Sara Evans was raised on a farm near New Franklin,
Missouri, as the oldest girl among seven children. Music always
has been a part of her life; by age 5 she was singing every
weekend in her family's band. When Evans was 16, she began
performing at a nightclub near Columbia, Missouri, a gig that
lasted two years.
Sara Evans moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1991 to become a country artist. That year she met Craig Schelske there and a year later moved to Oregon. They were involved both professionally and personally. Schelske and Evans were married in 1993 and returned to Nashville in 1995, where she began recording demos. Songwriter Harlan Howard heard Evans' demo of one of his songs, "Tiger By the Tail," at County Q Studios** and decided she should be the one to sing his music. She went under contract with RCA.
In 1997 Evans released her first album, Three Chords and the Truth. Critics praised the album for returning to traditional country and named it to many of their year's "top 10" lists. But it did not catch on with country radio at the time, and none of the three singles made the top 40.
In 1998 Sara Evans released her sophomore album No Place That Far. Critics slammed her on choosing a more pop/country-oriented album. Her first single, "Cryin' Game," hardly made a ripple on the charts. It was her next single, "No Place That Far," a duet with Vince Gill, that would be her first No. 1 single. The album has been certified gold.
Sara Evans released her "make it or break it" album, Born To Fly, in 2000. Her first single "Born To Fly" hit No. 1 and proved to be her biggest hit until "Suds in the Bucket." The hits kept coming as her next single, "I Could Not Ask For More," hit No. 2. "Saints and Angels," Sara Evans' favorite song on the album, hit No. 16, and the last single, "I Keep Looking," made it to No. 5. The album has been certified double platinum.
Sara Evans led the pack as the most-nominated artist at the 2001 Country Music Association awards with seven, and she won her first CMA award when her song “Born to Fly” won the award for Video of the Year, her first major country award.
In 2003 Sara Evans released Restless. This album showed her versatility as the songs crossed in with different genres such as country, pop, blues and soul. The album's first single, "Backseat of a Greyhound Bus," went to No. 16. The next single, "Perfect," went to No. 2. The next single, "Suds in the Bucket," went to No. 1, became her biggest hit since "Born to Fly" and quickly became a fan favorite. The next single, "Tonight," fell short of the top 40. Restless has been certified platinum.
In 2004 Sara was the most-played female singer on country music radio thanks to singles such as "Suds in the Bucket" and "Perfect."
In 2005, Sara Evans struck gold with the country ballad "A Real Fine Place to Start". With help from this single, her album Real Fine Place was propelled to No. 1 on the country charts and No. 3 on the pop charts with more than 130,000 copies sold in the first week, nearly triple the sales from her previous album, Restless. Real Fine Place was the best-selling album of her career. The single from the album stood on top of the Billboard and Radio and Record Charts for two weeks. Evans was nominated for two CMA awards, including the prestigious "Female Vocalist of the Year" and prized "Musical Event of the Year" (the latter in part due to her duet with Brad Paisley, "New Again"). However, she lost in both categories. Sara Evans went on the road with Paisley and newcomers Sugarland on Paisley's Time Well Wasted Tour. "Cheatin'" also cracked the top 10. Real Fine Place has been certified gold.
On December 6, 2005, Sara Evans released Feels Like Home through Cracker Barrel stores. The album consists of some of her most memorable songs in different remixes. For example, there is an acoustic version of "No Place That Far," a live version of "Born To Fly" and several other remixes of her most popular songs.
In 2006 R&R announced Evans as Female Vocalist of the Year in its 2006 Readers' Poll. In a recent interview with CMT she also revealed Sara Evans would headline her own tour in the fall after she rounds out her current tour with Brad Paisley.
As of 2006 Sara has three children, Avery (born at 1:36am 8/21/1999), Olivia (born around noon 1/22/2003) and Audrey (born at 8:06am 10/6/2004).
Sara Evans has a global music publishing deal with BMG Music Publishing's Nashville division.
After "Cheatin'", her next single off Real Fine Place was "Coalmine," which already was at No. 60 before its release date on April 10, but the song failed to reach the top 30. Speculation shows radio was resistant to the song because of the recent coalmine tragedy in West Virginia, even though Evans with the song writers and RCA Nashville agreed to donate procedes from single sales to the coalmine victims' families. Lack of a video also seemed to have hurt "Coalmine"'s overall performance.
In spring 2006 Sara Evans released Always There through Hallmark stores for Mother's Day. The album has six of her favorite already-released songs including a live version of "Suds In The Bucket" and an acoustic version of "Born To Fly." Two new songs are on the disc including "You Ought To Know By Now" and "Brooklyn & Austin."
On May 23, 2006, Sara performed her single, "Coalmine," and competed at the 2006 ACM Awards in Las Vegas, and she won her first ACM for the "Female Vocalist Of The Year."
People magazine named Sara among its annual "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" for 2005. In June 2006 a reader poll released by Country Weekly magazine voted Evans among the "most beautiful women in country music," second only to Faith Hill.
After the disappointing performance of "Coalmine" on country radio, Sara has announced at Evans concerts that her next single will be "You'll Always Be My Baby" from Real Fine Place, even though her fan club has expressed their desire for the fourth single off this album to be "Missing Missouri." There is official word that "You'll Always Be My Baby" will hit country radio on August 21, 2006. A video directed by Kristen Barlowe was filmed in Los Angeles in early August 2006.
It has recently been announced that Sara Evans will be a celebrity contestant on the third season ABC's Dancing With The Stars with partner Tony Dovolani, to begin on September 12, 2006.
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