Born To Fly
"I think anyone smiling and happy is beautiful." Sara Evans.
Country singer Sara Evans achieved fame with her No. 1 hit singles "No Place that Far" (1999), "Born To Fly" (2000), "Suds in the Bucket" (2004) and "A Real Fine Place to Start" (2005). Evans, whose biggest musical influences include Dwight Yoakam, Alison Krauss, Sheryl Crow, Patty Loveless, Tammy Wynette, Pasty Cline and Loretta Lynn, recently won Female Vocalist of the Year at the Academy of Country Music (2006). The 5' 9" tall, smooth-skinned looker was also hailed by People magazine as one of their “50 Most Beautiful People in the World (2005) and was named 3rd Sexiest Woman in CMT list of the “20 Sexiest Women in Country Music.”
Since September 2006, Evans has been competing with other celebrities on the third season of ABC's “Dancing with the Stars” with (professional) partner Tony Dovolani. But she suddenly left the show on the same day (October 13, 2006) that she announced she was filing for divorce from her husband. In the filing of the divorce, the singer accused her husband of 13 years and father of her three children, Craig Schelske, of having an affair with her friend and former babysitter to her children, Alison Clinton. She also alleged that he was verbally abusive, drank and smoked in front of her children and viewed adult entertainment in their home.
No Place that Far
Childhood and Family:
Born in New Franklin, Missouri, on February 5, 1971, Sara Lynn Evans was raised on a tobacco farm near there. Growing up poor in rural Missouri, Sara, the oldest girl among seven children, began performing with her family band at the age of four to earn extra money for the family. She later fronted a band with her brothers who backed her up on guitar, bass and banjo. At age eight, she was struck by a car in front of the family home, and both her legs suffered multiple fractures. Sitting on a wheelchair, she continued singing to help pay her medical bills.
On September 25, 1993, Sara married Craig Schelske, a former Republican congressional candidate who ran for US Congress as a Republican in 2003 (but didn't win). They have three children: son Avery Jack Lyons (born on August 21, 1999), and daughters Olivia Margaret (born on January 22, 2003) and Audrey Elizabeth (born on October 6, 2004). ).
On October 13, 2006, after 13 years of marriage, Sara filed for divorce, in which she accused Schelske of having an affair with her friend and former nanny to her children, Alison Clinton (Clinton and Schelske have denied the accusation; Clinton even took lie detector test and passed it), and alleged that he was verbally abusive, drank and smoked in front of her children and watched pornography in their home. Sara also initially sought a restraining order, which prohibits Schelske from withdrawing money from their joint accounts. Sara’s attorneys also have filed an amended complaint that accuses Schelske of removing $275,000 from their joint bank account on the day she filed divorce proceedings against him.
Meanwhile, Schelske claims the day before Evans filed divorce papers, he discovered Sara has an intimate relationship with another man. He also claims that he then consulted with an attorney in order to file for legal separation, but was instead surprised by Sara’s filing for divorce. He also alleges that Sara had nervous breakdown last year and has encouraged her to seek professional help and monitored medication.
Suds in the Bucket
"Have a relationship with Jesus and make it your top priority. I've also learned that it doesn't pay to stress and worry, just go where God leads you." Sara Evans.
Growing up poor in rural Missouri, Sara Evans started performing with her family band at the age of four to get extra money for the family. She later fronted a band with her brothers who backed her up on guitar, bass and banjo. The Evans siblings subsequently played American Legion Halls, talent contests and PTA meetings. At age 8, she was struck by a car and while recuperating from the accident, she continued singing to help pay her medical bills.
10-year-old Sara and her family traveled the state of Missouri in an RV painted with "The Sara Evans Show" on the side. And after performing in a string of bands during her junior secondary school, Sara, by the age of sixteen, had begun to sing at the Country Stampede, a big nightclub near Columbia, Missouri, which lasted for two years.
In 1991, 20-year-old Sara moved to Nashville to become a country artist. While working on her music, she worked as a waitress at a Holiday Inn, where she met fellow worker Craig Schelske. She joined his family band and they enjoyed regional success in the state of Oregon, spending spent three years in the Pacific Northwest opening for artists such as Willie Nelson, Clay Walker and Tim McGraw. Sara and Schelske were married in 1993, and two years later, Sara began recording demos.
One of her songs in the demo tape, Harlan Howard’s classic "I've Got A Tiger By The Tail," attracted the attention of Howard, the songwriter who later helped her to get a contract under RCA Records in 1996. The next year, she released her debut album, Three Chords and the Truth. The album, which consists of mostly traditional country, was hailed by critics as one of the best albums of the year. It was nominated for many awards such as an Academy of Country Music Nomination for "Top New Female Vocalist." The video for the title track was nominated for "Country Video of the Year" by the 1998 Music Video Production Association and for "Best New Clip" at the 1997 Billboard Music Video Awards. In addition, Evans was named one of Country America's "Ten To Watch In 1998/Top 10 New Stars Of 1998." Despite its critical success, the album was a commercial failure. It did not catch on with country radio, and none of the three singles made the top 40.
Sara soon followed it up with her sophomore album, No Place That Far. Released on October 27, 1998, the album spawned first single, "Cryin' Game," which was critically slammed because it leaned toward the "country pop" sound and sounded similar to Shania Twain and Faith Hill’s music. "Cryin' Game" also performed disappointingly, reaching #56 on the charts, and the album debuted at #116 on the pop chart and #11 on the country charts.
But her next single, "No Place That Far," turned out to be her breakout song. Featuring harmonies by Vince Gill, the single gained much radio airplay and finally launched Sara into new the Top 40. The song eventually climbed its way up to #1 on the country charts and #37 on the Hot 100, becoming one of her better showings on that chart. It also became Sara's first number one hit and would begin a trend of albums containing a number one single.
After her breakthrough single had fallen off the charts, Evans released "Fool, I'm A Woman." Though the single had made it inside the top 40 (#32) it still failed to get much radio airplay. The album was eventually certified gold.
2000 saw the release of Sara’s major hit album, Born to Fly. Released on October 10, 2000, it spawned the lead single "Born To Fly" which reached number one on January 19, 2001 and is considered to be Sara's signature song. It also spun off the hit singles "I Could Not Ask For More" (#2), "Saints and Angels" (#16) and "I Keep Looking" (#5). The album received outstanding reviews, and many critics believe the album to be her best. It was one of the most successful albums of the year and eventually went Double Platinum. Many of the songs can still be heard on the radio today, indicating the album's massive staying power. As for Sara, she led the pack as the most-nominated artist at the 2001 Country Music Association (CMA) awards: Album, song, single, music video, and female vocalist of the year. She also won her first CMA award for music video of the year, "Born To Fly."
Following her breakthrough success, Sara released her next album, Restless, on August 19, 2003. Besides spawning the lead single "Background of a Greyhound Bus" (#16), the platinum-certified album also produced some of her most memorable and fan favorite songs such as "Perfect" and the extremely successful "Suds in the Bucket." "Suds in the Bucket" eventually reached number one on the country charts and became one of the biggest singles of her career.
Real Fine Place, Sara's fifth studio album, hit the music stores on October 4, 2005. Inspired by her last single "Suds in the Bucket," Sara decided to make this album more of a traditional country album. It delivered the first single "A Real Fine Place to Start," which was a monster hit for Sara. It stayed at number one on the country charts for two weeks and was one of the biggest hits of the summer and of the year. This single helped the album climbed to #1 on the country charts and #3 on the pop charts with a little under 130,000 albums sold in the first week, making it the best-selling album of her career. Follow-up single "Cheatin'" also cracked the top 10, followed by "Coalmine," which already was at No. 60 before its release date. Sara recently announced that her next single will be "You'll Always Be My Baby."
Real Fine Place proved to be Sara’s fourth consecutive album to contain a number one single (something singers such as Shania Twain and Lee Ann Womack have not accomplished) and has recently been certified Gold. Sara 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"), which both she lost.
That same year on December 6, Sara released compilation album Feels Like Home through Cracker Barrel stores. It features some of her most memorable songs in different remixes, including an acoustic version of "No Place That Far" and a live version of "Born To Fly." She also released another compilation, Always There, through Hallmark stores for Mothers' Day in spring 2006. 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," as well as two new songs "You Ought to Know by Now" and "Brooklyn & Austin."
In May of 2006, Sara performed "Coalmine" and competed at the 2006 ACM Awards in Las Vegas, where she won her first ACM for the "Female Vocalist Of The Year." In a recent interview with CMT she also revealed she would headline her own tour in the fall after she rounds out her current tour with Brad Paisley.
Since September 12, 2006, Sara has been competing with other celebrities on the third season of ABC's “Dancing with the Stars” with (professional) partner Tony Dovolani and becomes the first country music singer to ever participate in the show. On the same day (October 13, 2006) that she announced she was filing for divorce from her husband, Sara said that she is dropping out of the “Dancing with the Stars” competition, citing personal reasons.
Academy of Country Music: Female Vocalist of the Year, 2006
Roughstock Country Music: Single of the Year, "Suds in the Bucket," 2004
Roughstock Country Music: Female Artist of the Year, 2004
Academy of Country Music: CMA Video of the Year: "Born to Fly," 2001
Country Weekly - Golden Pick Award: Favorite Female Newcomer, 1999