The CMA Music Festival, held in Nashville the past weekend, isn’t really complete without the YWCA Celebrity Auction, which Martina McBride has hosted since 1995. This year’s event brought in a whopping $102,289, a 29% over the 2009 receipts. That’s particularly impressive given the weak status of the current economy.
Martina items brought in the highest bids of the day during Sunday’s auction. Two handwritten, autographed lyrics of “She’s A Butterfly” earned $11,000 apiece. The song was featured on her 2003 album Martina, and Big Kenny — who wrote it with Big & Rich compadre John Rich — was on hand to help out.
GAC’s Storme Warren emceed the auction, which got some other large bids. A Brad Paisley package, including a guitar and a meet and greet, raised $6,000. A Keith Urban combo, featuring a chance to meet the singer and an autographed Living Right Now DVD, netted $3,800. And an autographed poster hailing Martina’s induction into the Grand Ole Opry scored a $4,600 bid.
The auction marked the third straight day of CMA Fest activities for Martina. She held her fan club party Friday and performed for more than 40,000 people at LP Field Saturday night alongside the Zac Brown Band, Billy Currington, Randy Houser, Easton Corbin and Rascal Flatts.
“There’s just something about this whole week, building up to the show,” Martina says of the festival. “I think [it’s] the fact that there’s so many fans in one place at one time, and they have travelled from all over the world and they’re so excited to be here and really just waiting for one moment with their favorite artist. There’s something really heart-warming about that and the loyalty that the fans have. You know, when you’re doin’ your own show, people come to see you sing. But this [festival], everybody’s comin’ to see all of country music, and I think that’s really great.”
The weekend was captured by producers for the ABC television special “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night To Rock.” Hosted by Tim McGraw, it’s slated to air Sept. 1.