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Today we welcome country music superstar Sara Evans. Sara has the voice of an angel and the heart of one, too! With seven studio albums, the latest being the widely acclaimed Slow Me Down, Sara continues her legacy of being sexy and confident while delivering vocal power that resonates with country and pop fans alike. This Missouri-native-turned-Birmingham-wife is married to former University of Alabama quarterback Jay Barker; between them they have seven children. Evans is also the accomplished author of three books with co-writer Rachel Hauck, and she writes the lifestyle blog A Real Fine Place with her sister-in-law Kaelin “K.K” Evans, where they share their passion for fashion, beauty, travel and food. Welcome, Sara!

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How did being raised in the South affect your outlook on life?

People in the South are so nice and giving to their neighbors and those in need. It was a great way to grow up and great to have that outlook instilled in me from a young age.

If you could pick another career, what would it be?

I’d love to have a little diner or cafe in a small town and just be a waitress. I know that sounds crazy, but I love talking to people and always thought it would be so fun!

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You recently released Slow Me Down. How is this album different, and what was your inspiration?

This album definitely has a fresh and new sound for me, but it still holds on to my “Sara Evans” signature sound. It’s a good blend between the two. I always go into making an album with the mission of either writing or choosing the absolute best songs I can find. I don’t chase trends lyrically, or with production either. A good song should stand the test of time.

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How do you find time to connect with your children and husband?

I definitely make my husband and children a priority. They are ultimately the most important part of my life, and my management and label know that and are so great to work with. I try to always have balance. If I know I’m going to be gone for three days, I’ll spend the next three days with my family as much as possible. I always try to cook three home-cooked meals for them each day I’m home. That’s one of my biggest love languages — cooking and caring for my family.

What advice would you give someone trying to follow their dream as a singer?

Don’t give up. If you wake up every morning and know that you are meant to sing, and you feel that desire in your soul, stay focused on it and work hard.

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What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

I don’t know where the quote originally came from, but my mom always said, “You can’t go wrong by doing right.” It’s stuck with me to this day.

When friends visit, where do you take them to show off Birmingham?

Birmingham is a hidden gem of cool restaurants and great little places to go! Going to shows at Iron City is always fun. There’s a great place called The Pantry in Crestline Village, just a few blocks from our home. It is phenomenal!

What is your favorite thing to cook for company?

If I have the time, I love to cook a giant meal of fried chicken and mashed potatoes. It’s a lot of work, but I love it!

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What artists always make your playlists for dinner parties?

There are SO many, but lately we’ve been listening to a lot of John Mayer.

What books are on your bedside table or e-reader?

I’ve been reading The Operator, which is about David Geffen, for the past six months. I normally go through books faster, but I’ve been so busy lately that the only time I have to read is on plane flights before I pass out.

What’s your favorite luxury or indulgence?

Getting a massage or a pedicure.

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What things are always in your carry-on bag?

My laptop for watching my favorite TV shows and movies on the plane. Nothing is worse than traveling and having nothing to read or watch.

If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?

With my family, on the beach. We take a trip each year to the 30A area of Florida, and it’s the highlight of my summer. The kids play in the ocean while Jay and I lounge on the beach.

Do you have any personality quirks or irrational fears?

I’m trying to get over it, but I HATE elevators. I get really claustrophobic, but especially in old or slow elevators. I’ve walked 20 flights of stairs before if I don’t like a certain elevator.

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What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

Sit on my back porch with Jay at the end of the day, have a glass of wine and talk about life.

What three light-hearted things can you not live without?

Reality shows, AppleTV to watch reality shows and gossip mags to read about reality shows. <smile>

Thanks for sharing, Sara!

The beautiful photos of Sara were provided by her public relations firm, Paul Freundlich Associates.

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