Martina McBride Shares the Secret To Her 30+ Year Marriage

Long before Martina McBride was a CMA and ACM Award winner, she was Martina Schiff, an aspiring singer from a…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

May 15, 2020

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Martina McBride and John McBride; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Long before Martina McBride was a CMA and ACM Award winner, she was Martina Schiff, an aspiring singer from a small town in Kansas. Growing up, Martina sang in her family’s band, the Schiffters. They traveled around playing weddings, supper clubs and dances until Martina graduated high school.

After realizing college wasn’t for her, Martina dropped out and joined a band called the Penetrators and paid her bills with a paycheck from the local Dairy Queen.

Hoping to find her big break, Martina traveled with the Penetrators in a beat-up van and sang Pat Benatar covers for anyone who would listen. The singer later told People the band “made no money” and eventually broke up.

She soon sought out musicians and formed a new band. They rented a warehouse rehearsal space from a sound engineer named John McBride, but as luck would have it, no one in the band wanted to rehearse. Martina was heartbroken and turned to McBride, who was living in the warehouse at the time, for support.

“Here I was, crying on his shoulder about my band not coming together, and I thought, ‘I’m in love with this guy,” she recalled to People. “This is crazy. He lives in a warehouse.’”

After Martina got past her initial hesitations and they eventually fell in love and were married on May 15, 1988.

Hoping to further their music careers, John and Martina relocated to Nashville about two years later. Things started to fall into place when John got a job as a sound engineer on the Garth Brooks tour. Martina picked up a gig selling merchandise on the tour and the pair traveled around the country together.

In 1991, Martina signed with RCA Records after John gave one of her demos to a record label executive. Her debut album was released the following year and she was on her way to becoming a country music superstar.

The McBrides have managed to maintain a healthy relationship even though they’ve been in the spotlight for nearly 30 years. How do they do it?

“When people ask me the secret to staying married, the most obvious answer is that I chose well. Or got lucky, depending on how you look at it,” Martina McBride once wrote in an article for NBC’s TODAY Show. “I married a man who is a great partner. He is thoughtful, kind, considerate, romantic, handsome and really funny. We love each other’s company, our personalities complement each other, and we respect each other. He thinks I’m smart and funny, and I think the same about him. We are a great team.”

Martina and John have three daughters; Delaney (born 1994), Emma (born 1998) and Ava (born 2005).

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.