After more than one month of competition with more than forty talented female artists, on July 20, Sarah Martin became the inaugural Pro Country Female Artist of the Year.
This latest accomplishment continues Sarah’s hot streak of 2019, as she had previously been involved in a competition to open for Alan Jackson on his 2019 tour, and in June, earned her first number one single with “Heartbreak Song.”
Martin says that the success she has found in 2019 was much needed to pull her out of a frustrating time in her career.
“I got frustrated for a few months about not really knowing where to go after releasing my Muddy Boots album, and I felt a little bummed out that things didn’t go exactly the way I had planned,” says Martin. “The Alan Jackson competition was great because that gave me something to get me through that period of time. That allowed me to get back into the swing of things and not focus so much on what went wrong, and think about the things that went right. Then when “Heartbreak Song” started getting played on She Wolf Radio, that was really cool and a great boost of confidence. When it hit number one, it was amazing. It was a huge milestone for me.”
The month-long Female Artist of the Year competition allowed Martin to tangibly see the support she had from her fan base.
“With the Alan Jackson competition, you couldn’t see how many votes you had, and you never got to see who was voting. With this competition, it gave me the opportunity to see how many people support and believe in me,” says Martin. “The fact that so many people decided to take time out of their day and vote for me means a lot. People got together and put a lot of extra effort in it for me, so it’s a little overwhelming.”
Martin entered the final round against Holly Tucker, a former top six finalist on The Voice who is coming off the heels of two very successful single releases.
“I took one look and I saw how many followers Holly has, and I knew it was going to be a long shot, but I was looking at the amount of votes she had in the last round, and they weren’t much more than what I had,” says Martin. “It’s one of those things where no matter what happened, we had gotten so far. I wanted to make sure that I put in my absolute best effort in that round, because I didn’t want to have any regrets that I could have tried something extra. The night before, I decided to stay up the whole night because I thought that’s what I needed to do!”
Throughout the three days of voting, there were several lead changes, and the disparity of the more than 14,000 votes was less than 1% for much of that time as well.
Martin was in the midst of an almost hour and a half live stream on Facebook to end the competition when the clock struck 12pm to close voting, earning her a win by just 0.4% of the vote. Martin became overwhelmed during the performance of her last song, a cover of “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert.
“It was overwhelming because I have really invested a lot of time and a lot of money into my career.” says Martin. “It’s overwhelming to realize that so many people to have your back.”
Throughout the competition, Martin was able to track that support, and began to see the same names watching her live videos,
“My favorite part of the competition was going live and getting to interact with people,” says Martin. “I started to recognize the names of people that were on my lives all the time, so it was cool to see people who are supporting me and continue to support me, and are really interested in what I have to say in my music.”
Martin, who has studio time booked in September to record a Christmas album set for release in December, says she is humbled by the support she received during the Female Artist of the Year competition.
“I really appreciate everybody’s support throughout this whole competition,” says Martin. “It really does mean a lot to me, I don’t just say that. I appreciate everybody for choosing to get in my corner!”
*Sarah will be taking over Pro Country’s Instagram account on Saturday, August 3rd when she goes home to Massachusetts and attends the Portuguese Feast! Be sure to follow us and Sarah on Instagram for updates!*