|Birth Date||5 February 1971|
|Known For||Country music singer|
|Highest Score||25 (Jive)|
|Lowest Score||15 (Foxtrot)|
Evans was born in Boonville, Missouri, in 1971, and is of Welsh, English, Irish, and Native American descent. She was raised on a farm near New Franklin, Missouri, the eldest girl of seven children. By five, she was singing weekends in her family's band. At the age of eight, she was struck by an automobile in front of the family home, and her legs suffered multiple fractures. Recuperating for months in a wheelchair, she continued singing to help pay her medical bills. When she was sixteen, she began performing at a nightclub near Columbia, Missouri, a gig that lasted two years.
Evans moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1991 to be a country music artist. She met fellow musician Craig Schelske and left Nashville with him in 1992, moving to Oregon. They married in 1993. She returned to Nashville in 1995 and began recording demos. Nashville songwriter Harlan Howard was impressed by her demo of his song "Tiger by the Tail". He decided to help her music career, leading to a signed contract with RCA Nashville.
In 1997, Evans released her debut album for RCA, Three Chords and the Truth. Although none of its three singles ("True Lies", the title track, and "Shame About That") reached the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, the album received critical praise for its neotraditional country sound. In 1998, Evans released her second album, No Place That Far. The album's lead single, "Cryin' Game", also failed to reach the Top 40. However, the album's second single and title track, gave Evans her first Number One hit on the Hot Country Songs chart in March 1999. The album was eventually certified Gold by the RIAA, and produced one additional Top 40 country hit in "Fool, I'm a Woman".
Evans's third studio album, Born to Fly, was released 10 October 2000. She insisted on hiring Seattle-based rock drummer Matt Chamberlain (The Wallflowers, Edie Brickell), who brought a different sound to her music. The album's title track ("Born to Fly"), which was released as the lead single, was a Number One hit on the Hot Country Songs chart. Three more singles were released from the album ("I Could Not Ask for More", "I Keep Looking", and "Saints & Angels"), the first two reaching the Top 10, and the latter becoming a Top 20 hit. Born to Fly was eventually certified 2× Platinum by the RIAA in 2004.
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 industry award.
Evans released her fourth studio album, Restless, 19 August 2003. The album's lead single, "Backseat of a Greyhound Bus," was a Top 20 hit on the Hot Country Songs chart. The album debuted at No. 3 on the Top Country Albums chart and at No. 20 on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of over 40,000 copies. "Perfect", the album's second single, was a No. 2 hit on the country charts. However, the album's third single, "Suds in the Bucket," was the most successful single; it became Evans's third Number One hit on the Hot Country Songs chart and was also her fifth Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Additionally, it was Evans's first ever Gold-certified single by the RIAA. The album's fourth and final single, "Tonight", failed to reach the Top 40 country charts. Restless received a nomination in the 2005 Academy of Country Music Awards.
Evans's fifth studio album, Real Fine Place, was released 4 October 2005. The album's lead single, "A Real Fine Place to Start", reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart in 2005, as well as reaching the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. It was certified Gold by the RIAA. The album sold 130,000 copies in its first week, which allowed it to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. "Cheatin'" was released as the second single from Real Fine Place and became a Top 10 country hit, reaching a peak of No. 9 on the Hot Country Songs chart. The album produced two additional chart singles in "Coalmine" (co-written by Richie McDonald, lead singer of Lonestar) and "You'll Always Be My Baby" (a Top 15 hit). Evans released a gift book that coincided with the album's fourth single. It was written by Evans, Tony Martin and Tom Shapiro, and was also titled You'll Always Be My Baby. Several members of Evans's family sing backing vocals: her mother and father, Patricia Boggs, and Jack Evans; her sisters, Lesley Evans Lyons and Ashley Evans Simpson; and her brother, Matt Evans, who also served as production assistant and co-wrote two tracks.
On 6 December 2005, Evans released the compilation album, Feels Like Home, through Cracker Barrel stores. The album includes a live version of "Born to Fly" and an acoustic version of "No Place That Far". In 2006, Evans released another compilation album, Always There through Hallmark stores for Mothers' Day. The album featured six of her favorite already-released songs, including a live version of "Suds in the Bucket" and an acoustic version of "Born to Fly," as well as two new songs, "You Ought to Know by Now" and "Brooklyn & Austin".
On 23 May 2006, Evans performed at the 2006 ACM awards show in Las Vegas, where she won her first ACM for Top Female Vocalist. R&R also announced Evans as the Female Vocalist of the Year in its 2006 Readers' Poll.
On 9 October 2007, Evans released her first Greatest Hits collection. The compilation features four new songs, including the lead-off single "As If," which was a Top 15 hit on the country charts. It was announced 15 October 2007, that Evans would host the 41st annual CMA Awards show with LeAnn Rimes 7 November 2007. Two further singles were released from the album ("Some Things Never Change" and "Love You With All My Heart"); the former was a minor Top 30 hit, while the latter became Evans's first single to fail to chart.
A libertarian Republican, Evans also showed support for Texas Congressman Ron Paul in the 2008 Presidential election and was the headliner at his "Rally For The Republic" 2 September 2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the same day as the Republican National Convention in neighboring St. Paul.
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.
The single "Low" was released to radio 29 September 2008, to promote Billy: The Early Years (for the movie released 10 October). The song is featured on the movie's soundtrack which was released 7 October 2008, and also includes other big name country artists. "Low" debuted (and peaked) on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart at No. 59 12 October 2008. It only remained on the chart for one week but returned for a second week in January 2009 at the same position before again falling off the chart.
A book called The Sweet By and By, written by Evans with author Rachel Hauck, was released 5 January 2010. It is the first release of a four-book deal inked with Thomas Nelson Fiction. The second book, Softly and Tenderly, was released 14 January 2011, and the third, Love Lifted Me, was released 3 January 2012.
Evans stated 23 December 2008 in a video posting to her fan club, that she was working with her brother Matt Evans and producer Nathan Chapman on her sixth studio album. "Feels Just Like a Love Song", was released 20 July 2009. The song debuted and peaked at No. 59 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart; after spending two weeks on the chart, it fell off. It was intended as the lead-off single to Evans's sixth studio album, Stronger, but was later cut from the final track listing.
In 2009, ABC Daytime and SOAPnet sponsored a tour, headlined by Evans, that featured performances throughout the summer. Additionally, soap performers made appearances at her shows. Evans participated in performances on the networks, as well as on-air interstitial campaigns and online promotions.
In late 2009, Evans released a four-song Christmas EP, I'll Be Home for Christmas, to coincide with her 2009 Christmas tour. The EP includes the title track as well as "O Come All Ye Faithful", "Go Tell It on the Mountain", and "New Again", a duet with Brad Paisley. It was released 3 November 2009 to digital retailers.
During Evans's 2010 fanclub party 10 June 2010, she debuted the first single from her sixth studio album, Stronger, which was released 8 March 2011. The song, titled "A Little Bit Stronger", was released to radio 27 September 2010. One of the few songs on the album not co-written by the artist, it was pitched to Evans by its songwriter, Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum. Additionally, the song was included on the soundtrack to the 2010 film, Country Strong. It debuted at No. 56 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week of October 2, 2010 and hit No. 1 in May 2011. Evans sang the song 24 May 2011 on the finale of season 12 of the ABC TV show Dancing with the Stars. "A Little Bit Stronger" became Evans's first Platinum-certified single by the RIAA.
"My Heart Can't Tell You No" was released as the second single from Stronger on June 20, 2011. It ultimately reached a peak of No. 21 on the country charts in January 2012. "Anywhere" was released as the album's official third single 23 July 2012.
2013 - Present
Evans began preparations for her seventh studio album in mid-2012 and entered the recording studio in early November 2012. On 15 August 2013, Evans announced a new single called "Slow Me Down", and it was made available for digital download 3 September 2013 and hit country radio on 23 September 2014. It served as the lead single to her seventh studio album, also titled Slow Me Down, which was released 11 March 2014. The album debuted at number 9 on the US Billboard 200 and number 2 on the Top Country Albums chart, while "Slow Me Down" peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart in May 2014.
"Can't Stop Loving You" (a duet with Isaac Slade of The Fray) was originally slated to be the album's second single with a release date of 21 July 2014, but its release was delayed and ultimately cancelled, and "Put My Heart Down" was released as the album's second single in September 2014. On 17 November 2014, Evans also released At Christmas, her first full-length Christmas album.
On 10 June 2016, Evans released a duet with Todd Chrisley entitled "Infinite Love," which the two will perform together on the season finale of Chrisley Knows Best on 14 June 2016. "Infinite Love" was written by Chrisley and Nashville songwriter-producer Shane Stevens, and co-produced by Stevens and Nash Overstreet.
In August 2015, Evans parted ways with RCA Nashville, her longtime label home of nearly twenty years. Evans announced in July 2016 that she had signed with a new record company, though she was brief on the details. In an interview with The Boot, she comments, "That’s really exciting to me because it seems like a fresh start and a chance to work with new people who have different talents and who are creative in their own ways. I had a great, long run with Sony Records, and had great relationships and lots of success. But this is a new chapter for me, and I’m really excited about it."
In August 2016, Evans revealed she'd signed a new recording contract with Concord Music Group. The ACM Award-winning vocalist will soon head into the studio to begin work on her debut project for Sugar Hill Records, a Nashville-based imprint that is part of the Concord family. The project will be her eighth studio album overall and is slated for release in early 2017.
In 1998, Evans appeared on The Nashville Network's The George Jones Show with George Jones, Loretta Lynn, and Billy Ray Cyrus where she performed her rendition of Patsy Cline's "Imagine That" with a full band, and her original composition "Three Chords and the Truth" while seated on a couch accompanied only by an acoustic guitar. At the conclusion of the latter Jones remarked "You gonna be big. You gonna be real big."
In April 2004, Evans appeared as a special guest on Nashville Star. She appeared on the game show Million Dollar Password in June 2008.
Also in 2006, Evans guest starred on Jeff Foxworthy's TV show, Foxworthy's Big Night Out.
Evans made an appearance judging on HGTV Design Star in which she chose which of two redesigned rooms at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center was most like her own style. This aired 6 July 2008.
In October 2008, Evans also hosted a charity skating fundraiser, "Skating for Life". Olympic skaters skated to Evans's songs.
In May 2008, Evans appeared on first episode of CMT Crossroads with Maroon 5.
In March 2009, Evans hosted the ACM GAC Top New Artist Special, which launched the fan voting for the ACMs three new categories: Top New Female Vocalist, Top New Male Vocalist and Top New Vocal Duo or Group.
Evans sang "God Bless America" during the All Star Game in St Louis, Missouri, 12 July 2009.
In June 2011 Evans appeared on the Flatts Fest 2011 Tour with Rascal Flatts, Justin Moore, and Easton Corbin. Evans also sang the national Anthem at Game 2 of the 2012 NBA Finals.
In June 2012, Evans appeared on second episode of CMT Crossroads with Joe Walsh, Kenny Chesney, Hunter Hayes, Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, and Billy Gibbons.
In 2012, Evans made an appearance on the OWN series Lovetown, USA, which aired 17 September 2012.
In 2014, Evans appeared on ABC's Nashville, playing herself, which aired 29 October 2014. She performed a duet version of her single, "Put My Heart Down," with one of the show's characters.
In 2015, Evans appeared on third episode of CMT Crossroads with REO Speedwagon.
In 2016, Evans appeared on the season finale of USA Network's Chrisley Knows Best to perform "Infinite Love," a duet with Todd Chrisley. Evans and several of her siblings also competed against the Chrisley family on the season finale of ABC's Celebrity Family Feud. The Evans team won, and then proceeded to win the "Fast Money" round, earning $25,000 for their charity of choice, the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Evans married Craig Schelske, an aspiring politician, 25 September 1993. They have three children: Avery Jack (born 21 August 1999), Olivia Margaret (born 22 January 2003) and Audrey Elizabeth (born 6 October 2004).
The day following Evans's departure from the Dancing with the Stars in 2006, it was disclosed that Evans had filed for divorce from Schelske. In court documents, Evans accused Schelske of being unemployed, of abusing alcohol, of infidelity (including with the family nanny), of allowing their children to interrupt Schelske's adult entertainment viewing, of maintaining sexually explicit photographs of himself and others, and of verbal abuse. Schelske denied all of his wife's claims; he explained that the "interrupted adult entertainment viewing" was inadvertent and involved both Schelske and Evans, and that his explicit photograph collection was limited to images of the married couple, and counterclaimed that Evans had numerous personal problems. Schelske also accused Evans of multiple affairs with fellow musicians and artists, including country star Kenny Chesney; a representative for Chesney called the allegations "ridiculous."
The divorce between Evans and Schelske became final 28 September 2007. Evans was ordered to pay Schelske $500,000 in alimony over a ten-year period, and was awarded primary custody of their three children. Subsequently, Evans's ex-nanny sued her for $3 million claiming that Evans had smeared her name by accusing her of an affair with Schelske. The lawsuit was settled in July 2009 for $500,000.
Following their divorce, Evans obtained two temporary restraining orders against Schelske in 2010 and 2011, restricting him from making any derogatory statements about Evans or their former marriage to the media.
Schelske also sued Evans's Nashville attorney John Hollins, Sr. and his firm (Hollins, Wagster, Yarbrough, Weatherly & Raybin, P.C.) for "slander, false light and other damages" after Hollins gave an October 2006 interview to People magazine regarding Evans's divorce claims. That lawsuit resulted in an undisclosed financial settlement and a written apology from Hollins in 2011, which stated in part: "My firm and I represented Sara Evans in a highly contested divorce from Craig Schelske... to the best of my ability. I regret that my actions on behalf of Sara Evans caused Mr. Schelske harm in any way." Schelske issued a public statement thanking God, family, and friends for staying alongside during the period, and stating: "Sara is not my enemy… Hollins… he's the one who did this."
On 14 June 2008, Evans married Jay Barker, a former University of Alabama quarterback, national championship winner and current radio show host. They married in Franklin, Tennessee, with their children as their attendants. Evans and her three children now live in Mountain Brook, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, with Barker and his four children Andrew (1999), Braxton (2000), and twins Sarah Ashlee and Harrison (10 September 2001).
Dancing with the Stars 3
In September 2006, Evans joined other celebrities on ABC's Dancing with the Stars as the first country music singer on the program, with professional dancer Tony Dovolani as partner, and launching a fan web site to provide behind-the-scenes material on her participation. On 12 October 2006, Evans left the program, citing personal reasons.
|Week #||Dance/Song||Judges' scores||Result|
|2||Mambo/ "Papa Loves Mambo"||7||7||7||Safe|
|3||Jive/ "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"||8||9||8||Safe|
|4||Paso Doble/ "The Phantom of the Opera"||6||7||7||Safe|
|5||Samba/ "I Wish"||8||8||8||Withdrawn|