The latest episode of NBC’s Songland features four artists performing songs that they wrote for Martina McBride, an award-winning country music singe Ahead of the performances, coach/judge Shane McAnally said of McBride, “One of the biggest cuts you can get is on Martina McBride because she records the best songs” and coach/judge Ryan Tedder added that she is “country royalty.”
Ahead is a rundown of McBride’s episode, including the winning song and how to download it.
Prior to seeing the contestants perform the original versions of their songs, McBride said that she’s “coming into this with an open mind.”
“The most fun thing for me right now at this stage in my career is to just be open to whatever comes along that moves me … I have had a lot of songs that tell other people’s stories, which is such a privilege, to be able to sing a song that so many people relate to. I love the big anthem, you know me. I love what Songland stands for because it’s all about supporting young songwriters and giving them an opportunity.”
The contestants who sang for McBride were:
- Ckay, Nutley, New Jersey, “Heroes”
- Halie, Thayer, Missouri, “Girls Like Me”
- Wolves, Los Angeles, California, “Miracle”
- Jeffrey James, Brownsburg, Indiana, “We Could Be Heroes”
The three artists who advanced were Ckay, who was assigned to work with producer Shane McAnally, Halie, who was assigned to Ester Dean, and Jeffrey, who was assigned to Ryan Tedder.
The Winning Song
After hearing the reworked songs, McBride chose Halie’s “Girls Like Me,” which Halie and Ester really revamped into an anthem for every woman, everywhere.
“Most girls feel scared sometimes to be themselves because we’re a little worried about what others might think of us,” said Halie about her song. “Everybody’s trying to be ‘perfect,’ but in reality, none of us are and it’s OK. I’m so grateful that Songland has connected me to Martina because it’s hard to break out sometimes in Nashville and for her to hear it, it just changes everything.”
McBride added, “There was one song from the very beginning that I just felt a connection with and as I was hearing it today, the wheels started turning … there’s something about this melody that evokes an almost physical reaction. A great melody can just make you cry or whatever and I feel like this is that kind of melody … I would love to sing that from a perspective of somebody who has been through it and is mentoring, saying it’s gonna be OK … I’m a mother of three daughters and I do feel like my audience sees me sometimes as a friend, as a mother, as a sister, somebody they can look to for advice.”
McBride also said that giving this kind of opportunity to an up-and-coming songwriter was a huge privilege.
“I think it was a really valuable lesson for [Halie] to work with Ester and get to take this song and really broaden it so that so many people are going to be able to relate to it. It just feels universal. When people hear me sing this song, they will believe it and feel that it’s an authentic Martina McBride cut.”
Songland airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC, following new episodes of The Voice.
READ NEXT: ‘Songland’ Season 2 Judges & Guest Artists