Miranda Lambert was only twenty-two years old when she set the stage ablaze at the 2005 CMA Awards, performing her all-time favorite revenge song, “Kerosene.” She knew then that her music was meant to break boundaries, and she proved so through the years. In an industry where women are not allowed to sing songs about their triumphs, she was one of the artists who opened the door at the forefront of the genre.
Miranda Leigh Lambert grew up with supportive parents who worked as private investigators. Her father has a background in music, once playing in a band in the 70s. Lambert inherited this passion. She started performing at an early age, finally competing as a singer when she was 16. At that age, she appeared on the Johnnie High Country Music Revue, which led to her securing sessions with producers in Nashville, Tennessee. However, she backed out after some time when she got frustrated with her sound turning into pop. She returned to Texas, where her father taught her to play guitar and considered writing her songs. While honing this skill of hers, she continued to sing and front various local bands in Longview, Texas, performing in ballrooms, dance halls, and restaurants.
In 2001, after a year of learning the guitar, she released her self-titled debut album, which her father financed. It was a local success. Of the ten tracks, “Texas Pride” and “Somebody Else” was the biggest hits reaching the Texas charts. Her success led to her getting hired by Dusty Meador in 2002. Also, she continued to gain traction on the Texas Music Scene and opened for the concerts of Cooder Graw, Kevin Fowler, and Jack Ingram. The next year, a huge opportunity came to Lambert when she joined the talent competition Nashville Star (framed after the popular American Idol). In this competition’s finale, she became the third placer. Through the course of her competing, she captured the attention of one of the show’s judges, Tracy Gershon, a Sony Music executive, who sought a way for the label to sign her. She signed with Epic Records and started working on her studio debut.
As many anticipated her album, she teased people with the release of her single “Me and Charlie Talking.” This single was the precursor for the album “Kerosene,” released in the spring of 2005. Eleven of the album’s 12 tracks were written by Lambert, including the title song “Kerosene,” which peaked at number 16 on the Country Singles chart of Billboard. After some time, it ultimately received platinum certification. She created history in 2005 when she performed the song at the CMA Awards, which is largely responsible for establishing her as a major country music star.
Although the debut studio album was certified platinum, Lambert’s sophomore album “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” from 2007 was where she showed off her commercial prowess. “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” debuted at number one on the Billboard Country chart and number six on the Billboard Top 200 chart. It had two major hits, “Famous in a Small Town” and “Gunpowder & Lead,” the latter of which reached number seven and earned double-platinum certification. Praise poured for “Gunpowder & Lead” with its empowering message for women suffering from domestic violence. Lambert, who grew up witnessing women seeking help from her investigator parents, understood the heaviness of the issue and the need for it to be a theme in a music genre where this kind of topic was not discussed. Pitchfork ranked “Gunpowder & Lead” as the 90th best song of 2007. That same year, she received her first Grammy nomination.
Lambert’s career is known for her albums continuously exceeding expectations. She shook the country music scene again when she released the album “Revolution” in 2009. It was massively successful that it received “universal acclaim.” One of the singles of the album, “The House That Built Me,” was her first number-one hit and was certified platinum twice. Unlike her vengeful songs from her past albums, this release showcased her sensitive side. In 2010, Lambert was nominated for a record-breaking nine CMA Awards. She won Female Vocalist of the Year, and the album won Album of the Year.
Ready to dabble to another side of her career, 2011 found Lambert creating the girl group project Pistol Annies. It consisted of her, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley. Their very first release was the single “Hell on Hells.” This album release was followed by “Annie Up” in 2013, “Interstate Gospel” in 2018, and the Christmas album “Hell of a Holiday” in 2021. The New York Times said that the group “is good enough to recall those transcendent moments of vocal harmony the Dixie Chicks used to hit every few months.”
“Platinum,” Lambert’s fifth studio album, contains 16 songs and was released on June 3, 2014. The album’s second single, “Somethin’ Bad,” a duet with Carrie Underwood, made its debut on the 2014 Billboard Music Awards that same year. “Automatic,” the album’s lead single, was released to positive reviews from music critics. This album became Lambert’s first album to top the charts when it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Lambert won a Grammy Award for Best Country Album, a CMA Award, and an ACM Award in the same category after this garnered a lot of positive reviews.
“Two years after “The Weight of These Wings” came out and was again another well-received album by Lambert. The album received a five-star rating from Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic, who wrote in his review, “The Weight of These Wings isn’t produced like a country-pop record, so it demands attention and rewards close listening.” At the 2017 ACM Awards, this album took home the trophy for Album of the Year. This is a record for any artist or group, as it is Lambert’s fifth straight album to do so.
Lambert received another Grammy win in the category of Best Country Album after she released “Wildcard” in 2019. The album made its debut at number four on the US Billboard 200 and the first spot on the Top Country Albums list. She was unstoppable and continues to be as she released the transformative “The Marfa Tapes” in 2021, and “Palomino” released this year. Right now, her most recent hard-hitting song is “Geraldine.”
In history, Lambert has received more Academy of Country Music Awards than anyone else. This is proof that music truly flourishes when it is genuine. As Jewly Hight from NPR calls her, “Lambert is 21st Century’s Advocate of Imperfection.” As a trailblazer in the country music scene, her place is secured among the legends.
Whether you are a long-time fan or have just discovered this country legend, you are more than welcome to see one of her Las Vegas “Velvet Rodeo” shows in 2023. Come to Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, and do not miss the chance to witness her live at the Zappos Theater. Get your tickets as early as today and enjoy a country music performance like no other.