We might never have heard one of country music’s most powerful voices if not for Garth Brooks. Martina McBride worked for Brooks selling souvenirs at his shows during her early days in Nashville, while her husband, John, worked sound at his gigs. Brooks was so impressed with her work ethic that he offered her a slot as his opening act if she could land a recording contract, which she took him up on after the release of her debut album, ‘The Time Has Come,’ in 1992. That album featured strong country influences, but struggled to make a dent in the marketplace. McBride’s second album, ‘The Way That I Am,’ turned her more in a country-pop direction that would become her signature, and scored hits with the title song, “Life No. 9″ and “Independence Day,” which earned CMA Video and Song of the Year honors. McBride has gone on to a string of successful singles that highlight her unique penchant for choosing songs with a big message, including “A Broken Wing,” “Love’s the Only House,” “Blessed,” “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” and “Concrete Angel.” Her powerful voice has earned her CMA Female Vocalist of the Year honors four times, and the ACM Top Female Vocalist trophy three times. McBride is also very active in charity work, especially with a focus on domestic violence awareness and prevention.