OFFSTAGE: Martina McBride’s Starting Her Indy Engine

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

Martina McBride has a little secret. When she sings the national anthem, like she will do on Sunday (May 27) at the Indianapolis 500, she has a surefire way to never forget the words. “I always have the words where I can see them,” McBride admitted to me Friday. “After being so scared so many times and feeling like I just wanted to throw up, I thought, ‘This is ridiculous.’ I mean, why put yourself through that?” From then on, she thought, “I don’t care what it takes. If you have to have someone with cue cards in front of me, or whatever, I have to see those words.” McBride thinks they should do that for everyone. “It’s just too big of a thing to take a chance. It’s not a game. It’s important. There’s a reverence that should be had when you sing it. I mean, we’ve all known this song since kindergarten, but there’s something that happens when you get in front of a bunch of people. There’s a weird place your mind goes. You can go into panic mode.”

Next week, I’ll share more from my chat with McBride, including her summer plans and why she’s moving her family to Los Angeles for a month.

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