Throughout her career as one of country music’s most powerful vocalists, Martina McBride has routinely used her star power to spearhead various philanthropic endeavors, including the Middle Tennessee YWCA’s Celebrity Auction, which benefits the organization’s programs to shed light on the issue of domestic violence. On May 14th, the singer will be rewarded for her advocacy when she receives the Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award at a luncheon hosted by the non-profit Music Business Association (Music Biz) in Nashville. The mission of Music Biz is to advance and promote music commerce.
The award, named for late folk singer Harry Chapin, recognizes McBride for her efforts to end domestic violence. The singer has served as spokesperson for several organizations including the National Domestic Violence Hotline. She also founded the “My Time to Shine” program, to educate teenagers on forming healthy relationships. The singer first drew attention to the issue with her award-winning 1994 single, “Independence Day,” and its powerful music video.
The honor also recognizes McBride for her alliances with other charitable organizations, including the National Network to End Domestic Violence and Kids Wish Network. McBride teamed with the latter to help fulfill the wish of a young girl who was battling Muscular Dystrophy. In 2010, she performed “Unchained Melody” during the Stand Up 2 Cancer Telethon, with Leona Lewis, Aaron Neville, and Stevie Wonder. McBride’s fans, through the worldwide Team Martina, have raised more than $275,000 to help fund various projects, including a cancer research grant at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University, a playground construction project in Atlanta, and a music education program for orphaned and abused girls in Guatemala.
“I believe that anyone blessed enough to achieve success has a responsibility to help those in need,” McBride said in a statement. “While my goal was never to be recognized for my charitable efforts, this award is proof that we can all make a difference, no matter how small, in the lives of others.”
Late last year, McBride signed with Nash Icon Records, a co-venture between Big Machine Label Group and Cumulus Media. She is currently working on her first album for the label, which is tentatively due out in the fall.