COUNTRY MUSIC SINGER
“Cause I’m almost home . . . Back in Missouri, yeah!”
—Sara Evans “Back in Missouri” lyrics
Sara Evans proves that a small town girl can remain true to her roots to become one of the biggest-selling musicians of all time. She took a common route to Nashville, but her story turned out different than most. Her stunning good looks and amazing vocal range took her to the top, thanks in part to music videos that showcased the best of both assets.
THE EARLY YEARS
Sara Evans was born on February 5, 1971, in Boonville but grew up on a farm near the small town of New Franklin. The family discovered her musical ability when she was four years old, and they were soon on the road playing practically nywhere they could get her a performance. The show turned into a family act with her two brothers playing the instruments while Sara sang lead vocals.
When Sara was old enough to drive, she made the thirty-mile trip to Columbia to play in a country bar called the Country Stampede. She was one of the most popular acts at the popular nightspot for college students and locals. After graduation from New Franklin High School, she packed her bags and headed to Nashville to see if she could make a living out of her dreams.
RISE TO FAME
Sara arrived in the Country Music Capital of the World in 1991 with her mind set on a recording contract. She worked part time at a Holiday Inn when she met a man named Craig Schelske. The two fell in love and moved to Oregon the next year where they were soon married. They moved back to Nashville in 1995, only this time Sara was older and more prepared for success. She recorded songs once again, in hopes of a record contract.
SHOW ME SUCCESS
She finally landed a record deal with RCA, but it took a few years before she hit the charts. Her first album didn’t catch on with country music fans, possibly because they were too heavily influenced by pop and rock music. She finally scored her first hit on her second album, No Place That Far, which received a Country Music Association Award nomination, but she was still relatively unknown in the music world.
Evans stayed true to her own personal music style with the release of her third album in 2001. Born to Fly turned out to be a huge success. It went double platinum and earned Evans her first CMA nomination for Album of the Year. She also won the award for Music Video of the Year for the title track.
Her next album, Restless, was released in 2003 and provided Evans with more accolades, including the Academy of Country Music nomination for Album of the Year. She followed that success with another album in 2005, Real Fine Place. Two thousand and five marked another milestone after she received a fourth straight nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year.
She was nominated in 2006 for the CMT Female Video of the Year for “A Real Fine Place to Start.” She also won the Female Vocalist of the Year for Radio and Records and the Top Female Vocalist Award by the Academy of Country Music. In 2007, she was nominated by the CMT Music Awards for Female Video of the Year for “You’ll Always Be My Baby” and won the BMI Country Awards 50 Most Performed Country Songs Award for the same song.
A bitter divorce in 2007 stirred up lawsuits and scandals, but Sara continues to be one of the most popular stars in country music and in pop culture. Her unique style makes her one of only a few artists who have been able to attain such crossover success. She continues to rack up fans and incredible record sales, which makes her one of the biggest music stars ever from the Show Me State.
*Sara performed at the Republican National Convention in 2004.
*People Magazine named her one of the world’s most beautiful people.
*Sara comes from a large family, the third of seven children.