to become more independent and our job to walk the balance between keeping them close and letting them go a little at a time. No matter how much you think you are prepared for it, it still takes you by surprise.”
“Another thing about the song that is relatable,” McBride continues, “is the fact that we used to be the ones breaking the rules and taking risks while our teenagers can’t even imagine us that way. It’s hard to reconcile the image we have of ourselves as wild and crazy, fun people with their image of us as just “Mom and Dad”. It’s not until they get older that they realize how much we have been through and how much wisdom we have to offer. And how fun we really are! ” McBride says with a laugh.
She adds, “I love the fact that ‘Teenage Daughters’ blends humor, sass and sweetness. It shows a very real side of my personality that I’m not sure I’ve shown in a song before. It’s definitely a very personal song and, to me, it just feels like an honest conversation between mothers and fathers of teenage daughters everywhere.“
“Teenage Daughters” is Martina’s best song in years! It’s hip and modern, just like Martina herself!” says Johnny Chiang, Program Director of Houston’s KKBQ-FM.
As for the McBride’s teenage daughters, they agree and relate to the single as well. “John and I are very fortunate in that we have a great, close relationship with both Delaney and Emma as teenagers. We have an affectionate, sweet relationship based on honesty and respect,” assures McBride. “But we both recognize there is a big difference in the way our 5 year old views us and the way our 16 year old views us! The good news is, Delaney and her friends relate to the song as well…and they approve!”
McBride has co-written seven more tracks for her new album (due out this fall). After 18 million album sales, the CD will be a first in many ways – first on a new label, first working with her co-producer Byron Gallimore (Faith Hill, Tim McGraw) and first to have written the majority of the material herself.
“I finally made the time to write more and it’s made this album so much more personal,” acknowledges McBride. “I won’t sing a song unless I can tell the story or relate to the lyric and I don’t believe you have to write the lyric to relate to it. But this album shows so many sides of my personality and the fact that I wrote most of it will make it interesting and fun for my fans.”
McBride will perform as part of the “Girls’ Night Out: Superstar Women of Country” which will air April 22 on CBS at 8:00 pm eastern. Girls’ Night Out: Superstar Women of Country is a special tribute concert featuring an A-list lineup of performers paying respect to today’s most incredible country music female artists, all of whom will be honored with unique accolades from the Academy for special achievements in their careers. Martina will be recognized by ACM Lifting Lives for her dedication to raising social consciousness through songs such as “Independence Day” and “Concrete Angel,” which raise awareness of domestic violence and encourage female empowerment.
For more on Martina McBride, please visit her official website www.MartinaMcBride.com.