Ten years ago today (March 8), Sara Evans released her sixth studio album Stronger. At the time, the album marked her comeback, both personally and professionally.
The album’s first single “A Little Bit Stronger,” hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, marking Evans’ first No. 1 hit since “Real Fine Place to Start” in 2005.
“A Little Bit Stronger” was written by Lady A’s Hillary Scott alongside Luke Laird and Hillary Lindsey. The song was nominated for Single of the tear at the CMA Awards in 2011, and the video for the track earned a CMT Music Award nomination for Female Video of the Year. The song was also featured in the movie Country Strong.
Stronger marked Evans’ first release of new songs in nearly six years, following a tumultuous time that included a high-profile divorce from her husband of 14 years, Craig Schelske, in 2007. She wed former University of Alabama quarterback Jay Barker in 2008.
Evans co-wrote six of the album’s songs, and told CMT Radio in 2010 that she took time to settle in with Barker and her family before starting work on the album, saying, “I cannot be creative unless my world is right. A lot of people will say, ’You know when I was going through my divorce or when I was going through rehab or when I was going through whatever … .’ You always hear artists talk about, ’Those are the best songs I’ve written.’ Like, I’m the total opposite,” she noted.
The other reason the album took a little longer? Evans was adamant that every song on the project be top quality.
“I mean, that’s always my goal when I put an album together, is that every single song serves a purpose,” she told Taste of Country at the time.
She added, “…That’s one of the reasons that it takes me a while to make a record, it’s because I’m searching for the songs. I don’t just like fillers, and I never put a filler on a record. I mean, I want every song on every album that I do to be a potential single.”