Martina McBride may have given her fans, not to mention herself, a slightly early Christmas present with her announcement on the Today show that the singer who gave us the career song "Independence Day" was no longer independent.
That was her choice though.
McBride said she was signing a record label deal with Nash Icon. "So...yes it's true! I'm signed to Nash Icon and could not BE more excited! Making new music in 2015! More details to come," McBride tweeted on Tuesday.
Nash Icon is a joint venture label between the Big Machine Label Group and Cumulus Media, which owns radio stations. The intent of the label is to give artists who fall into the veteran category a home for their music. Nash Icon already has signed Reba McEntire, and Ronnie Dunn is on the label.
McBride would seem to be a perfect choice for the label. After a long career dating back to the early 1990's on RCA, McBride switched labels a few years back to Republic Nashville, which is itself under the Big Machine umbrella.
Then, McBride formed her own label to release the less than exciting "Everlasting," a collection of R&B and soul covers, earlier this year.
Apparently, McBride wanted to return to a label, and at 48, McBride qualifies for Icon status.
Of course, the Kansas native has enjoyed tremendous success over the years with her last six albums all reaching the top five. She has been less successful on the singles end with only 2 of her last 13 releases reaching the top 10, although 8 more reached the top 20.
In a way, it is too bad that an artist of quality - McBride always has enjoyed a powerful, emotive voice - has to find a label geared towards older artists.
In fact, McBride faces another hurdle - the dearth of female singers out there. The only ones these days who are really making it are Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.
Will McBride, Dunn and McEntire receive any radio play? Maybe on the Cumulus radio stations, but it's an open question whether Nash Icon will able to drive their artists onto the charts. At the very lest, it gives the performers a chance to continue touring with something new to show for it. Whether they would bother singing more than one or two new songs is another question as well.
Let's hope so though. It would be great for artists like McBride to still put out quality music that deserves public airing instead of becoming a golden moldie.