Martina McBride is a veteran of industry awards shows, and she says they've changed since she first got into the country music business. McBride was in Dallas for the 2015 ACM Awards, where she was nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year. Taste of Country caught up with her prior to the show.

"The pace of it has changed," she says. "I feel like there's a lot more music that we put in, which is great for the fans. But sometimes I miss when there were all the acceptance speeches. But it's all good."

The powerhouse singer isn't sure how she'd fare if she was a newcomer to country music in today's environment. "I don't know," McBride admits. "I've always been about the songs — just finding great songs, and right now the culture isn't too friendly to females on the radio, so I don't know."

That said, McBride feels like things are beginning to come around once again for females in country music.

"I'm out looking for songs for my new record, and I can tell you that I feel the tide turning at the publishing, on the writing level as well," she shares. "Some of them are story songs. It's so early in the process — I've only been doing it about a week and a half, so I haven't found a lot of things. But I have found a couple that I like, and they're just great story songs. Inspiring, just great songs."

McBride recently signed with Nash Icon, a new label dedicated to returning country stars with a long legacy to the commercial marketplace.

"It's a really exciting time to be doing this," she admits. "We had a meeting the other day with the whole label, and there was so much positive energy and excitement in that room, it was like the old days. Everybody was just on ten, and there were all these ideas floating around. "

The label just released its inaugural project, Reba McEntire's Love Somebody.

"Watching Reba out there, it's amazing," McBride adds. "She has a hit single out there, and I don't know what her record numbers are, but I'm sure they're gonna be awesome. I love the record. I've heard it for a couple of weeks now — I had a little sneak preview, and I think it sounds like vintage Reba, but also it's fresh at the same time."

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