OFFSTAGE: When You’re Weak, Martina McBride Is Strong

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Cancer sucks. That’s a tattoo I noticed on someone’s arm in Martina McBride‘s new video for her song “I’m Gonna Love You Through It,” and it could not be more true. It does suck. But thankfully, this video celebrates what doesn’t suck about cancer: the love. There’s been a lot of press about how the video features some famous cancer survivors , which initially made me think, “Who cares? Regular people get cancer, too.” Then I watched it. And realized this video isn’t about fame. In fact, those celebs (Robin Roberts, Hoda Kotb, Sheryl Crow and Katie Couric) are just like the other survivors talking about the day they were diagnosed and what it was like to have so much love come pouring in right after they got that call. You probably know someone who got that call. One of my best friends got it in 2000, when her four kids were all under 9 years old, and she needed girlfriends to love her through it because her family was out of town and her husband had to work. It feels like McBride is singing this song for us. The ones who brought her dinners, drove her to chemo, shopped for her kids’ school supplies, helped them study for religion tests, cleaned her house, did her nails and read her The Victoria’s Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming when she was too weak to even hold the book. It’s just like McBride sings: “When you’re weak, I’ll be strong/When you let go, I’ll hold on.” And like Crow says in the beginning of the video, “When you’re diagnosed with cancer, everybody around you is diagnosed, as well.” I hope those supportive friends and families know that this song is for them. If you know someone who has loved someone through it, you can download the song for them on Friday (Aug. 19).

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.