Twenty-five years after Martina McBride’s released her debut single, “The Time Has Come," the country singer opens up to Closer Weekly telling the mag as she reflects back on her successful career, she is most proud of raising her family.

“I have three daughters of my own, and I like to set a good example for them. They’re very compassionate girls. They’re smart, they’re funny, and they have a desire to make the world a better place,” Martina says of Delaney, 22, Emma, 18, and Ava, 11, whose needs she always put first — even as she was building her award-winning career.

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Martina has one of the most successful careers in her format, winning the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year award four times and earning an impressive 14 Grammy nominations.

“I love singing songs that empower women,” she tells Closer exclusively. Those songs include the hits “Independence Day” and “A Broken Wing,” which have won her respect for telling moving stories from a female perspective.

Her own story is a rewarding one: With husband John McBride by her side through 28 years of marriage and touring, the singer always made sure her kids never took a back seat to her music.

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“Even though I have this career, I’ve been raising my daughters and, in their world, it was all about them,” Martina tells Closer. “I loved having them with me,” she adds, “but now that they’re really starting their own lives, it’s great to see them following their passions and being what they want to be.”

And although middle daughter Emma’s been eyeing a move to LA to pursue an acting career, Martina’s happy her nest won’t be empty with Ava still at home.

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“This is my 25th year of touring,” Martina tells Closer. “The challenge is how to make music that keeps fans interested so I can continue to do what I love.” With her daughters championing her every step of the way, Martina is confident that she’s up to the challenge. “I’m excited,” she says, “and I feel I can be more creative than ever!”

For more from Martina, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!

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