Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Could Not Ask for More by Sara Evans

Biography & Career
Early life & the rise to fame
Sara Lynn Evans was born in Boonville, Missouri in 1971, and is of English and Irish descent. She was raised on a farm, and was the eldest girl of seven children. Music was a part of her life at an early age; by five she was singing every weekend in her family's band. At age eight, she was struck by an automobile in front of the family home, and both her legs suffered multiple fractures. Recuperating for months in a wheelchair, she continued singing to help pay her medical bills. When she was 16, she began performing at a nightclub near Columbia, Missouri, a gig that lasted two years.

Evans moved to Nashville in 1991 to aspiring to become a country music artist, where she met Craig Schelske. She then left Nashville with Schelske 1992, where they moved to Oregon. After the couple married in 1993, Evans returned to Nashville in 1995, where Evans began recording demos . Nashville songwriter Harlan Howard was impressed by Evans' demo of his song "Tiger by the Tail". Howard decided to help Evans' music career, which eventually led to a signed contract with the RCA Nashville.

In 1997, Evans released her first album under RCA, Three Chords and the Truth. Critics praised the album for returning to traditional country and included it in many of their year's "top 10" lists. The album included a cover version of older Country song, Patsy Cline's "Imagine That", which originally reached No. 21 for Cline on the country charts in 1962. However, the album did not catch on with country radio at the time, and none of the three singles made the top 40. It would be another year before Evans gained full popularity. In 1998 Evans released her second album, No Place That Far. Critics slammed her on choosing a more pop-country sound.
Breakthrough: The Born to Fly and Restless albums
In 2000, Evans worked on a third album to be released later that year. Born to Fly was released to stores on October 10, 2000, and later became another major-selling album. She insisted on hiring Seattle-based rock drummer Matt Chamberlain (The Wallflowers, Edie Brickell), who brought a slightly different sound to her music.
The album became Evans' first album to receive a Platinum rating by the RIAA, and spawned four country hits, including the title track ("Born to Fly") which was the first single released from the album, reaching the No. 1 spot on the country charts, Evans' first No. 1 as a solo artist. Hits continued from the album all the way into 2002. The second single, "I Could Not Ask for More", was released in 2001, the Country version of Edwin McCain's big Pop-Rock hit from the year before. Evans' version reached No. 2 on the Country charts and was a No. 35 Pop hit, ironically an even bigger Pop hit then McCain's version on Billboard's Hot 100 (McCain's version reached No. 37). In 2002, the songs continued to be released from the album, "Saints and Angels" and "I Keep Looking" were the last two singles released from the album. "I Keep Looking" reached No. 5 and "Saints and Angels" reached No. 16 respectively. In 2004, the Born to Fly album was officially certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA.

In 2001, Evans was the most-nominated artist at the Country Music Association awards with seven nominations overall, and she won her first CMA award when "Born to Fly" won the award for Video of the Year, her first major award from Country music.

In 2003, Evans recorded a long-awaited fourth album, which was titled Restless. The album was released August 19, 2003 to stores. The first single released from the album in 2003, "Back Seat of a Greyhound Bus" was a Top 20 Country hit, reaching No. 16 on the Hot Country Songs list that year, but it did not hit the Billboard Hot 100, peaking outside it on the Bubbling Hot 100. Despite the album's first single not reaching the Top 10, the album still sold farely well, debuting at No. 3 on the "Top Country Albums" list and the No. 20 on the "Billboard 200" list, and sold over 40,000 copies within its first week. However it was the album's next single, "Perfect" that broke Country's Top 10, eventually peaking in the top 5 at No. 2, barely missing country's top spot. The third and last single from the album, "Suds in the Bucket", released in late 2004, was the album's most successful single, reaching the No. 1 spot and was also a Top 40 Pop hit, reaching No. 33. "Suds in the Bucket" was Evans' first ever Gold-certified single by the RIAA.

In 2004, Evans was the most-played female singer on country music radio. Evans also performed at the 2004 Republican National Convention. Restless also received a nomination by the Academy of Country Music in the Spring of 2005.

The Success of the Real Fine Place album & career today
After 2003's Restless album, Evans re-emerged with a fifth studio album titled Real Fine Place released October 4, 2005. The album's lead single, "A Real Fine Place to Start", was the album's first single, reaching No. 1 on the country charts in 2005, as well as reaching the Top 40 at No. 38. The single marked the first time Evans charted on Billboard's "Pop 100" and "Hot Digital Songs" chart, reaching No. 67 and No. 62 respectively. "A Real Fine Place" was another Gold-certified single by the RIAA. The album, sold 130,000 copies within its first week, becoming Evans' first album to reach the No. 1 spot on the "Top Country Albums" chart, while also becoming her most successful album on the "Billboard 200" to date, reaching No. 3. The album sold three times more copies than her previous album had done. On December 6, 2005, Evans released the compilation album, Feels Like Home through Cracker Barrel stores. The album contains remixes of some of her most popular songs, including a live version of "Born to Fly" and an acoustic version of "No Place That Far". In 2005's the album's follow-up single "Cheatin'" was a top 10 Country hit, peaking at No. 9 there. The third single released from the album "Coalmine" was the least successful single, just about breaking Billboard's Country Top 40 chart in early 2006.

In 2006, R&R announced Evans as there "Female Vocalist of the Year" in its 2006 Readers' Poll. In spring 2006, Evans released Always There through Hallmark stores for Mothers' 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: "You Ought to Know by Now" and "Brooklyn & Austin."In 2006, the last significant single from the Real Fine Place album was released titled, "You'll Always Be My Baby", which was a Top 15 country hit, peaking at No. 13 on the country charts, but missing Billboard's Hot 100, reaching its peak position on the Bubbling Hot 100 at No. 105. An album cut released from the album in 2006, "Missing Missouri" reached No. 52 on the Country charts that year. Since its release, Real Fine Place is currently Evans' biggest-selling album. On May 23, 2006, Evans competed and performed at the 2006 ACM awards show in Las Vegas, where she won her first ACM for the "Top Female Vocalist". Evans also became a spokesperson for National Eating Disorders Association, and has spoken out widely on this subject, as she has been personally affected by it. She also hosted a charity event, Fashion for Every Body, which featured a fashion show, silent auction and performance by Evans.
In September 2006, Evans began competing with other celebrities on the third season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars with (professional) partner Tony Dovolani. Evans launched a new fan web site to provide behind-the-scenes material from her participation on the program. Evans was the first country music singer to ever participate in the show. However, then had to leave the show in October, originally citing personal reasons. However, it was later discovered Evans left due to a divorce.

On October 9, 2007, Evans released her first Greatest Hits collection. The compilation features four new songs, one of which has already been released to radio, the first single released from the album is titled "As If." The song is currently active on the country and pop music charts. She released the gift book "You'll Always Be My Baby" (based on her song). It was written by Evans, Tony Martin and Tom Shapiro. It was announced on Monday, October 15, 2007, that Evans will host with LeAnn Rimes the 41st annual CMA Awards show, on 7th of November, 2007.
Since her divorce, Evans has been the subject of numerous controversies. On October 12, 2006, Evans left Dancing with the Stars, citing personal reasons. On October 13, it was revealed that Evans had filed for divorce from her husband of 13 years, Craig Schelske.Evans' ex-nanny, Alison Clinton Lee, has sued her for $3 million, claiming that Evans has smeared her name by including it in her divorce papers, as one of the many women with whom Evans claims he had affairs. Divorce documents filed in Williamson County, Tennessee by Evans' estranged husband, Craig Schelske, accuse the singer of having close to a dozen affairs. The list includes singer/songwriter Richard Marx, country star Kenny Chesney, Dancing with the Stars partner Tony Dovolani, and the members of the rock band 3 Doors Down. Marx's former manager and Chesney's publicist have refused to comment on this issue. Kirt Webster, a spokesperson for 3 Doors Down, stated that the accusations are untrue, but that the band members "are saddened by what she's going through" On September 28, 2007, Evans and Schelske divorced. Evans will pay him a minimum of $500,000 in alimony over a ten-year period. Evans was awarded custody of her three children with visitation rights to Schelske.
Personal life
Evans married Craig Schelske, an aspiring politician, in 1993, and divorced in September 2007.Evans and Schelske have three children: Avery Jack Lyons (born August 21, 1999), Olivia Margaret (born January 22, 2003 and Audrey Elizabeth (born [[6 October]] [[2004]]). Evans and her children currently reside in [[Franklin, Tennessee]].

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