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Rewinding the Country Charts: 20 Years Ago, Martina McBride’s ‘Angels’ Ascended to No. 1

In 1996, the singer scored her first of five Hot Country Songs leaders.

On March 2, 1996, then 29-year-old Martina McBride rose to No. 1 on Hot Country Songs for the first time with “Wild Angels.”

The title cut of her second album, written by Matraca Berg, Gary Harrison and Harry Stinson, marked McBride’s 10th entry on the chart after her signing with RCA Records in 1990. The story song follows a young couple being protected by forces from above. (Fun fact: the baby laughing in the intro is McBride’s first-born daughter, Delaney.)

Martina McBride on Making Her Return With ‘Really Fresh’ New Single ‘Reckless’ and Her Upcoming Album


Born Martina Mariea Schiff in Sharon, Kan., she sang in her father’s band, The Schiffters. In 1988, she married sound engineer John McBride, who joined Garth Brooks’ production team. Accompanying her husband on the road, McBride would occasionally sell merchandise for Brooks, ultimately becoming his opening act.

McBride has scored 20 Hot Country Songs top 10s, including five No. 1s, as well as five leaders on Top Country Albums, including 2014’s Everlasting. She released the title track to Reckless, her 13th studio album, and first on the Nash Icon label, Feb. 26, ahead of the set’s expected arrival this spring.