April 8, 2014 at 9:52 AM ET
Country music superstar Martina McBride has a wealth of talent in her own songs, but for her new album "Everlasting," she took inspiration from other greats, packing the record with iconic soul and pop tunes.
"It was about seven months of looking for songs," she told TODAY Tuesday about the process of selecting her favorites. "Just going through the treasure trove of so many great songs. And it just came down to, you know, just what I felt and songs that fit my voice."
While visiting, McBride performed a couple of those old hits made new again, including "Suspicious Minds," first popularized by Elvis, and "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man," first made famous by Aretha Franklin.
But, as she noted, she's not wandering all that far from her home base. "Some of these songs were country hits as well," she said. "It kind of goes back to the day when there really weren't genres, it was just great music, and everybody recorded each other's songs, and I just kind of wanted to visit that for a while."
Fans in the New York area might even get a chance to hear McBride play live on Tuesday night: She announced plans for a free concert at Times Square's Hard Rock Café for a first-come, first-served audience of 500. McBride said the show was a chance for her and her band to "try on some things in front of a live audience" before hitting the road.
"Everlasting" is available now.