Since the early 1990's, country music sensation Martina McBride has been captivating audiences with hits like “This One's For The Girls," “I'm Gonna Love You Through It," and “In My Daughter's Eyes." Known for her country pop material and soprano singing range, McBride, who has been dubbed the “Celine Dion of country music" is one of the most successful female country artists of all time.
For McBride, fame and notoriety have instilled a passion to use her platform for helping others, something the singer has been doing throughout the last two and a half decades. “I am passionate about making the world a better place," she says. “It can be overwhelming but if we all do SOMETHING, the ripple effect alone will be huge."
Her charity, “Team Music Is Love" was born out of the desire her fans had to follow in her charitable footsteps. Fast forward a few years later and their efforts continue to reach new levels. Currently on the second leg of her “Love Unleashed" tour, the singer is using this opportunity to make her concerts not just about the music, but about giving back as well.
SWAAY spoke to the singer/songwriter about how she and her fans are using the power of music to make a difference.
1.What is the mission behind “Team Music is Love?"
Music is extremely powerful and has the ability to connect, to heal, to inspire, to make a huge difference in the lives of others. We want to use that power to connect fans with each other and with charities that need our help.
2.How do your fans get involved?
We send out email newsletters and social media announcements to the fans and invite them to join our team and be the manpower on many of our projects. We also use local media to recruit fans and volunteers in towns on the tour. We also invite fans and local nonprofits to email us and suggest projects that would help their towns. They can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3.What national and/or local causes do you support on a regular basis?
One of my passions is helping women and children, so we end up focusing on that a lot of the time. We started a music program through Covenant House for young girls that have been rescued from the violence, homelessness, and human trafficking in Guatemala. Music gives them healing and something to look forward to and is really a true example of TMIL's mission statement.
We've also done a lot of work with local food pantries and kitchens that provide food for the homeless and people in hospice.
4.What led you to add on a second leg to your “Love Unleashed" tour?
I felt like we were just getting started in 2016; the idea was catching on and all of a sudden it was over! I wanted to find a way to extend this tour because I feel like it fills a need and is making a difference by providing a place where people can come, leave the world behind for a few hours, connect, and share in our positive message and then spread that positivity and love into their own corners of the world.
5.What prompted you to make this tour not just about the music but about giving back? Is this something you've done with previous tours?
Yes we have. It's always great to give back to the local community. With the theme of this tour being all about spreading love and positivity, it was a perfect fit for us to utilize TMIL to its fullest and spread some love in each community we visited. So far we've done projects in 15 cities since the tour started last fall.
6.What are some of the projects you've done so far?
We provide a truckload of food to help 300 people at “The Bread Shed Food Pantry" in Poplar Bluff, MO and donated some show tickets to the show. We donated 400 Thanksgiving meals to help people at the Hope Café in Des Moines, IA. And we recently threw a baby shower for the moms and babies at Covenant House in NYC.
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7.How can the fans get involved in your charity initiative?
One way we encourage fans to get involved is to volunteer and do good deeds in their own hometowns. If they want to wear a TMIL shirt when they volunteer that's awesome and they can get one on my website. Proceeds from the sale go to benefit charity.
8.You are partnered with CMT's “Next Women of Country" – what drew you to this campaign?
I've always supported women, both in my songs and in my humanitarian efforts. CMT is very committed to mentoring and supporting women in country music. I was happy to be a part of such a beautiful intention and to give the girls on the tour with me an opportunity to make new fans by opening my shows. It's a huge part of building a career and I was given some amazing opportunities to do that when I was starting out so it feels good to be able to pass that along.
9. What are your hopes for the next generation of country music artists?
I do hope that's part of the legacy I leave behind. I hope the next generation keeps up the tradition of reaching out and helping others. We are so blessed and fortunate to get to live our dreams.
10.What are you most passionate about?
My husband and my kids. My friends, my music, my fans, and making the world a better place. You never know who you are touching with your kindness, your philanthropy, and being so giving of your time and your talents. The world isn't going to magically heal all by itself; it takes each one of us doing our part, no matter how big or small that is. I get to reach people on a bigger scale; a kind word, a smile or a gesture, that all adds up, and it makes a difference.
Dr. Victoria Bateman, an esteemed economist best known for her nude protests for gender equality, uses her body as a form of art that serves to challenge the stigma around women's bodies and women's rights, in the world of economics. In March 2018, Bateman attended the annual conference of the Royal Economic Society in Brighton stark naked with the word "respect" written across her chest and stomach. Unbashful in delivering her message, Bateman was determined to start a conversation.