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Joyful Christmas Special

Martina McBride is bringing a showcase of Christmas carols, “The Joy of Christmas,” to the USF Sun Dome on Sunday.

One of the most talented vocalists in country music today, McBride was recently awarded CMA Vocalist of the Year honors for the third time, but she is very outspoken about what she’s most proud of — her two daughters.

Putting entertainment where her values are, McBride’s “The Joy of Christmas” is a family affair that should inspire parents to bring their children along. Martina often invites kiddies on stage for “family time,” or for a rendition of her latest single “In My Daughter’s Eyes.”

For adults, the version of “O Holy Night” in this show is breathtaking. McBride’s clear soprano voice fits the soaring melody of the carol perfectly.

While she may not perform concert staples such as “Two More Bottles of Wine,” the other songs included should make for a lighthearted and enjoyable evening full of holiday spirit.

“The Joy of Christmas” features elaborate sets complete with digitally projected backdrops. Actors perform different roles in the show depending on the different sets, which include a nativity scene, Santa’s workshop and a crowded city street.

This marks the second year Martina has taken “The Joy of Christmas” on the road, and she hopes that this show not only celebrates Christmas traditions but becomes a tradition of its own.

Her enthusiasm for the holiday season first surfaced upon the release of the holiday album White Christmas in 1999. In the early-90s McBride was a rising country star, releasing her second album Way That I Am.

She was one of many women attempting to inject some sassy rock ‘n’ roll spirit into country music, and one of the few to succeed. Her song “My Baby Loves Me” and the lyrics, “High heels or sneakers he don’t give a damn/ My baby loves me just the way that I am,” became a staple of country radio, even appealing to people who weren’t country music fans.

McBride’s follow-up single “Independence Day,” had a unique take on the issue of domestic abuse, but including a inspiring vocal performance, equal parts power and beauty.

Her third album Wild Angels was even stronger than its predecessor, including the optimistic “Safe in the Arms of Love.”

Way That I Am and Wild Angels brought McBride to the forefront of country music and showed that this petite woman from Kansas had staying power.

McBride’s latest album, Martina, was released in September and furthered her reputation for penning encouraging songs for women. The tune “This One’s for the Girls” and “In My Daughter’s Eyes,” were a testament to that.

She will tour the album next year along with country music contemporary Alan Jackson.

Martina McBride will perform at the Sun Dome on Sunday at 8 p.m. Tickets prices range from $29.50 – $39.50