Country singer Sara Evans to headline free show on Fremont Street

Sara Evans has a fear of going to the top. It has nothing to do with her singing career.

"I'm not afraid of anything," the country starlet says, "but elevators."

Suffice to say that Evans, 40, will not visit the Stratosphere observatory while in Las Vegas this weekend to perform. Or ever.

"No," she says. "When I was little, I went in the arch in St. Louis -- because I'm from Missouri -- but I did not like it at all and I would never do it now."

Evans is slated to perform at the 46th Academy of Country Music Awards ceremony at the MGM Grand Garden arena on Sunday. She also will headline the first of two free nights of ACM-related concerts at the Fremont Street Experience on Friday. (Preceding Evans on the First and Third Street stages will be Lee Brice, Chris Young, Brett Eldredge, Casey James and Sarah Darling. Saturday's concert, headlined by Ronnie Dunn, also will feature Easton Corbin, Randy Houser, Steel Magnolia, the JaneDear Girls and Thompson Square.)

No elevator rides are required for Evans to play either gig. It's not the height part that puts her off. She says she would do the Flightlinez zipline on Fremont Street "in a heartbeat," for example. It's the enclosed-spaces part.

"I cannot stand being in small, confined spaces," she says. "If I were to get stuck in an elevator, I would come undone."

So Evans takes the stairs whenever the ground floor won't cut it.

"I have a great ass because of it," she says.

Scary heights have been achieved by Evans' new album, "Stronger." Her first in six years, it was her second in a row to debut atop the Billboard country chart.

"Life doesn't really feel any different," Evans says. "I'm still getting up in the morning, making breakfast for my kids and going to ballgames at night.

"It's hard to see it when it's actually happening."

The album also is Evans' first to follow her TMZ-plastered 2007 divorce from her husband of 13 years, musician and politician Craig Schelske. It was so messy, she quit "Dancing with the Stars" to deal. Even as recently as February 2010, Evans obtained a restraining order against Schelske.

"But I'm so past that and so beyond that," Evans says. "I don't think about him."

Speaking of which, Evans would like to correct a growing misconception about her new album's debut single, "A Little Bit Stronger," which Evans intends to perform at the ACM Awards. (Evans -- who won the 2005 ACM award for best female vocalist -- was not nominated for anything this year.)

"That song is not related to my divorce at all," she says. "It was written by Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum about a hard breakup that she went through. Those weren't my feelings."

While recording the song, Evans adds, she drew inspiration from thinking, "What if something happened with me and Jay?"

In 2008, Evans wed sports radio host Jay Barker and relocated from Nashville to Birmingham, Ala., where the couple is currently raising seven children.

"I'm where I want to be right now," Evans says.

Anywhere but in an elevator.

Contact reporter Corey Levitan at or 702-383-0456.