When Sara Evans arrived on the country music scene in the mid-90s, she was a female country traditionalist at a time when they were quite rare in Nashville. The Boonville, Mo., native signed a recording contract with RCA in 1996 and released her debut album, Three Chords and the Truth in 1997.
Her traditional sound didn't go unnoticed by traditional country music fans like George Jones. The Possum hand-picked Evans as his opening act for a concert at Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium. No Place That Far (the title track and No. 1 single featured Vince Gill) followed a year later, and in 2000, she resurfaced with Born To Fly. The title track was a big hit for Evans, and the album eventually peaked in the Top 10. She followed that with 2003's Restless, and returned in 2005 with the Top 10 hit "Real Fine Place."
In 2006, "Perfect" climbed into the Top 10, the same year she captured the Academy of Country Music's Female Vocalist of the Year Award. In the fall of 2006, she appeared on a few episodes of ABC's Dancing With the Stars before leaving the show to deal with her divorce from then-husband Craig Schelske. In June 2008, Evans married former University of Alabama football star Jay Barker. Evans, Barker and their blended family of seven children reside in Birmingham, Ala.