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Sara Evans Shares Her Musical Journey and Life Story in Memoir “Born to Fly”

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Photo Credit: Lowfield

Sara Evans is the fifth most-played female artist at country radio (“A Little Bit Stronger”,Born To Fly”, “Suds In The Bucket”, “A Real Fine Place To Start”, and “No Place That Far”), an ACM and CMA Award winner, has been named one of People’s “50 Most Beautiful People”, and competed on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Since 1997, Evans has been inspiring fans throughout her successful music career.

In her powerful, personal, and often humorous memoir, she opens up and shares stories from her career, describing what it’s like living in the spotlight and how her family and her faith keeps her strong. In “Born to Fly” she writes about overcoming life’s most challenging experiences, from a childhood accident that nearly took her life, to the loss she experienced when her parents divorced, to her honest struggles with panic and anxiety.

As she weaves the narrative of her life, Evans candidly reveals the things that are most important to her and her family now, her favorite tips about staying true to herself and her faith, knowing when to ask for help, abandoning perfectionism, and the importance of a strong support group of friends and family. Fans old and new will enjoy this inspiring, heartfelt book.

Growing up covering songs on stages at bars led you to record your new album “Copy That”. Can you describe what it felt like the first time you sang a cover at a bar?

To be honest I don’t really remember. I knew I had a gift at a very young age and it felt very natural to be on stage and performing. I have always had an overall love for it.

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You reinvented yourself as different characters for each cover song on the new album. How did that help you channel yourself into the songs?

Copy That” covers 6 decades of music — I had just rewatched Mad Men and became obsessed with that era so I was inspired by Betty Draper. I wanted to create a 60’s character. I also wanted to create a Patsy Cline type character that reminded me of my mother.

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It’s Too Late” and “My Sharona” are playing on Sirius XM’s Covers Channel. The songs you cover on the album are ones that shaped the soundtrack of your own life. What’s your personal connection to these two songs?

It’s Too Late” was my daughter Olivia’s idea. She really wanted me to record a Carole King song. “My Sharona” I heard on the radio on the way to get my hair done and I just instantly knew we had to record it for the album so I called my producer Jarrad K!

You described recording the album as one of the most fun, challenging, and rewarding experiences you’ve had. You co-produced with Jarrad K (Ruston Kelly). What was the most challenging aspect of producing the songs?

The most challenging thing was striking the balance between copying the songs and making them my own.

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Locked Down Playlist with livexlive. The playlist includes all of the songs that almost made your ninth studio album. How does an artist make a cover song theirs?

For me doing cover songs is a lot like acting. As an artist, you have to put yourself into the lyrics and connect with them if you didn’t write them yourself.

“Born to Fly”. The memoir was four years in the making. From growing up in Missouri, performing with your family band to your career in the music industry. You also share how important faith is in your life. How have you been able to keep your private life balanced with the demands of a very public life?

It hasn’t always been easy. I’m also a pretty open book and not overly concerned about being too private. I’m a pretty normal person so I don’t have much to hide!

Twenty years after its release, what is the back story to the song that inspired your book’s title?

I wrote “Born to Fly” about 6 months after Avery was born. I was really nervous and got together with Marcus Hummon and Darrell Scott to write at my house. It was the first time I wrote with them. They came over to my house and I was telling them about my life and growing up on a farm in Missouri. I told them about moving to Nashville one day to become a country star. So basically, we just starting writing about my life and that’s how “Born to Fly” came to be!

You posted an unreleased song “Simple Things” during an artist online challenge. The lyrics definitely fit the times. What’s the back story to the song?

There isn’t always a back story behind my songs, sometimes you just write a song based off of an interesting topic. That’s the result of “Simple Things”. I’ve always wanted fans to hear it and that challenge was the perfect opportunity. Although I do long for simpler times than the world is in right now.

Words”. Love the album! What’s your favorite song on it?

I love them all but probably “I Want You” with Shane Stevens.

TikTok. “A Little Bit Stronger”. That song has helped me through some tough times. Music heals. What other songs have helped heal your heart?

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Thousands! A recent song that comes to mind is “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, which I covered on “Copy That”. It reminds me of my grandfather who introduced me to old “Live at the Opry” albums.

Closet Chaos. So much fun to watch! Any other ideas in the works to stay connected with fans and other artists?

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I’m staying connected through the virtual book tour this September which I am so excited about! I’m also always tossing around new ideas to stay connected with my fans. But mostly I can’t wait to get back on the road!

Performing at the Opry during the pandemic. What was it like to spend the 4th with the Oak Ridge Boys and Mark Wills in the empty venue?

It was definitely a different experience without an audience being there, but I always enjoy performing on the Grand Ole Opry stage!

Read in your bio that you’re a TV addict. Any shows you’d recommend to binge watch during the quarantine?

So many: Succession, Ozark, and Bloodline.

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Quarantine pups. You moved back to Nashville late last year from Birmingham. Has your family been able to explore outdoors Nashville these past few months with the dogs?

Yes! We’ve been to the lake a few times. We also have a great back yard in Nashville that we spend a lot of time in.

Missouri Dirt Cake. You shared your mom’s recipe as you (and most of us) are spending more time in the kitchen. What is the best advice your mom has given you?

My mom taught me to always work your very hardest and never be lazy.

And what would your advice be for fans struggling to move forward during these most difficult and uncertain times?

My advice would be to just stay positive and believe that God is in control and that we will get through this.

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Photo Credit: Lowfield

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