All performers think their fans are the best ever, and country star Martina McBride may have the strongest case yet for awarding such a title to her own "Team Martina" fans, thanks to their dedication to helping the hit-maker support a great cause.
Specifically, "Team McBride" recently wrapped a three-month mission to fund a breast cancer research grant in the performer's honor. In turn, the Grammy-winning artist will treat "Team Martina" to a special "Sound Check for A Cure" event at her sold-out concert at the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center in Morgantown on Saturday, Jan. 12.
"Team Martina" is an all-volunteer group from across the country inspired by Martina's song, "I'm Gonna Love You Through It," from her 2011 album, "Eleven." The song is about a young mother's experience with breast cancer and the support of those who loved her through it.
Since 2011, the team has raised over $85,000 for various cancer causes and is approaching the $40,000 via online fundraising through the T.J. Martell Foundation, the music industry's largest charity that funds leukemia, cancer and AIDS research.
Members signed up in September to raise money for the special grant in Martina's name, which will be used to fund breast cancer research at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville. (Donations are still being accepted via teammartina.com.)
Those members of "Team Martina" who attend Saturday's show in West Virgina will be personally thanked by the brunet performer, pose for a team photo with her and get a special glimpse into her routine prior to her taking the stage for the show. The team will also share dinner together, and two female members will shave their heads as a show of support for chemotherapy patients. The group has also chosen to share this fun afternoon with local cancer patients who have been invited as special guests.
"This has been truly amazing," McBride said in a Jan. 11 missive shared with Examiner.com. "Their original goal was $15,000, and I am so proud of them for what they did. T.J. Martell is such a wonderful organization, and I know this money will go a long way toward cancer research."
Martina will hit the road with George Strait for his The Cowboy Rides Away Tour, which begins Jan. 18 in Lubbock, Texas. And just prior to the holidays, she closed her successful 16-city Joy of Christmas Tour with a sold-out show in Chicago.
A three-time Academy of Country Music "Top Female Vocalist" award winner, four-time Country Music Association "Female Vocalist of the Year," McBride has sold more than 18 million albums and garnered numerous No. 1 singles throughout her career.