Martina McBride turns NYC pink to fight breast cancer

Mon Oct 3, 2011 1:03pm EDT
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By Vernell Hackett

NASHVILLE (Reuters) - Country singer Martina McBride is lighting up New York City this month, setting the Empire State Building awash in a pink glow to fight breast cancer as she launches an album that breaks new ground.

McBride, who has sung about women's issues on past tunes including "Independence Day" and "Broken Wing," will host a private show and benefit called "Martina McBride: Light Up the Sky" at the historic building in midtown Manhattan on October 14. The event will be held in partnership with the Stanford Women's Cancer Center.

"We want to send a collective message of hope to breast cancer patients, survivors and supporters as we turn one of the world's most popular landmarks pink," McBride told Reuters.

The singer's current single, "I'm Gonna Love You Through It," is based on a true story about Lily Isaacs, a breast cancer survivor who has been free of the disease for 27 years, something McBride didn't know when she first heard the tune.

"It was so honest," McBride said of the second single from her upcoming album, "Eleven."

"My first thought was, 'I wonder if people will be uncomfortable when they hear this' because the writers use words that aren't typically found in songs," McBride said. "My next thought was, 'it would be pretty brave to record a song like this,' and then I thought, 'I'm recording this song.' All that went through my head in about 15 seconds."

The New York performance comes three days after the singer releases "Eleven," her debut album for Republic Nashville, a new label that is only one of several big changes for her.

"One day you look up and realize 'This isn't working anymore'," McBride said of her career. "I need to surround myself with positive people, people who are passionate and excited about my music. I have found that at Republic."   Continued...