Kelly Clarkson Sets the Bar for Martina McBride on “Everlasting”

Photo Credit: Randee St. NicholasEven though Martina McBride‘s new CD is a collection of R&B covers, she doesn’t believe Everlasting is that much of a departure for her.

“I just follow my instincts, and in thinking about what I wanted to sing next, and what I wanted to do next, I thought, ‘Well, I’m a country music artist, and a very proud one. But at the end of the day, I'm a vocalist,’” she says. “You know, I love to sing everything. So, in my shows over the years, we've done everything from ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ to Pat Benatar to Aretha Franklin to Journey, whatever. So I just wanted to kinda stretch and do something a little different.”

Martina even picked a title that continues the thread she started with her 2005 collection of country classics. “This music is timeless, but I couldn't call it Timeless, 'cause I've done that already. So, it seemed like Everlasting was kind of the same idea. And I just love the idea. It's very musical and poetic.”

The four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year also welcomes a couple of guests on the disc. Gavin DeGraw duets with her on the Sam Cooke classic “Bring It On Home to Me,” while Kelly Clarkson helps her sing Etta James’ “In the Basement.”

“It's a good jumping off place singing with her,” she says of Kelly. “She's an amazing singer-- we all know that. And she has that R&B kinda thing naturally. So yeah, she set the bar,” Martina laughs. “She did. She raised the bar a little bit, and I had to rise to the challenge. I love singing with her, and I love that song.”

Everlasting is new in stores and online today.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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