Twenty-three years ago today (Jan. 10, 1998), Martina McBride soared to No. 1 with her single “A Broken Wing.” The song comes from McBride’s multi-platinum-selling album Evolution.
“A Broken Wing,” which was McBride’s second career No. 1 hit, is an honest look at an emotionally abusive relationship. McBride’s powerful delivery of the thought-provoking tune earned her several awards nominations, including a CMA Awards nod for Single of the Year, and her flawless rendition of the soaring melody undoubtedly helped her win the 1999 CMA Awards trophy for Female Vocalist of the Year.
But ”A Broken Wing” was not McBride’s first foray into the sensitive topic of domestic abuse: The Kansas native had previously released “Independence Day,” which also touches on an abusive relationship, as a single from her sophomore album, The Way That I Am.
McBride has become a tireless advocate for victims of domestic violence, thanks in part to the response she receives when she performs these hits. In fact, she has been a spokesperson for both the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
“At our shows, we put up messages on our big screens before the show,” the Grand Ole Opry member explains. “Just anything we can do to get the word out. One way we can try to stop domestic violence is by breaking the cycle, and the most important way we can do that is by getting the word out … we can stop teen dating violence.”
This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.
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