Nash Icon's latest signing is one of the most iconic vocalists of her time. Martina McBride has officially joined the new label, which is a co-venture between Big Machine Label Group and Cumulus Media.
McBride has some old friends at her new company. She teamed with sister imprint, Republic Nashville, for her 2011 LP, Eleven, which yielded the big hits, "Teenage Daughters" and "I'm Gonna Love You Through It." Before Republic, she released ten albums in an 18-year partnership with RCA Nashville. Those lucrative years saw multi-platinum sales, dozens of Top 20 hits and four CMA Female Vocalist of the Year wins, among many other accolades.
The Kansas native's latest project is this year's Everlasting, an album of soul and R&B covers that range from the Supremes' "Come See About Me" to Van Morrison's "Wild Night." Released via her own label, Vinyl Recordings, the LP topped the country charts upon its release, and its namesake tour was largely sold-out.
"It was a good feeling because it was a passion project for me, and it was different," McBride told Rolling Stone Country earlier this year. "There was no single to drive the sales, so none of us knew what would happen with it. To have a really strong week like that is a testament to my fans. It shows the loyalty of my fans and the fact that they are willing to go on this journey with me. Whatever I do next, they are excited about it and curious. It doesn't matter what kind of record I put out."
Still, she hints that her next album — her first on Nash Icon — will have all original tracks. But after that, the singer's bucket list includes gospel, big band & swing and acoustic albums.
McBride joins Reba McEntire as the only two artists now officially signed to Nash Icon, though Ronnie Dunn has hinted via social media that he, too, is partnering with the label. McEntire was the company's flagship artist, announcing an upcoming album along with her new deal and expressing hope that the label will help curb country radio's longtime gender inequality issues. "It's been a weird time in country music for females, and it's in a trend now that I'm hoping is going to be more female friendly, for personal reasons," she told reporters on day of her big Nash Icon announcement, back in October.
Longtime friends — and now labelmates — McEntire and McBride are tied for the most CMA nominations in any vocalist category, with 17 apiece.