Miranda Leigh Lambert (born November 10, 1983 in Longview, Texas) is an American country music artist who gained fame as a finalist on the 2003 season of Nashville Star, where she finished in third place and later signed to Epic Records. Lambert made her debut with the release of “Me and Charlie Talking”, the first single from her 2005 debut album Kerosene. This album, which was certified Platinum in the United States, also produced the singles “Bring Me Down”, “Kerosene”, and “New Strings”. All four singles were Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.
After the closure of Epic’s Nashville division, Lambert was transferred to Columbia Records Nashville for her second album, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which was released in early 2007. Although the title track failed to make top 40, the next three singles (“Famous in a Small Town”, “Gunpowder & Lead”, and “More Like Her”) were all Top 20 hits, with “Gunpowder & Lead” becoming her first Top 10 country hit in July 2008. Lambert’s third album, Revolution, was released in September 2009. Four singles have been released from the album, including Lambert’s Number One hit in “The House That Built Me,” which spent four weeks at the top of the chart.
Miranda Leigh Lambert was born in Longview, Texas and raised in Lindale, Texas. Her father, Richard Lee “Rick” Lambert, is a retired police officer who in later life became a private investigator in partnership with her mother, Beverly June Lambert (née Hughes). Miranda was taught about guns by her father at an early age and later became an avid deer hunter. Her parents took her to a Garth Brooks concert when she was nine and this started her interest in country music. Her father wrote and performed country music and she soon began singing in talent contests under his tutelage.
At age sixteen, Lambert began appearing on the Johnny High Country Music Review in Arlington, Texas, the same show that helped launch the career of LeAnn Rimes. Lambert quickly landed a recording session in Nashville, but left the studio after she became frustrated with the “pop” sound of music. She then went back to Texas and asked her dad to teach her how to play guitar so she could write her own songs.
While still in high school, Lambert made her professional singing debut. She fronted the house band at the Reo Palm Isle Ballroom in Longview, Texas, a long-running venue that has showcased Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, and is where Brooks & Dunn started out as a bar room band.
In 2003, Lambert auditioned for the talent competition Nashville Star, eventually becoming a third-place finisher on the show. On September 15, 2003, she signed with Epic Records. Her debut single, “Me and Charlie Talking” (co-written by her father and Heather Little), was released in summer of 2004 as the lead-off single to her debut album. Titled Kerosene, Lambert’s first album comprised twelve songs, eleven of which she co-wrote. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums charts, and eventually gained a Platinum certification by the RIAA for shipments of over one million copies, selling more than 930,000 copies up to July 2008. Overall, the album produced four Top 40 singles on the Billboard country charts, including the title track which was a Top 20 hit. Lambert also toured with Keith Urban and George Strait in early 2006. In 2007, she toured with Dierks Bentley and Toby Keith.
2007-2008: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Lambert in 2007
Lambert’s second album, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was released on May 9, 2007. She wrote eight of the album’s eleven tracks, including its four singles. Much of the track “Gunpowder & Lead,” the album’s third single and her highest-charting single, was written while she was taking a concealed handgun class in her home town.
In 2005, at the 40th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, Lambert won the Cover Girl Fresh Face of Country Music Award. She was also nominated for the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award in 2005; in 2007, Lambert also received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her single “Kerosene”. She also won the Top New Female Vocalist award at the 2007 ACM (Academy of Country Music) Awards. At the 2008 ACM (Academy of Country Music) Awards, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend won Album of the Year.
Lambert was ranked #90 on the 100 Greatest Women (of Country Music) by Country Universe in 2008.
In February 2009, Miranda Lambert went into the studio to record her third album, Revolution, which was released on September 29, 2009. Lambert co-wrote all but four of the album’s 15 tracks; the album also includes co-writes from Blake Shelton, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum. An EP, titled Dead Flowers, was released on September 8, 2009. The EP, available exclusively at Best Buy, features “Dead Flowers” and three bonus tracks previously included on limited editions of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Lambert debuted her new single, “Dead Flowers”, at the 44th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 5, 2009. It was released to country radio on May 4, 2009, and was a minor Top 40 hit on the charts. The album’s second single, “White Liar”, was released on August 17, 2009, and debuted at #50 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. In February 2010, “White Liar” became Lambert’s highest-charting single, reaching a peak of #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. “The House That Built Me,” the album’s third single, was released on March 8, 2010 and has become her first Number One Single. “Only Prettier” followed as the album’s fourth single in July 2010.
In 2009, Lambert (along with two other singers), became the new face of Cotton Inc.’s revived “The Touch, The Feel of Cotton” campaign. She has appeared in ads to promote cotton, and the website features a free download of the full version of her song, “Fabric of My Life.”
On September 24, 2009, Lambert and her band performed all the tracks on Revolution in sequence at the Ryman Auditorium, five days before its scheduled release date.
In promotion of Revolution, Miranda Lambert launched her first headlining tour; Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars kicked off in March 2010 and will include stops in over 22 cities, as well as a performance at the Bonnaroo Music Festival.
On September 1 it was announced Miranda was leading nominations with 9 CMA awards, setting a record for the female with the most nominations in a single year by the organization.
Miranda performed at the 44th Annual Country Music Association Awards on November 10, 2010. That same night she won the CMA Award for Female Vocalist of the Year and Revolution won Album of the Year. Lambert and Sheryl Crow performed “Coal Miner’s Daughter” as a tribute to country legend Loretta Lynn, whom also entered the stage to join them and finished the song with Crow and Lambert as backup. Later that night, Lynn presented the Female Artist of the Year CMA award to Lambert.
On January 10, 2011, Lambert will release her fifth and final single from Revolution, entitled “Heart Like Mine.”
In 2006, Lambert began dating fellow country singer Blake Shelton. Lambert also sang background vocals on Shelton’s 2008 single “Home,” and recorded and co-wrote a duet with Shelton, “Bare Skin Rug,” for his studio album Startin’ Fires released later in 2008. Shelton also co-wrote three songs on Revolution, and provided background vocals on “Maintain the Pain.” On May 9, 2010 Shelton proposed to Lambert after seeking (and receiving) her father’s blessing and they became engaged.