How was miranda lambert discovered?

Biography Newsletters

‘Revolution,’ ‘Hell on Heels’ & ‘Four the Record’

For 2009’s Revolution, Lambert seemed to find her romantic side with such songs as “Making Plans” and “Love Song”; she worked on the No. 1 country album with fellow country star Blake Shelton.

Later in 2011, Lambert teamed up with Angaleena Pressley and Ashley Monroe. The trio, known as Pistol Annies, released the hit album Hell on Heels that September. Lambert continued with her success as a solo act as well, releasing Four the Record that same year.

One of the big winners at the 2013 ACM Awards, Lambert took home two awards for her song “Over You” and was named female vocalist of the year. Lambert’s winning streak continued that November, when she was named female vocalist of the year at the CMA Awards.

‘Platinum’ & ‘The Weight of These Wings’

In 2014 Lambert released Platinum, which featured such hit tracks as “Automatic” and “Somethin’ Bad.” The record also earned several CMA Awards, including single of the year and album of the year, and won a Grammy in 2015 for Best Country Album.

After releasing the single “Vice” in July 2016, Lambert followed with The Weight of These Wings later in the year. It became her sixth album to achieve platinum certification, as well as her fifth to win album of the year honors at the ACM Awards.

‘Interstate Gospel’ & ‘Wildcard’

Lambert rejoined Pistol Annies for the album Interstate Gospel, which debuted at No. 1 on the country charts in November 2018. One year later she delivered another well-received solo effort, Wildcard, featuring the single “It All Comes Out in the Wash.”

Marriages and Personal Life

Lambert married Blake Shelton in May 2011, and they became one of country music’s most popular power couples. Throughout their marriage, the couple deflected persistent rumors about troubles in their relationship.

In July 2015, Lambert and Shelton announced they were getting divorced after four years of marriage. “This is not the future we envisioned,” Lambert and Shelton said in a statement. “And it is with heavy hearts that we move forward separately. We are real people, with real lives, with real families, friends and colleagues. Therefore, we kindly ask for privacy and compassion concerning this very personal matter.”

After dating R&B singer Anderson East for two years, Lambert married New York City police officer Brendan McLoughlin on January 26, 2019.

Thirteen years ago this month, country fans got their first glimpse of a superstar in the making when Miranda Lambert made her nationwide TV debut on Nashville Star. Premiering March 8th, 2003, the singing competition aired on the USA Network and was country music’s (and cable television’s) answer to American Idol. After auditioning more than 800 hopefuls, the show’s judges narrowed that number down to the 12 featured throughout the first season.

In each episode, the contestants were introduced via a videotaped piece prior to their performance. Lambert’s clip in the fifth episode of her season shows her spending time with her parents, private investigators Rick and Beverly, and younger brother Luke, at their home in Lindale, Texas. She’s also seen playing guitar and talking with her dad about the song they wrote together, “Greyhound Bound for Nowhere,” which Lambert would be performing for the original songs-themed episode.

Lambert explains that her parents’ profession had exposed her to a lot of heartbreaking situations, and that “Greyhound” is “a song about a woman having an affair with a married person.” Noting that people “sometimes don’t take me seriously,” because she hadn’t faced a lot of tough times in her 19 years, Lambert — who has since married and divorced from Blake Shelton — would presumably not make that same claim today. The teenager notes rather sweetly that the song is “one of my favorite songs I’ve written, because my dad and I wrote it together.” The tune is one of two the father and daughter wrote together for her Epic Records debut LP Kerosene. The other — penned with Heather Little — was “Me and Charlie Talking,” which would be Lambert’s debut single in 2004.

Lambert’s impassioned debut performance of “Greyhound” was a huge hit with both the audience and the show’s three judges. Her fellow Texan (and soon-to-be label mate, albeit briefly) Charlie Robison praised the song for its vivid imagery and sad, “that’s just what country needs right now.” Longtime Nashville music journalist and author Robert K. Oermann said, “I just want America to know the reason we picked these people to be in this contest is because they are all writers, and America, you just heard one of the best of them right there.” Noting that she had heard three original songs all penned by Lambert, industry executive Tracy Gershon said, “I’ll buy the record right now,” to which the singer-songwriter replied, “Let’s make one!”

Lambert would finish third at the end of the show’s first season, behind winner Buddy Jewell and runner-up John Arthur Martinez, but she would in fact make a record in 2004, debuting at Number One with Kerosene when the album was released in March 2005.

Since that time, all five of Lambert’s LPs have debuted in the top spot and she is the only artist in CMA awards history to win Album of the Year twice, in 2010 for her third release, Revolution, and in 2015 for her latest LP, Platinum.

Fine Tune: Inside Miranda Lambert’s Brilliant Catalog of Timeless Country

There’s a tempting mythology in the life and career of Miranda Lambert, who has as strong of a claim to current country royalty as anyone — or maybe there’s a few different versions, depending on who you talk to.

For country fans, she’s the tough-talking small-town Texan who grew up hearing stories about infidelity and violence from her parents, who were private investigators. It was predestined, it seemed, that someone with her voice and talent would turn those stories into songs.

For those less familiar with the genre, she was, until recently, one half of a beloved and highly visible Nashville power couple alongside Blake Shelton. In that light, her understated 2016 album The Weight of These Wings — her first following their divorce — sounds like a heel turn, its rootsy imperfections a reaction to the glitz and eventual tabloid fervor that surrounded that relationship and its dissolution.

The reality is, predictably, a little more complicated. According to Lambert, 2019’s Wildcard (out this Friday, Nov. 1) is just about the opposite of its title: “straight down the middle Miranda Lambert.” “People want the humor, the sarcasm, something not too musically out there,” she added in an interview with the New York Times. “Straight down the middle Miranda Lambert” is still a little left of center when it comes to the notoriously conformist sounds of country radio, though. Her commitment to integrating the hallmarks of classic country music — not just what’s in vogue — on even her most radio-friendly songs has made her one of the genre’s most consistent artists, with a vast catalog of songs that never sound dated.

Even on the singles that would seem to be designed for a more commercial audience (one recent example being the forcibly genial “It All Comes Out In The Wash”), Lambert maintains either a rocker’s edge or an obvious Western twang — or both. She specializes in the kind of country music that doesn’t fade in the background, thanks to her meaty songwriting, her ear for the genre’s most interesting sounds — and of course, her clear, penetrating, impossible-to-replicate voice.

Lambert was signed by Epic Nashville in an attempt to follow up Gretchen Wilson’s massive “Redneck Woman” success (to the tune of no. 22 on the Hot 100) with another woman artist who wore her sass on her sleeve. She had won third place on Nashville Star in 2003, where then-Sony (and thus Epic) A&R Tracy Gershon heard her for the first time. “It’s just what country needs right now,” fellow judge Charlie Robison said after an early performance of Lambert’s own composition “Greyhound Bound For Nowhere,” which would appear two years later on her debut album Kerosene.

“Greyhound,” a vivid, melancholy look inside the mind of the often-maligned “other woman,” wasn’t Lambert’s first single, though. That would be the more up-tempo “Me and Charlie Talking,” which fit in a little more easily on the radio while still projecting all the rootsy authenticity meant to set Lambert apart. (Her first Billboard appearance, pegged to the single’s “Hot Shot Debut,” featured a portrait with the caption “Lambert: Sings Great, Hunts Hogs”). Even with its lilting “La la la” conclusion, the single wasn’t glossy, and lacked a predictable, sing-a-long ready-chorus; in its place was an unexpected story about fleeting first love.

As a whole, Kerosene offered something just unexpected enough that reviews were positive, if not rapturous. Producer Frank Liddell — who’s stayed with Lambert though most of her recording career and is married to a remarkable songwriter himself in Lee Ann Womack — framed her voice with pleasantly chaotic, live-sounding arrangements. The album juxtaposes arena-ready power ballads like “Bring Me Down” with twangy knee-slappers like “Mama, I’m Alright.” The fact that Lambert had written 11 of the album’s 12 songs also made her stand out among her peers, who often pick their cuts from Music Row’s finest, as did her flair for giving traditional country fatalism a whole new sound (see “I Wanna Die”).

That unexpected darkness spurred Lambert’s breakthrough via the title track, which was her third single. “Kerosene” is a propulsive, concise, entirely nihilistic song about burning a guy’s house down while he’s still in it, alongside the woman he’s cheating with. It’s three minutes of raw country rage — harmonica, mandolin and all — and remains as undeniable today as it was in February 2006, when it became Lambert’s first Hot 100 hit. She wound up sharing songwriting credit with veteran singer-songwriter Steve Earle thanks to the song’s similarity to his “I Feel Alright,” but Earle didn’t write “I’m giving up on love ‘cause love’s given up on me” (or “Life ain’t hard but it’s too long, living like some country song,” for that matter). If anything, the unconscious quotation only earned Lambert more country cred.

The single’s success — and Lambert’s — was sparked by her (literally) fiery performance at the November 2005 CMAs. Stomping her feet, hair askew as she thrashes around behind the mic after heaving her guitar to a tech, Lambert presents as anything but a Nashville diva. Instead, she was a rock star. The cut to Lee Ann Womack’s face at the song’s conclusion says it all.

Lambert more than avoided the sophomore slump with 2007’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which was released just a few months after her first Grammy appearance — “Kerosene” had been nominated for best female country vocal performance. Once again, she wrote the majority of the songs, this time leaning even more confidently into the stylistic range of her own voice. Where the title track (and lead single) was a raucous near-caricature of a scorned woman, every syllable drawn out with extra twang, “More Like Her” is a sincerely mournful, plain-spoken ballad.

The sound of the album, too, was more or less a refinement of Kerosene’s concept, not a departure — each song has a distinct identity. There are the funny ones, many of which lean on exaggerating traditional country sounds for effect (“Famous In A Small Town,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Dry Town”), the sad ones, which showcase Lambert’s vocal range (“Her,” “Desperation,” “Love Letters”) and, for lack of a better word, the angry ones — the mode that remains one of Lambert’s most captivating, as evidenced by both her Patty Griffin cover “Getting Ready” and Ex-Girlfriend’s biggest single, “Gunpowder and Lead.”

“Gunpowder,” another song about killing a thankless man, is the spiritual and musical successor to “Kerosene,” and had an even bigger impact. The track became her first top ten single on the Hot Country Songs chart in 2008, and ultimately reached no. 52 on the Hot 100. Less abstract than “Kerosene” and considerably more forceful, “Gunpowder” showed Miranda at her spitfire best. Singing about righteous revenge — a background chorus crooning gospel-style precedes the song’s conclusive gunshot — seems to come as naturally to Lambert as songs about beer and whiskey do for most of her peers (though she’s also written her own fair share of drinking songs — see “Tequila Does,” off Wildcard).

Lambert and Shelton, who was a few hits further into his career but still not fully established, had already been attached for several years by this point, and even toured together in 2008. The combination of their individual successes and their seemingly picture-perfect relationship — which became increasingly public as Lambert’s star rose with nominations for female vocalist of the year at all the major country awards shows — was catnip to country fans.

With 2009’s Revolution, Lambert finally became a country music monolith — the fact that it took three albums being possible proof of country radio’s ongoing unwillingness to play women artists (Shelton, in contrast, hit no. 1 on Hot Country Songs with his very first single). The ingredients were the same — Lambert, similar crew of songwriters, same producers — but the songs seemed stronger and more concise, with some of the rougher edges sandpapered off (though “Maintain The Pain,” “Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go,” and “Sin For a Sin” still channel Lambert’s rock side).

The album’s first single, “White Liar,” perfectly filled the void that the Dixie Chicks had been forced to create with the most appealing kind of radio-friendly bluegrass (fittingly, it became Lambert’s first top 40 hit). A lush medley of plucked guitars, banjos and mandolins leads into soaring Appalachain harmonies — the song’s winking twist almost gilds the lily.

“The House That Built Me,” which might be the saddest song to top the country charts in the past decade, also might be the one that defines Lambert’s output for a large swath of country fans. Perhaps the song’s biggest achievement — besides showcasing Lambert’s characteristically impeccable, evocative singing — is that it so vividly depicts the most mundane kind of tragedy: the pain of realizing things haven’t turned out the way you always hoped (“I got lost in this old world and forgot who I am”). Though she didn’t write it, it’s hard to imagine another singer able to do its unpretentious, relentless lyrics justice. The song won Lambert her first Grammy for best female country vocal performance, while the everyman’s anthem “Heart Like Mine,” still a Lambert live staple, became her second no. 1 in 2011.

Lambert had proven that she had plenty more to offer than revenge romps, and was finally headlining her own tours (no small feat in the saturated world of country). At the 2010 CMAs, she earned nine nominations — the most ever by a woman artist — and took home female vocalist of the year and album of the year (Shelton won male vocalist of the year). Loretta Lynn presented Lambert’s award, which she talked about in her acceptance speech: “The woman that paved the way for all females, ever, in country music is standing here beside me and handed me this award… I’m going to keep going for the other women in this industry.”

By 2011, Lambert was enough of a commercial force to justify a return to her roots in the less radio friendly side of country and folk via the Pistol Annies, an all-star trio project with Ashley Monroe and Angeleena Presley. The resulting album, Hell on Heels, was a series of sweetly sung provocations — channeling country music’s long history of women who have had enough, with a little less angst than Lambert had so successfully articulated on “Kerosene” and “Gunpowder.” Take the refrain on “Housewife’s Prayer”: “I’ve been thinking about setting my house on fire,” crooned in three-part harmony. The group paints a new picture of American women, ones who don’t love the way things are but don’t see a way to change them — so they pop some pills or take a man for all he’s worth, as in their biggest single, “Hell On Heels,” and try to make the best of it.

Four the Record, Lambert’s second 2011 release, continued the radio hot streak she’d started with Revolution. Power ballad “Over You” was the album’s biggest country airplay success — a song about Shelton losing his older brother that translated well as a break-up anthem — while the kitschy “Mama’s Broken Heart,” co-written by none other than a pre-fame Kacey Musgraves, became her biggest Hot 100 hit to that point.

But the release also showed Lambert’s growing capacity to take risks as an album artist. It includes collaborations with Patty Loveless (“Dear Diamond”) and Shelton (the underrated “Better in the Long Run”), as well as contributions from some of country’s most beloved songwriters, some of whom have become considerably better known since: Gillian Welch (“Look at Miss Ohio”), Allison Moorer (“Oklahoma Sky”), Brandi Carlile (“Same Old You”), Chris Stapleton (“Nobody’s Fool”) and Natalie Hemby, whose seductive, distorted “Fine Tune” has become something of a cult hit. The voices she chose reiterated her commitment both country tradition and to her singer-songwriter contemporaries, as well as her willingness to hang out on Music City’s fringes. In retrospect, the album’s mellowed, rootsy feel makes it a clear precursor to The Weight of These Wings.

The Pistol Annies continued to be a place where Lambert explicitly broached topics seemingly too edgy for her solo work: addiction, divorce, sexism, sex. 2013’s Annie Up was as consistent as the group’s debut, with convincing bluegrass (“Damn Thing”) alongside a convincing indictment of the beauty-industrial complex (“Being Pretty Ain’t Pretty”). “Hush Hush,” probably the album’s most lighthearted song, scraped the bottom of the country charts — but mostly, the group’s impact was confined to Lambert and country music diehards who cherished the trio’s traditional approach to the music.

Lambert’s next release, 2014’s Platinum, combined her sharpest songwriting instincts with some of her biggest swings towards country radio. There’s no question that the airtight “Platinum” should have been a single — glossy and bright, it has some of Lambert’s best and funniest writing — while the stripped-down, straightforward “Bathroom Sink” is a contender for one of her best songs, period.

But instead it was the nostalgic “Automatic,” the stadium-sized Carrie Underwood duet (and future Sunday Night Football theme) “Somethin’ Bad,” and the confusingly lewd (but undeniably fun) “Little Red Wagon” that got the single treatment — hardly representative samples of an album that contains a faithful Tom T. Hall cover (“All That’s Left”) alongside a matter-of-fact song about teen pregnancy (“Babies Making Babies”). With Platinum came Lambert’s widest visibility to date — she won the Grammy for best country album and performed “Little Red Wagon” on the broadcast, a few months after “Somethin’” became her biggest Hot 100 hit (reaching no. 19).

Then came the inescapably public break-up with Shelton, and the inevitable break-up album, 2016’s The Weight of These Wings. The project, with its airy, loose, folksy feel, seemed at first glance like a dramatic shift. It was sprawling — a double album — and ambitious, with a slew of confessional, melancholy songs. But the same road-ready rumble she’d first summoned on Kerosene and recalled over and over again (even recently, on “Locomotive”) outlined the album; this time, there were just none of the songs built for radio (in spite of which, “Vice” reached no. 2 on Hot Country Songs).

Wings had some of the same live-sounding messiness as Kerosene, marking a return to the uninhibited sound of Lambert’s musical youth — but with a mellower, more mature approach. Though there was still humor (“Ugly Lights,” “Pink Sunglasses,” “Bad Boy”) and every other trademark Lambert sound, the lack of Music Row polish helped give the album some degree of crossover cred and recognition from outlets that hadn’t typically covered her music. (Pitchfork, for example, reviewed her for the first time, and later included Weight in its list of the 200 best albums of the decade.)

Another Annies album, 2018’s Interstate Gospel, continued Lambert’s drift away from country radio’s stranglehold with more rich, traditionally-oriented country songs on contemporary topics. After The Weight of These Wings and Interstate Gospel, Lambert was, at a minimum, operating on the fringes of commercial country and more likely broaching the alt-country and Americana scenes. Then came the Wildcard singles, which so far range from whimsical (“It All Comes Out In The Wash,” “Way Too Pretty For Prison”) to mellow and earnest (“Bluebird”) to rock-tinged (“Mess With My Head,” “Pretty Bitchin’”) — a wide array of stylistic diversity in place of Weight’s broader concept. So far, “Wash” has reached no. 15 on Country Airplay.

Just as she was 15 years ago when she first got signed, Lambert remains one of country’s most distinctive and consistent voices. One of popular music’s best singers, she’s immune to trends and inextricably tied to the tentpoles of traditional country without being overly reverent. Even she’s doing “straight down the middle Miranda Lambert,” it’s still some of the best of what the genre has to offer.

“Would I love to just go off and make a stone cold country record?” Lambert asked in the same Times interview. “Hell, yes. Maybe I will.” It’s crazy to think that she hasn’t made what she considers a “stone cold country record” yet, but further proof that while Miranda Lambert is the kind of artist we tend to praise with retrospectives and nostalgia, she’s more than earned her roses — and her creative freedom — now.

36 Years Ago: Miranda Lambert Is Born

Happy 36th birthday, Miranda Lambert! The singer was born on this day, Nov. 10, in 1983.

Lambert was born and raised in Lindale, Texas. Her parents are Rick Lambert, a police officer who became a private investigator, and Beverly Lambert, who is now heavily involved with her daughter’s MuttNation Foundation. The future country star grew up having a love of music and performed locally as a teenager, including in the Texas Pride Band and as the lead singer of the house band at the famous Reo Palm Isle in Longview, Texas.

In 2003, Lambert, who had already been meeting with producers and record labels in Nashville, competed on the first season of the TV talent show Nashville Star. The singer came in third, behind winner Buddy Jewell and runner-up John Arthur Martinez. Later that year, Lambert signed with Epic Records.

Lambert’s debut album, Kerosene, was released in 2005 and landed at No. 1 on the charts, with the title track earning a Top 20 spot. Her sophomore record, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, also topped the charts, and gave Lambert her first Top 10 single, “Gunpowder & Lead.” But it wasn’t until her third record, Revolution, that the singer earned a No. 1 single, with “White Liar.”

Lambert followed her first No. 1 hit with her mega-hit “The House That Built Me,” which was originally intended for her then-boyfriend, Blake Shelton. (Lambert and Shelton wed in 2011, after five years of dating, and divorced in 2015. In early 2019, Lambert married New York City police officer Brendan McLoughlin.)

“”The House That Built Me” is one of the most special songs in the history of songwriting,” Lambert tells The Boot. “I just think it’s timeless and beautiful, and every single person that I talk to says something about that song. And it’s good to know that it does to other people what it did to me the first time I heard it, which is just absolutely take me back to when I was six. I really think that it’s one of those songs that will live on forever … it took me a long time to be able to sing it live without crying or tearing up.”

To date, Lambert has released a total of eight studio albums — seven on a major label and one independently — as well as three projects, Hell on Heels, Annie Up and Interstate Gospel, with her side group, Pistol Annies. She has become one of the most-awarded artists in country music, having earned more than 35 major awards, including two Grammys.

In addition to her soaring music career, Lambert is also a passionate animals right advocate. She launched her MuttNation Foundation in 2007, and to raise money for the worthwhile cause, Lambert has hosted several fundraisers, including her annual Cause for the Paws and her Mutts Across America: 50 States / 50 Shelters initiative.

“I feel so passionately about helping all animals,” Lambert says. “The people at these shelters do such amazing work day in and day out and are truly heroes for the animals.”

This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.

Then and Now: See How Miranda Lambert and Other Country Stars Have Changed

You Think You Know Miranda Lambert?

“My mom always said, ‘Don’t change who you are for anybody!’ ” David A. Keeps

She may proudly proclaim herself to be “an East Texas redneck girl,” but Grammy Award — winning star Miranda Lambert, 28, has a lifestyle that seems pretty much standard-issue for Anytown, U.S.A. The 5′ 4″, size-8 musician shops for clothes at Target and Forever 21 and buys makeup at Walgreens, but indulges the occasional urge to splurge on luxuries like Coach bags and Chanel sunglasses in her favorite color, pink. She watches reality show marathons and was obsessed with The Hunger Games, but found the third installment of Fifty Shades of Grey a bit tedious. And though she works out regularly while listening to Beyoncé and Britney Spears, Lambert would much rather be eating chips or sipping a convenience store Cosmopolitan she calls “the Mirandarita.”

“It’s Bacardi Light with Crystal Light Raspberry Lemonade and a splash of Sprite Zero,” she says with a grin. “Low-calorie, low-sodium, no carbs, no caffeine — it’s practically a health drink!”

Lambert may sound as down-home normal as the next girl, but her life is anything but. Arguably the most successful female singer-songwriter in country music these days, with a slew of platinum records, she now balances her hectic schedule as a red-hot solo artist and member of all-girl group the Pistol Annies with her new role as a young bride. On May 14, 2011, Lambert tied the knot with Blake Shelton, the good-looking, equally crazy-busy crooner who’s become a household name as a coach on NBC’s hit singing competition The Voice . Following their countrified wedding (they exchanged vows under an arch of antlers), they spent three days back on their ranches in Oklahoma. (Between them, Shelton and Lambert — who was raised on a farm from age 10 onward — own more than 4,000 acres. “We don’t buy Mercedeses or mansions,” she declares. “We buy land.”) After a quick honeymoon in Cancún, Mexico, they were back at work again.

“We’ve been married almost a year and a half, but have only been in the same place together for about five months,” Lambert laments. “At this rate, we’ll be newlyweds for three years.”

Lambert has good reason to revel in this bliss. She’s worked hard for everything she has. Having watched her parents lose their house when she was a young girl, she learned an important lesson: Faith, hard work, and perseverance can see you through anything, whether it’s a tough childhood or a marriage complicated by the logistics of two prosperous careers. She may look like a country cream puff at first glance, but Lambert’s a steel magnolia to the core — committed to hard work, regular prayer, and protecting those closest to her. And there’s no doubt it’s paying off.

It’s mid-afternoon, and Lambert, who’s visiting New York City, has already sung on Good Morning America and performed with the Pistol Annies on The View. She’s now tucked in a chair in the lobby of a swank hotel, with her new Coach handbag parked next to her. “I had a fake snakeskin purse that was falling apart. I couldn’t go on TV looking like white trash with fake snakeskin flakes on me,” she says, brushing imaginary debris off her arm. Lambert has changed out of what she calls her usual “hillbilly” garb — a sundress and vintage cowboy boots — but still looks plenty country, wearing a denim shirt over a man’s tank top and gold sandals with a pair of bright-pink shorts. The color matches her sparkly nail polish, her iPhone case, and those Chanel shades.

These days, Lambert may have the luxury of buying designer sunglasses, but it isn’t something she will ever take for granted. “I do appreciate every single dollar I earn,” she says.

Here’s why: Early on, Lambert learned that life could be harsh. The firstborn of Rick and Bev Lambert, who worked as well-paid self-employed private investigators, she spent her early years in Van Alstyne, TX, outside of Dallas. “My younger brother, Luke, and I had a nanny; Mom and Dad drove new cars and had a brand-new house built,” Lambert recalls. But the economy took a dip. “People didn’t really have the money to spend on private investigators,” she explains, “and my parents weren’t getting enough work to keep up.”

Lambert was 6 — “old enough,” she says, “to feel the pain of knowing when something is totally wrong.” Falling behind on their mortgage, “my parents lost everything they had…we were homeless,” Lambert says matter-of-factly. “Our whole world turned upside down.” Fortunately, an uncle took them in, and for two years, Lambert shared a room with her cousin and wore clothes sewn by her mother or bought at Goodwill. Leaving behind her old and more prosperous life, relocating, and attending a new school threw the sensitive young girl into a tailspin. “She would cry every day,” her mother has recalled.

It was equally tough on Lambert’s dad. “He went to a dark place where he felt like a failure,” the singer remembers. “And we actually didn’t really see him that much because he was always going back and forth to Dallas trying to get jobs. He was determined to get back on his feet, so it was hard for us to see him. He missed us, and we missed him, so much.”

Although Lambert’s mom had a first grader and a toddler to look after, she was equally dedicated to rebuilding the family business, providing her daughter with a valuable lesson about persistence. “I know it’s not that they weren’t working or trying. Sometimes you just get down on your luck,” says Lambert. “And I learned so much from that.”

A close connection to God helped keep the family together. “My mom always says I cut my teeth on the church pew,” says Lambert, who was involved in youth groups and sang in the choir. Small jobs came along — sometimes her father even dug ditches for $4 an hour — and eventually, by the time Lambert was 10, the family was able to rent a small house in rural Lindale, TX.

“Dad was like, ‘My family will never be hungry again.’ And so he started a subsistence farm,” Lambert recalls. “We didn’t go to the store for anything but milk. My mom made bread and canned everything from the garden. We had chickens, pigs, and rabbits. My dad hunted. We literally lived off the land. There’s something to be said for taking advantage of what God’s given you.”

Living modestly on the farm, the family restored the sense of security that had suddenly vanished when they’d lost their home. With love and encouragement, Lambert blossomed. “My mom was always saying: ‘Be whatever you want to be, but stick with it. Don’t waver. Don’t change who you are for anybody.’ It was sewn into me to be a confident, strong woman,” she says. From her father, she adds, she learned to be a good judge of character and “to always look over my shoulder.”

Lambert’s parents did not shelter her from their work, which they picked up again once they were on their farm. As investigators, they kept tabs on cheating spouses in marriages shattered by infidelity and, in worse cases, domestic violence. The Lamberts took battered women and children into their own home, and it left a lasting impression on their daughter, who realized what a solid union her parents had. “I saw my friends’ moms coming in at 2 A.M. with black eyes,” she recalls with a wince. “They’d share a room with me. What my family was that initial first step: ‘Get away from this crazy person, and get back on your feet.’ I witnessed it firsthand.”

Lambert channeled the pain and pent-up fury she’d observed into hard-rocking songs that were game changers in country music. In the video for “Kerosene,” which became her first big hit in 2006, Lambert torches the house of a cheating lover; in her signature song, “Gunpowder & Lead,” she tells the story of a woman who’s going home to load her shotgun and settle a score with the man who has beaten her.

This tough-as-nails stance continues to earn Lambert admiration and stir controversy. In the wake of Chris Brown’s Grammy win earlier this year, she reminded the world via Twitter that the singer had assaulted his former girlfriend Rihanna. Later that week, before singing “Gunpowder & Lead” at a concert, she held up a sign that read Take notes, Chris Brown. “Where I come from, beating up on a woman is never OK,” she said shortly after the concert, later adding, “I like to say what I think, and if it happens to push buttons, sorry.”

Courtesy of Bev Lambert

Still, Lambert admits that life in the public eye can stress her out. “People always look for a reason to hammer you for something, whether it’s your weight or your marriage. Blake and I have reached that point, and I hate that, but we need to be thankful to be out there living our dream, playing music for a living,” she says. “If I complain about being apart, I think about military families and realize I have an amazing life. I’m so grateful for the people in my life: my family, my husband, my team around me, and my friends. The rest is icing on the cake.”

As is true for many newlyweds, she concedes that her first year of marriage was rough. Shelton’s father passed away in January. Then she lost a best friend and her childhood dog (Lambert is a “dog person”; she has a pet-rescue charity, MuttNation Foundation). And the couple hadn’t really settled in. “Blake was in Los Angeles almost all the time. Everything kept piling up. We didn’t even have all our clothes at the same house. After our anniversary came, it was like, ‘All right, now we can start married life.’ “

Lambert is looking forward to Thanksgiving, which marks the beginning of some well-earned time off with her guy. “Blake will be in L.A. working for The Voice,” she says. “So I’ll be buying pumpkins and hay bales somewhere in that crazy city and putting them on the porch. For me, that’s how the holidays begin.”

But for Shelton, the season starts much earlier. “Blake listens to Christmas songs all year long,” she moans, “and sometimes I’m like the Grinch, saying, ‘Dude, it’s July — turn that off.’ ” On Turkey Day, however, she’s happy to tune the satellite radio to classic country music for the feast, which has been at Shelton’s place for the past three years.

Shelton can be found outside, manning the smokehouse, while Lambert fixes the sides in the kitchen. “I do the green bean casserole, with cream of mushroom soup and fried onions on the top, and a sweet potato casserole,” she says. And, no matter what traditional desserts are served, Lambert also whips up the one that her husband is absolutely addicted to: her .

Courtesy of Bev Lambert

Lambert’s Love Story

From Johnny Cash and June Carter to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, country music’s most-fabled marrieds tend to be cut from the same cloth: He’s the tough guy; she’s the sweetheart. Lambert and Shelton, who won the Academy of Country Music Award for Female and Male Vocalist of the Year, respectively, in 2010 and 2011, turn that tradition on its head. “I’m a little rough around the edges sometimes,” she concedes. “The best example I can set is to be real and show my flaws. I can be pretty intense, and I can be a downer.”

Blake is the opposite, so good-natured it’s almost ridiculous, she says: “He laughs at everything, and it’s hard for him to be serious, which can sometimes be annoying. We balance each other out, though; he lightens my heart, and I rope him in.”

They met for the first time in 2005, performing “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” on Country Music Television’s 100 Greatest Duets special. (Lambert had earned attention as a third-place winner on Nashville Star, a country version of American Idol, after spending her late teen years touring honky-tonks. College wasn’t for her — it was always music, all or nothing, and “I freakin’ did it!” she says with delight.)

Lambert had grown up singing that particular duet with her dad, and Shelton made her feel comfortable immediately. “That sense of humor and smile draw you in,” she says. “He’s one of those people who light up a room.” Still, she has just one explanation for the butterflies in her stomach (they weren’t due to nerves): “There was definitely chemistry.” Looking back at the video, Shelton has said he realized he was falling in love with her right there on the stage.

But there was a huge hitch: Shelton was married to Kaynette Williams, his road manager. “People made assumptions that were not true,” says Lambert of her attraction to a married man. The lessons of her childhood — the complications of love that she saw among her parents’ clients — guided her. “We were honest with each other: We talked, we hung out, and we wrote songs a couple of times,” she explains.

She didn’t have to wait it out for long. In 2006, Shelton divorced. “It’s never an easy thing to go through, but it happens every day. People fall in and out of love; they get divorced and remarried,” Lambert says with her characteristic candor. “I didn’t expect to find myself in that situation, but I just dealt with it. I think that God has a person for you; Blake Shelton is in my life for a reason. He’s supposed to be my husband.”

But neither was in a hurry to tie the knot. After his divorce, 29-year-old Shelton was gun-shy about marriage; at 22, Lambert was just getting her start as a musician.

So they saw each other when their schedules permitted. Lambert threw a surprise party in Texas for Shelton’s 30th birthday; it was the first time she and her parents met his folks. “It was awesome,” she recalls. “My family loves him, and his family loves me, and that’s so priceless.”

Their often long-distance courtship revolved around text-messages. “We’re not really big phone talkers. I think it’s good to have a bit of time to miss the person and to save up stories for when you get home,” Lambert says.

In 2010, Shelton asked Mr. Lambert for his daughter’s hand, an old-fashioned Southern touch that impressed his intended. “Well, ol’ Blake finally got a brain!!!” Lambert famously tweeted, with a picture showing off her five-carat engagement ring. “And I didn’t say no!!” They were married a year later on a ranch in Texas; the bride walked down the aisle in her mother’s wedding dress and custom-made cowboy boots. The new king and queen of country spent their first anniversary at home. “That was our present to each other, because we are never home,” she explains. “So we just hung out. We don’t need anything else.”

Keeping It Together

Lambert’s grounded attitude extends to her self-image; she’s proud of who she is. “I’m not naturally small,” she says. “And I’m fine with that, because so many girls come up to me and say, ‘Thank you for being normal-sized — it gives us hope that you don’t have to be a size 2 to be somebody.’ ”

But whatever her weight is, Lambert wants to be toned and aerobically conditioned. It improves her energy level, her vocal capacity, and her confidence, she swears, but she admits that if she didn’t have a trainer, she’d never do it. In addition to walking, jogging, and doing calisthenics, she also spars. “My trainer got me pink boxing gloves,” she giggles. “He obviously knows how to manipulate me.”

It can be a struggle to eat well, particularly on the road. “I live on a bus. You’re just sitting there all day, and you start getting snack-y,” she notes. “I don’t keep chips, because I’ll eat them all.” Instead, she’ll eat a slice of turkey or a handful of roasted nuts and crunch on carrots with a low-fat dip. If she happens to overindulge, no worries, Lambert says: “Every girl lives in Spanx; if they don’t, they should.”

Keeping herself physically fit may be important, but managing her emotional health is crucial. “If my personal life is out of order, like if I’m fighting with someone, it’s really hard for me to pull it together,” Lambert admits.

What sets her off? “I hate when people think I’ve changed,” she insists. “My defenses really go up if somebody assumes that I’m any different as a person than who I was back in high school.”

Lambert also has a tendency to be impatient with people. “I am pretty set in my ways and business-minded, so indecisiveness gets me bent out of shape. But I’m learning to take a step backward and evaluate the situation more carefully.”

Prayer — just “talking to God as if He’s sitting right here” is how Lambert describes it — also helps when she feels unmoored. “I act very confident, like I have it all together,” she says, “but I have insecurities just like anybody else.”

Fortunately, she also has close friends — among them Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley of the Pistol Annies, Kelly Clarkson, and Reba McEntire — to keep her grounded.

“When I’m out of control,” she says, “they’ll be like, ‘Hey, you need to come down.’ ” She’s grateful for their honesty and takes it as a sign of their affection. “I really know how to love, because I was loved,” she affirms. “My parents have been married 34 years, and I was taught that forever is forever. I was born with a certain amount of love in my heart, and when I let someone into my circle — not just Blake, but also my friends — I love hard.”

Still, she admits that it takes her some time to warm up to new people, who often are surprised that she is more guarded than the fiery, outspoken performer they’ve seen onstage.

“I suppose I’m more like my dad on that front; he’s got this cynical exterior, but he’s actually a big teddy bear inside,” she says with a laugh. “He gets Good Housekeeping in the mail every month, because he says he wants to know the enemy.”

Home on the Range

Every woman needs a place to kick back and recharge, and for Lambert, that place is Tishomingo, OK, smack-dab in the middle of nowhere. It’s where she can be exactly who she is: “a girl who’s a bit artsy but likes to hunt and fish,” she says. Lambert bought a 700-acre spread about 10 miles and one zip code away from her husband before they were married. It has a fifties-era cabin that’s so small that Shelton, who is 6′ 5″, can barely squeeze through the doorways, but Lambert likes hanging out by the pool she built there, and it’s also where she keeps her prized five horses (two are standard size, while three are miniature, meaning they are about the size of large dogs).

Sometimes she’ll spend all day at her place and then head over in her 2009 Ford F-250 King Ranch truck — the first new vehicle the star has ever bought, and one she swears she will drive “until the wheels fall off” — to cook dinner at Shelton’s.

Afterward, they might have their definition of a date night, which consists of driving around back roads and singing along with the radio.

At 28, Lambert is not really thinking about starting a family anytime soon. “I don’t want to raise a child on a bus or in L.A. I want to be a little more settled,” she says, adding, “Part of me thinks I should try to plan it, and part of me thinks God has a plan for my life, so why would I ever try to maneuver that?”

Right now, Lambert is content to simply hang out with her husband and nest. Though she jokes that their having separate farms “will probably keep us married longer,” she is looking forward to having a home that she can truly call “our place.”

She has even come up with the perfect solution for the age-old dilemma of whether the toilet seat should be left up or down. “The first thing I’m going to say to the contractor is, ‘I want two separate toilets and a urinal,’ ” Lambert says cheerily. “I think it’s brilliant, if I do say so myself.”

But the main thing she’s eager to experience is just togetherness. “I can’t wait to be looking back 10 years from now and seeing how far we’ve come and how much we’ve grown, what we’ve made it through and what we still have to go through,” she says. “It’s a life’s work. We’re going to get to know each other so much more as time goes by, because we’re going to get to know ourselves.” With that kind of wisdom and long-range view, it sounds as if they’ll be enjoying that specially equipped house for many years to come.

David A. Keeps

A Peek Inside Miranda’s Place

Her thoughts on housekeeping — and the allure of throw pillows

How is your house like your mom’s house?

One of the best compliments Blake has ever given me was, “You really know how to make a house a home.” I like country music on the radio and something cooking on the stove. When I’m home, that’s what I do, because that’s always what I’ve walked in to find at my mom’s and my grandmother’s.

And how is your house different?

At Blake’s, there are a million deer heads on the wall. My mom would never allow that!

What makes a house a home?

You throw a Yankee Candle Company scented candle into a room, and immediately it’s more homey; I like the cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and holiday scents the most.

What won’t men ever understand about making a home?

I think throw pillows will always be a fight between women and men. Men do not understand them. And women insist on them. So every time Blake is like, “Will you hand me that pillow?” I’m like, “No, ’cause you hate throw pillows, but now you need it ’cause you can’t see the TV.”

My favorite moments at home are when I’m…

sitting on the porch with a Mirandarita and my husband, definitely!

Kate Mathis

Blake’s Favorite Pie

Here, Lambert shares the yummy peanut butter pie recipe that husband Blake Shelton craves year-round. Make one this holiday and see if your family doesn’t love it, too.

Peanut Butter Pie

Active time 35 minutes

Total time 40 minutes plus chilling

Makes 10 servings

1 9-in. refrigerated ready-to-use piecrust

¾ c. sugar

⅓ c. cornstarch

1 tsp. salt

4 c. whole milk

4 lg. egg yolks, lightly beaten

¾ c. peanut butter (preferably crunchy)

3 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Freshly whipped sweetened heavy cream, for serving

Chopped peanuts, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place piecrust in 9-in. pie plate; bake as label directs for one-crust pie shell.

2. In 4-quart saucepan, stir together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. In large bowl, whisk milk and egg yolks until blended; gradually whisk into sugar mixture. Heat on medium 6 to 7 minutes or until mixture thickens and boils, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter, butter, and vanilla until well blended.

3. Immediately pour peanut butter mixture into baked pie shell; press plastic wrap onto surface of filling. Refrigerate pie at least 4 hours or until well chilled and set.

4. To serve, top with whipped cream and garnish with chopped peanuts.

Each Serving (PIE ONLY) About 400 calories, 10 g protein, 39 g carbohydrate, 24 g total fat (9 g saturated), 2 g fiber, 97 mg cholesterol, 480 mg sodium.

This story originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of Good Housekeeping.

CMT Goes On the Road with Miranda Lambert

by Staff 1/29/2020

Embedded from
By the end of our time on the road with Miranda Lambert, she came to this very apt conclusion: It’s kind of a weird life.

“You wait all day to do your job,” Lambert told us. “But then you get to do the most incredible job in the world. It’s waiting all day long for then this surge and burst of energy. And then your adrenaline’s going, and you have to calm down from that late at night.”

She’s not wrong. It does sound kind of weird. But weird in the very best way, we discovered.

CMT caught up with Lambert — and Pistol Annies and Tenille Townes — while they were still out on the road for the Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour. And while this may have been Lambert’s first time bringing out all female openers, it was not her first time in front of massive, passionate and loyal crowd.

“I’ve been making music on the road for a living since I was 17. I went from bars to opening for Keith Urban,” she told us. “So that was a huge jump for me to sort of get thrown in and learn from him.”

And then again she learned from Dierks Bentley, George Strait, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith and Kenny Chesney.

The bottom line is, Lambert now knows exactly how to throw a tour. And in 2019, with so much solid country music coming from female artists, she thought, why not?

“Having an all-girl tour out on the road is so opposite of what I grew up knowing. But I think I’ve learned something different from every tour I was on. And I’m trying to execute all that on my own tour.

“I’d never toured with a woman,” she explained. “So I thought, ’If I ever had my own tours, we’re gonna have nails and yoga and blow outs and taco trucks. Sometimes snow cones, you know?’ Whatever amenities to break up the monotony of your every day.”

But it’s not all blow outs and taco trucks. There is work to be done, all day and all night. And Lambert seems blessed to be on this long stretch of highway with the band and crew that she knows have her back.

“I think that it would surprise people to know just how much work and time we put into it: showing up to the venue and putting on a show and then rolling to the next town takes a huge team of people and a lot of money and a lot of rehearsals,” she said. And during that tour, she added, it was helpful to have her Pistol Annies sisters (Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley) with her. That way, they can make music and have a support system built in.

“We actually were talking,” Lambert said, “we kind of miss having some sister moments. So we’re having to carve those out now versus it kind of being a slumber party all the time with us, because of just more life responsibilities.”

Lambert’s next tour stop is on Wednesday night (Jan. 29) in Phoenix, Arizona.

This Subtle Sign Suggests Miranda Lambert Is Still Not a Fan of Ex-Husband Blake Shelton

Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton used to be one of country music’s hottest couples. Their relationship fell apart a few years ago, but it does not seem like the two of them are on good terms these days.

In fact, Lambert recently made it clear that she and Shelton could still have a bit of animosity against each other. Find out what Lambert did below and see what the country songstress has said about her previous marriage to Shelton.

Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton were together for almost 10 years

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Lambert and Shelton began dating in 2006, though Shelton admitted that he fell for Lambert a year before when they performed on stage together. After a few years of dating, Lambert and Shelton tied the knot in 2011.

Lambert once spoke of her marriage as being “the best,” saying: “Blake’s the happiest person on the planet. He pulls me out of my darkness… Literally, everything is the best about being married.”

Although they were often lauded as a power couple and things seemed great on the surface, Lambert and Shelton’s relationship was far from being an easy one. The pair found themselves surrounded by a lot of cheating rumors.

They were also very busy with their own careers and could not see each other often. Additionally, some people believe that Lambert and Shelton had personalities that were too different to really make things work.

In 2015, Lambert and Shelton decided to get a divorce, though the couple never specified what the reason behind their split was.

Both Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton have found new relationships

View this post on Instagram

@nbcthevoice @blakeshelton Gx

A post shared by Gwen Stefani (@gwenstefani) on Nov 19, 2019 at 9:33pm PST

Just a short while after announcing their divorce, Lambert and Shelton began seeing other people.

Lambert dated singer Anderson East in 2015 and Turnpike Troubadours member Evan Felker in 2018. In early 2019, she shocked the world by announcing that she had gotten married to NYPD officer Brendan McLoughlin.

Meanwhile, Shelton started dating Gwen Stefani in 2015 and the couple has been together ever since.

Miranda Lambert did not clap for Blake Shelton at this year’s CMAs

View this post on Instagram

Had a great time at country music’s biggest night with my hot date! #CountryMusic

A post shared by Miranda Lambert (@mirandalambert) on Nov 15, 2019 at 11:21am PST

Lambert and Shelton do not appear together often anymore. But they usually are in the same room when attending big events in country music, such as the renowned Country Music Association Awards (CMAs).

Earlier this month, both Lambert and Shelton went to the CMAs with their respective partners. But Lambert was spotted being a little disrespectful towards Shelton.

A witness told Us Weekly: “Everyone stood up for Blake at the end of his performance except Miranda Lambert and her husband. At the commercial break, they both left their seats.” In comparison, Shelton and Stefani actually “were nodding their heads” while Lambert performed her song “All Comes Out in the Wash.”

Miranda Lambert has been known to shade Blake Shelton in other ways

View this post on Instagram

Thank you @healthmagazine for having me!

A post shared by Miranda Lambert (@mirandalambert) on Nov 12, 2019 at 12:33pm PST

This was not the first time that Lambert threw some shades at Shelton after their divorce.

At the CMAs last year, Lambert performed her hit single “Little Red Wagon,” but instead of singing the line “I live in Oklahoma,” she changed it to “I got the hell out of Oklahoma.” She and Shelton used to live together in Oklahoma.

Recently, she also opened up to Health about her divorce, saying that she was tired of everyone asking about her personal life. Lambert shared: “When everyone’s worried about your personal life, it makes you feel like, ‘Well, if you could just spend some of that time talking about my actual art, that would be great!” But I guess I asked for it, getting into this business. I’m never gonna get used to the public eye in that way.”

Miranda Lambert Talks Her New GRAMMY-Nominated Album ‘Wildcard,’ Pistol Annies & More

They say change is the only constant in life. That’s a mantra by which the music industry lives. And when it comes to entertainment law, change is what drives the business forward.

Change is the theme that defined the 22nd Annual Entertainment Law Initiative (ELI) Event & Scholarship Presentation, the most prominent gathering for entertainment attorneys and other music business professionals during GRAMMY Week. Every year, the ELI event unites the music business community and addresses some of the most compelling issues facing the music industry today. The 2020 ELI event—held last week (Friday, Jan. 24) as an official GRAMMY Week event at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif.—honored an industry luminary initiating change today while also recognizing some future leaders in law.

For over two decades, ELI has addressed the shifting landscape of entertainment law head on, providing a forum for legal thought leaders and honoring its own practitioners who are ensuring the industry adapts to the ever-changing music and entertainment industry.

It’s no wonder, then, that this year’s ELI Service Award honored Jeff Harleston, a music industry veteran who has faced virtually every sea change to directly challenge the entertainment law field.

“Over the last 25 years or so, no industry has experienced more change than the music industry,” Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, said in his opening remarks at the gathering. “But throughout this period of turmoil and transformation, there’ve been two constants. First, amazing artists making great music. And secondly, as if you didn’t know by now, Jeff Harleston’s extraordinary sound judgment.”

Harleston, who currently serves as the general counsel and executive vice president of business and legal affairs at Universal Music Group, has been a champion for artists and creators throughout his decades-long career. Across his days as the head of the business and legal affairs department at MCA Records in the late ’90s to his time as general manager of Geffen Records, Harleston has worked with iconic artists like Mary J. Blige, Nelly Furtado and Snoop Dogg, among many others.

“There’s no bigger friend to artists than Jeff,” three-time GRAMMY winner Common said of Harleston in a personalized tribute video. “So you can call Jeff a general counsel or a board member or a role model. They all fit. But I’ll continue to call him a friend. He’s a true advocate for artists. And I couldn’t be prouder of the recognition he’s receiving today.”

Making his way to the stage, the crowd offering a well-deserved standing ovation, Harleston addressed the room with pride and jubilation in his voice and optimism in his sight.

“This is to the lawyers in the room,” he said. “At times, we know being a lawyer in the music business can be an entirely thankless task, but we love it because we love music… But most importantly, we have learned to work together. And what we’ve been able to do when we work together is move it forward really well. We move things forward legislatively, we’ve empowered new services that are finding ways to bring our music and the artists’ music to places they’ve never been before. And it’s all because we’ve allowed ourselves to respect each other and trust each other. I really am happy to see that happen and I really hope that we can continue that spirit.”

As he remembered his extensive career and all that he and his colleagues have together accomplished for the industry and the wider artist community, he took a moment to acknowledge the road ahead for entertainment law and the challenges to come.

“As I reflect on my almost-27 years in this business,” he said, “there’s one thing that’s clear about the music business: the constant is change. Change happens all the time… But what we have to do and what we’ve learned to do… we’ve learned to deal with the change. And change is hard. It can be abrupt. It can be unexpected. It can be painful. But it’s important, and it has to happen.

“We are in the midst of a change as we speak. But I know that we are strong and resilient, and we will get through it. And when we come out the other side, we will be better, we’ll be stronger and the world will be great. In the words of Bob Dylan, ‘The times, they are a-changin’.”

Fittingly, Dylan’s eternal lyrics and Harleston’s remarks nod to the ever-evolving music industry and the modern issues it faces, many of which were addressed by the entrants of the 2020 ELI Writing Competition.

As one of its core elements, ELI has supported promising law students and has fostered future careers in entertainment law, having provided more than 800 students with scholarships to date. The event’s popular yearly student writing competition and scholarship presentation acknowledge the outstanding law students who are seeking to push entertainment law into the future.

This year’s writing competition entrants, who each addressed a compelling legal issue confronting the music industry and proposed a solution in their essays, tackled some of today’s most timely and pressing matters in the field.

Christopher Chiang, a student at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, won the writing competition with an essay proposing a sliding scale framework for copyright protection in music. Chiang was presented his award, which came along with a $10,000 scholarship and tickets to various GRAMMY Week events, onstage by Ken Abdo, a partner at Fox Rothschild who has been involved with the ELI Writing Competition since its beginnings. Runner-ups included John Gilbertson, a student at Drake University School of Law in Des Moines, Iowa, and Graham Fenton from UCLA Law.

Perhaps the most urgent issue and forthcoming change to affect the music industry today comes via California Assembly Bill 5, more commonly known as AB5. The newly passed state statute aims to protect workers in the “gig economy,” namely Uber drivers. However, its impact on the music industry could prove detrimental. (Music creators, particularly those who work as independent contracts, such as studio musicians or session/backing players, would potentially need to be recognized as employees and/or employers in order to secure work, which in turn entails a more complicated hiring process and higher fees for one-time gigs and short-term projects and performances.) Having gone into effect at the beginning of 2020, AB5 today stands as one of the most timely and important issues for music creators’ rights in 2020.

In a panel that followed remarks by ELI Executive Committee Chair Michael Kushner, who is executive vice president, business & legal affairs and general counsel at Atlantic Records, some of the brightest and most active voices in the battle over AB5 spoke of the well-intended law and its potentially damaging effect on the music industry.

“AB5 is the definition of the ‘law of unintended consequences,'” said Jordan Bromley, a partner at Manatt Entertainment Transactions & Finance. “It was meant to hit a certain sector of California industry, and it painted with such a wide brush that everyone is affected, unless there’s a specific exemption in the bill. I would say the one way to look at it is if somebody is providing you or your company or your artists or your producer or your songwriter a service that is ‘core to the business,’ they are now your employee.”

Since its passing, the music biz and artist community have largely banded together to address AB5, with many from both sides of the industry launching online petitions and meeting with California lawmakers directly in an attempt to secure exemption from the law on behalf of the wider music industry.

Ari Herstand, an independent musician, author and music industry blogger, has been at the forefront of the AB5 debate since it went into law. He’s since gathered 50,000 petitions from California music professionals who are against the law.

“We’re 20-something days into this thing right now, and I’m literally gathering stories every single day from musicians who are losing work,” he said. “I’ve hundreds of documented cases of musicians in California that are losing work.”

But much like any other major change to impact the business, the music industry is already making headway into addressing and alleviating the issues of AB5.

Both Bromley and Herstand agree education is a key component in pushing things forward.

“The unions ran the bill,” Bromley said. “The unions will run the next bill, most likely. So we need the unions on board. They’re all conceptually there… It’s frankly a lot of education on our business because it’s weird and wacky and nuanced. And even some of the unions that exist in our business don’t really understand how it’s evolved in the last 10 years. So it’s just a lot of patience and education, but everyone’s at the table and everyone is focused on a solution.”

“There needs to be education,” Herstand added. “Right now, because of all of the hysteria around this—that’s why so many musicians are literally losing work every day. So as soon as this—hopefully it’s an urgency bill—passes, everybody needs to write about it. Every lawyer needs to know this to be able to educate. So I encourage everybody here to follow this process along and, once this thing gets passed, to educate your clients on what is actually happening and that we have found a fix, hopefully.”

Panel moderator Daryl Friedman, Chief Industry, Government and Member Relations Officer for the Recording Academy, concluded the chat on a high note of optimism regarding the road ahead with AB5.

“It’s going to be a lot of hard work by a lot of people,” he said. “Hopefully a year from now, we will realize that this has been fixed. But I think there’s also another lesson that is more enduring: the lesson of when creators get involved when creators speak. They make the difference here. When creators speak, policymakers listen.”

It’s the exact kind of dialogue that has come to define the ethos and vision of ELI throughout the decades: When change comes a-knockin’, we will be there to adapt, listen, learn and educate.

The Entertainment Law Initiative maintains its support for the music industry as a whole, from its creators to its executives to its attorneys, and will continue to foster the next generation of change-makers within the music business and legal community for decades to come.

What’s Ahead In 2020 For Music Creators’ Rights?

Miranda Lambert looks like she’s been crying. “It’s just allergies,” the Texas-born, Tishomingo, Oklahoma, resident says, sniffling and leaning back in a lawn chair behind the main stage at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas. She’s dressed in black ripped American Eagle Outfitters jeans, black Freebird by Steven boots, and a gray tank top that reads ON THE ROAD SOMEWHERE. She flattens her newly bobbed platinum hair with her fingertips and roots around in her bag for Claritin and Nasacort. “I’m not afraid of a pill,” she jokes. “I have to take them in the mornings because I drink a lot. Advil helps. So does a Bloody Mary.”

When asked what defines “a lot,” Lambert, 31, bites her cheek and mulls it over. “You know when you have to check those boxes when you go to the doctor? Do you drink every day? Never? Socially? I’m always like, Hmm, the truth or not the truth?” She checks “socially.”

Lambert’s family has traveled with her to Vegas. Her father, Rick; mother, Bev (who runs her fan club); and younger brother, Luke (a software designer who also helps with the fan club). Her husband, blue-state country-music ambassador and amiable coach of The Voice Blake Shelton, left this morning only because he had his own concert in Hollywood, California. Lambert passes around a photo booth film strip from the night before at her MuttNation Foundation charity ball of the two of them hamming it up, the 6’5″ Shelton’s head almost entirely cut off in every frame (she’s 5’4″). She curls her lip. “Well, at least I look cute.”

The record-breaking Grammy and 11-time Country Music Association Award winner (“I’d love to win Entertainer of the Year just for females’ sake, because only like five women have ever won it and because I work my ass off “) is idling preshow in Wanda World, the girly, welcoming alcove she assembles backstage at every gig, complete with pink coolers, sun umbrellas, and a 1954 Airstream tricked out with a full bar, sofas, a record player, throw pillows, and, on top, a colossal silver tiara. (A self-described “Airstream hoarder,” she also has a ’52 and a ’75 Argosy.)

“We named her after my grandma Wanda,” Lambert explains of the trailer she hauls to every gig. “She has this group of friends called the Yayas, and they are crazy old ladies who just drink and cuss and gamble. Grandma came to Vegas one year to be my date for the ACMs , and I said, ‘You need to rest; it’s a big night tomorrow.’ She snuck out and woke me at 4 a.m. after she won $4,500 playing quarter slots.” Lambert started the Wanda-thon in 2009, when she realized there was no place that felt like home on the road. So she created one. “It’s not a normal way of life to tour. You get lonely. Wanda is our chill place where we meet before and after shows. It gives rise to a lot of parties and camaraderie.” One wall is lined with Polaroids of said revelry, a who’s who of country music. “People have puked in Wanda,” she confesses with a small shudder. As for sexy times, “we had to make some rules.”

Earthy, accessible, and honest, Lambert has been called the new Loretta Lynn. Also, the new Dolly Parton, the new Beyoncé, and so on. It is an odd, reductive curiosity that when a woman reaches enviable heights of success, she is inevitably compared and categorized, as if there are only so many available slots and thus she must be the new version of one already filled. In truth, Lambert is her own brand of awesome, a woman with backyard swagger and a marshmallow heart; a former high school cheerleader who knows her way around a firearm; a softie who weeps at the very mention of an abandoned dog (hence her rescue foundation); and the only celebrity (male or female) ballsy enough to call out not only Chris Brown, but the whole complacency of our country when he appeared on the 2012 Grammys three years after beating then-girlfriend Rihanna, by tweeting, “He beat on a girl…not cool that we act like that didn’t happen.”

Boe Marion

The daughter of two private investigators who made a habit of providing refuge for abused women and children, Lambert understands enough about domestic violence to fill a dozen country albums. ” ‘Gunpowder & Lead’ came from one of those women,” points out her father, Rick. “We didn’t hide reality from our kids.” A philosophy Lambert has been embracing with her music since she was 17.

“I went to Nashville and tried to sing someone else’s songs and couldn’t,” she recalls. “Even at that age, I was like, I can’t sell something that I don’t believe. So I started writing my own stuff. I figure, if I’m feeling something, surely to God, other people are, too, but they don’t want to say it because it’s too embarrassing.”

Lambert gladly says it for us, unpacking the dirty laundry of abuse, sexism, aging, and anger, and doing it all not onlywith firebrand feminist conviction, but also Southern charm and gothic humor. It’s not her voice or musicianship that sets her apart, but rather her lyrics and, most critically, her empathy. Lambert makes people feel known. To attend a Miranda Lambert concert is to play the scales of emotion, which is why during performances, “she breaks down crying fairly often,” Rick says. “She’s always been very sensitive.”

“Miranda started off extremely shy,” her mother, Bev, seconds, explaining she was called to school by teachers concerned about young Miranda’s development every year until the fifth grade. “She wouldn’t speak. Not a word at school. If she had to order her own food, she’d just not eat.”

Lambert largely stayed that way until her freshman year of high school, when Bev put her in the debate club. “It was full-on meltdown, sobbing, bawling, ‘Come get me, I’m quitting school,'” Bev recalls. But after Lambert won her debate on Democrat vs. Republican ideals during the 1996 election, “it was the beginning of her whole life changing.

Once she found her voice, Lambert wasn’t about to silence it. “Early on, an artist told me, ‘Don’t be yourself. Perform and be someone else,'” Lambert remembers, widening her eyes. “And I thought, That seems like exactly the opposite of what I should be doing. Then I had people wanting me to adjust my lyrics to be more appealing to the masses or whatever. I said, ‘No, that’s bullshit.’ I’d rather sell four copies of something that’sreal than 4 million copies of something that’s fake.”

There were also plenty of opinions about her tomboy looks, another part of herself she refused to glamorize. “For years, I’d only wear jeans, boots, and vintage T-shirts. This is who I am! Like it or lump it! I didn’t want to make it all about the long hair and eyelashes and tight dresses. I didn’t want to be seen. I wanted to be heard.”

Boe Marion

It is 2 in the afternoon, and Lambert is apologizing for not having her lunch ticket. Her team was supposed to bring her one but didn’t, and the backstage lunch lady clearly has no idea she is barring a headliner of the entire festival from entering the mess tent. Lambert says nothing, instead waiting patiently while the woman reluctantly finally allows her to pass.

After digging into cheese enchiladas, Lambert throws a napkin over her plate to keep from eating more than she wants (then sneaks a chip or two out from underneath). She is proud of her 20-pound weight loss through portion control and exercise, but the focus on her new shape frustrates her. “When you have to walk out there in front of thousands of people, it does feel good to know that your shit’s not jiggling. I’m just like anybody else, insecure and scared of look- ing bad or being criticized. But everybody’s making this big, giant thing about it. It’s way too much focus on women’s bikini photos, and I hate it. Why do we care? I want women to love themselves whatever they’ve got going on.

Even more confounding are the advertising offers Lambert says are pouring in from places that have ignored her for years. “I’m at the same exact place in my career. I have the same exact statements in my music that I’ve had all this time. So a couple of jeans sizes is all it was?” She wrinkles her nose in disgust. “Why does it have to be that way?”

Lambert says she’s been lightening up psychologically, too. “I’m always anxious. I will worry myself into oblivion.” This year, she made a conscious decision to check the worry nag at the door. “I was trying to make everything regimented, and it caused too much stress. I learned everything doesn’t have to be perfect. That sometimes it’s OK to say, ‘I don’t want to be the boss today. I have PMS. Bother someone else.'” She pauses for a beat. “I like things better flawed anyway.”

She tells a story about the previous weekend, when she competed in her first English riding competition, after taking up lessons on a Gypsy Vanner named Sophie that Shelton gave her for her birthday, and was thrown from her horse. “You gotta eat dirt if you’re really gonna say you’re doing this. But I landed on my feet with the reins in my hand,” she recounts with a grin. The bigger surprise? “I fell off and I wasn’t embarrassed at all. It was like, Shit, that’s part of it.”

Boe Marion

Shelton marvels at his wife’s evolution. “I’ve seen her grow from a 21-year-old girl trying to make it in country music to this accomplished woman who is literally creating an empire. She’s confident now. But she is still out there trying to conquer. Because goddang, she loves it.” Shelton, no stranger to being busy, calls her the hardest-working person he knows. (Lambert recently opened the Ladysmith, a B&B in
Tishomingo that she renovated herself. She also runs Pink Pistol country-chic clothing boutiques there and in her hometown of Lindale.) “I don’t see how anybody handles as much as she handles. Money doesn’t mean much to Miranda. Accomplishing her goals does. You’ll never see her in a sports car. If you saw the house we’re living in, you’d laugh.”

Lambert calls Shelton her “perfect match,” if also her opposite. “I’m not sunshine and roses. Blake’s the happiest person on the planet. He pulls me out of my darkness.” And, she says, contradicting the gossip pages that seem unnaturally vested in the couple’s misery, she’s never been more content. “Literally everything is the best about being married.”

Shelton recently added his own rebuttal to thebreakup gossip via the tweet: “Maybe because the divorce rate is so high the tabloids have just decided to play the odds with me and Miranda.Morons. #eatadick”

“At least come up with a new spin,” he moans. “Go back to the baby stuff. There is a possibility she could be pregnant one day. Or I could be drunk in public. That could actually happen. But divorce, that’s
outlandish to us.”

“Blake says I’m complicated, but, I mean, all girls are,” says Lambert.

Shelton recalls the “complicated” comment. “She was like, ‘What the hell is that supposed to mean?’ But it is the best way I know to describe her. Holy shit, man. That’s what I admire about her. Her
complications.” He does admit he thinks she takes on too much: “At some point, she’s going to need to divvy out some responsibility.”

Though she’s about to embark on her 30-city Certified Platinum tour this month, Lambert agrees. “Now I make sure I spend good quality time with my husband, where it’s just us being normal. It’s like, ‘Let’s go back-roading today, just me and you.'” She pauses. “I think I’ve shown him I love really deeply.”

Back at Wanda, Loretta Lynn is playing on the stereo. Lambert sings along: “If you’re lookin’ at me, you’re lookin’ at country.” Soon, she will head off to do her own stage makeup, then throw on some leather shorts, boots, and a Rolling Stones T-shirt. She seems relaxed, satisfied even, no longer the girl who once swung her fists at a guy in a bar for insulting her mother.

Go behind-the-scenes of Miranda’s cover shoot:

Miranda Lambert Opens Up About Divorce From Blake Shelton: ‘I Guess I Asked for It’

Fans were devastated when it was revealed in 2015 that Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton had divorced. Though the pair had its fair share of ups and downs, Lambert and Shelton always bounced back even stronger.

But although they seemed in it for the long haul, some people still had suspicions, believing that something was amiss; they were right. In July of 2015, news broke that Lambert and Shelton had secretly split up.

Lambert is now opening up about those days. In a new interview, she detailed her frustrations amid the divorce.

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert at a 2014 award show | Photo by Christopher Polk/ACMA2014/Getty Images for ACM

Miranda Lambert’s comments on Blake Shelton divorce

The split clearly wasn’t easy for Lambert. She and Shelton had been together for a whopping 10 years before they announced their split. (They began dating in 2005 and married in 2011.) In a statement, the couple said they had “heavy hearts” about moving forward separately.

Now, in Health magazine’s December 2019 issue, Lambert said that the “painful” divorce was further complicated by the media attention it received.

“When everyone’s worried about your personal life, it makes you feel like, ‘Well, if you could just spend some of that time talking about my actual art, that would be great!’” she told Health. “But I guess I asked for it, getting into this business. I’m never gonna get used to the public eye in that way.”

Following the news of their split, rumors surfaced that both stars had cheated on each other, which seemingly only fueled the tension between the artists.

View this post on Instagram

Thank you @healthmagazine for having me!

A post shared by Miranda Lambert (@mirandalambert) on Nov 12, 2019 at 12:33pm PST

Though it’s been years since they split, the drama continues. Lambert seemed to shade Shelton at the ACM Awards in April when she changed the lyrics in “Little Red Wagon” from “I live in Oklahoma,” to “I got the hell out of Oklahoma,” where she and the singer used to reside.

Both Lambert and Shelton have moved on

Shelton has moved on with Gwen Stefani. They confirmed their relationship in November of 2015, and they’ve been going strong ever since. Fans believe that he’s going to propose any minute now.

Meanwhile, Lambert secretly married NYPD officer Brendan McLoughlin in January. She told Health that her first marriage made her want to be more private with her second one.

“I feel like I’ve been through enough in my life to know what I don’t want,” Miranda said in regards to how things were different this time.

And Shelton has no hard feelings about this. “He put Miranda in his rear view mirror long ago. Miranda brings nothing positive to his life. Their marriage ended and he moved on. Ever since, he is grateful every day,” an insider source explained to People. “Blake is crazy about Gwen, and all he sees are hearts in his eyes every day.”

View this post on Instagram

In honor of Valentine’s Day I wanted to share some news. I met the love of my life. And we got hitched! My heart is full. Thank you Brendan Mcloughlin for loving me for…. me. ❤️ #theone

A post shared by Miranda Lambert (@mirandalambert) on Feb 16, 2019 at 2:41pm PST

We’d love to see them be cordial toward one another. But if the past is any indication, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

  • Miranda Lambert opened up about her rise to fame and relationships in a new interview.
  • She revealed how she met her husband, Brendan McLoughlin, and how the “tabloid world” swarmed her divorce with Blake Shelton.

Miranda Lambert is getting candid about some personal details from her childhood, divorce from Blake Shelton, and happily ever after with current husband Brendan McLoughlin.

The “Got My Name Changed Back” singer spoke to The New York Times about her love of music, which started when she was just a girl growing up with her parents, Richard and Beverly, who were both private investigators. Though Miranda claims she had a “pretty normal life,” her house sounded a little more interesting than your average small town family.

“My parents, their conversations while we were eating spaghetti, were about who they caught having an affair,” she said. “It was normal to me and my brothers.”

View this post on Instagram

Celebrated mama turning 60 and our parents 40th anniversary Texas style! Cheers Rick and Bev Lambert #boobsandtubes #gruene #texmex #allmyrowdyfriends #hubbysfirstfloat

A post shared by Miranda Lambert (@mirandalambert) on Aug 25, 2019 at 8:18am PDT

She admits their careers may have leaked into her music, which certainly didn’t hurt the 35-year-old superstar, as some of her biggest hits are “Gunpowder and Lead” and “White Liar.” What did take her by surprise though, was how the spotlight that resulted from her success affected her relationships.

“I didn’t know it would be this much business That was the shocking part: This is 80 percent business, and I thought it was 80 percent art,” she said. “And then the second part of that was fame. All of a sudden, there was a tabloid world, because of my first marriage.”

Christopher Polk

There certainly were many whispers about Miranda and Blake during their split, and it still continues today. As recent as April fans were wondering if she threw shade at Blake during the ACM Awards. But that doesn’t seem to faze Miranda, as she’s now happily with NYPD officer, Brendan. Still, that doesn’t mean she’s totally escaped the rumor mill.

“Here and there, I see myself at Kroger. I sell magazines,” she said. “I guess I’m still interesting.”

The two split their time between Nashville and New York, where she just confirmed they first met at Good Morning America.

“I met my husband doing press for the Pistol Annies record, this time last year,” Miranda revealed. “My girlfriends, the Annies, saw him and knew I was might be ready to hang out with someone. They invited him to our show behind my back. They plucked him for me.”

View this post on Instagram

Happy Birthday to the man that puts stars in my eyes. 😍💥🌟❤️#foreverandeveramen

A post shared by Miranda Lambert (@mirandalambert) on Oct 14, 2019 at 9:03am PDT

Even her security guard was in on it. “He said to me, ‘He’s here. And he’s pretty,’” she recalled. “Now the Pistol Annies have three husbands, two ex-husbands, three children, a stepson, and 23 animals.”

Those sound like pretty good friends to us!

Megan Stein Megan Stein is the senior editor for, covering entertainment news ranging from outrageous moments on “The Voice,” to the latest happenings with HGTV stars.

How Many Albums Has Miranda Lambert Made?

Miranda Lambert has experienced many ups and downs throughout her life. But she has proven time and time again that just because you get knocked down, doesn’t mean that you have to stay down.

In fact, her career didn’t ever really kick off until her voice was publicly rejected. And since that time, she has the top of the Billboard Music charts and has won several different awards for her outstanding musical contributions to country music.

So far, Lambert has had a very successful career and has millions of copies of her albums. But just how many albums has Lambert made? Keep reading to find out.

How did Miranda Lambert her start in the country music industry

Miranda Lambert | Jeff Kravitz/ACMA2018/FilmMagic for ACM

Since Lambert was a little girl, music had been an important part of her life. At the age of 10, she started competing in local talent shows and had even made an appearance on a Texas variety show called Johnny Highs Country Music Revue, which is the same show that helped Leanne Rhymes get her first big break.

A few years later, when Lambert still in high school, she started her own country music band called Texas Pride. That same year, Lambert had dropped out of high school to a full-time in music.

In 2001, she recorded her first independent CD. But it wasn’t until 2003 that Lambert finally got the recognition that she had been wishing for.

In 2003, Lambert appeared on a country music talent show called Nashville Star. The competitive show essentially worked the same way that American Idol did; the only difference that all of the contestants sang only country music.

Lambert ended up going far in the competition but she, not the winner. However, the allowed her to get recognized by several production companies and she ended up signing a contract with Sony Music shortly after leaving the show.

When did Miranda Lambert debut her first album?

Not long after Lambert signed with Sony Music, she came out with her first single entitled Me and Charlie Talking. The single was fairly popular, but her first album entitled Kerosene is what made Lambert’s popularity really started to grow. This album allowed her fans to see Lambert’s spunky and menacingly fun personality.

For the next several years, Lambert continued to make hit after hit. Some of her songs like Gunpowder and Lead and Mama’s Broken Heart helped people view a breakup in a more light-hearted way. And her other songs like Over You and Tin Man showed her side.

As far as her fans we’re concerned, it didn’t matter if songs we’re upbeat or sad. No matter the, almost every song that she came out with went straight to the top of the music charts. In her successful solo career, Lambert had also formed an all-girl band named Pistol Annies.

How many albums has Miranda Lambert made?

View this post on Instagram

All cozied up at home. Follow @idyllwind.⁣ ⁣ #Bootbarn #cozytown

A post shared by Miranda Lambert (@mirandalambert) on Dec 13, 2019 at 2:15pm PST

Throughout her career, Lambert has made seven solo albums. One of her most highly anticipated was The Weight of These Wings. That album was released in 2016 and was the album that Lambert had came out with since her divorce from fellow country music star, Shelton. The Weight of These Wings an emotionally-charged album that number one on the Billboard country music charts and was number three the Billboard top 200 chart.

Lambert has also made three more albums with Pistol Annies. The trio’s first album, Hell On Heels, came out in 2011. Their second album, Annie Up, was made in 2013. And their last, Interstate Gospel, came out in 2018.

If you add albums that Lambert made with Pistol Annies to her solo albums, then Lambert has made a grand total of 10 albums throughout her career. Because she is still known one the greatest female vocalists in country music, expect that number to double, and even triple, throughout the rest of her career.

  • Miranda Lambert opened up to the crowd at a recent concert in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • The “Dark Bars” singer says living in the city “healed” her after her divorce from Blake Shelton.

Miranda Lambert always speaks her mind—and she made no exception during the latest stop on her Wildcard tour.

The country singer was performing in Nashville, Tennessee when she took a break between songs to tell the audience how much the southern city means to her.

“I spend a lot of time in this town. It’s my second hometown, basically, at this point,” Miranda said. “I feel like Nashville is somewhere where you can go if you need to be a dreamer and not be judged about it.”

The 36-year-old went on to explain that she’s experienced a lot of “highs and lows” while living there, and seemed to directly reference her divorce with Blake Shelton.

“I went through a really hard time in my life,” she said. “I moved in 2015 in the middle of a s*** show, but I was lifted up by people who were like, ‘We got you, girl.’ My friends and my songwriters and my fans and everybody here.”

Miranda and Blake got married in 2011 and—after years of denying rumors that their relationship was on the rocks—announced their split in July 2015. Many of Miranda’s hit songs reference her messy divorce, and she admitted to the crowd that singing them in Nashville “healed” her.

“I realized at that point. . . somehow sitting there crying in my beer like we do when we sing country music, it healed me all the way. Like deep down, it healed me to the bone,” she said, before continuing the show. “So I wrote a song about it because you don’t have to be in pain or hurting all the time if you just want to go sit somewhere in a dark corner and be by yourself with everybody.”

In the song she was referencing, “Dark Bars,” the lyrics say she knows “a thing or two about broke hearts.” While her split with Blake might still be influencing her latest music, the singer isn’t broken-hearted anymore.

View this post on Instagram

1 year ❤️. I’m so happy to walk through this life with you. Thank you Brendan for making me the proudest wife and stepmom. You are the reason for all my new smile lines. I love you. #MrsMcLoughlin

A post shared by Miranda Lambert (@mirandalambert) on Jan 26, 2020 at 10:30am PST

She recently celebrated her first anniversary with husband Brendan McLoughlin, who she says is “the reason for all new smile lines.”

So…does this mean we’re going to get more love songs on her next album?! 🤞

Listen to Miranda’s Chart-Topping Hits

The Weight of These Wings Revolution Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Kerosene Kelly O’Sullivan Content Strategy Editor Kelly O’Sullivan is the content strategy editor for and also covers entertainment news, from standout moments on “The Voice” to the latest drama on “Chicago Fire.”