Miranda Lambert – “Mama’s Broken Heart” – ACM Awards 2013

Miranda Leigh Lambert[1] (born November 10, 1983) is an American country music artist who gained fame as a finalist on the 2003 season of Nashville Star, where she finished in third place and later signed to Epic Records. Lambert made her debut with the release of “Me and Charlie Talking”, the first single from her 2005 debut album Kerosene. This album, which was certified Platinum in the United States, also produced the singles “Bring Me Down”, “Kerosene”, and “New Strings”. All four singles were Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.

After Epic’s Nashville division closed, Lambert was transferred to Columbia Records Nashville for her second album, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which was released in early 2007. Although the title track failed to make top 40, the next three singles (“Famous in a Small Town”, “Gunpowder & Lead”, and “More Like Her”) were all Top 20 hits, with “Gunpowder & Lead” becoming her first Top 10 country hit in July 2008. Lambert’s third album, Revolution, was released in September 2009. Five singles have been released from the album, including Lambert’s two Number One hits “The House That Built Me,” which spent four weeks at the top of the chart, and “Heart Like Mine”. Lambert has also been honored by the Grammy Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and the Country Music Association Awards.

In 2011, Lambert married fellow country singer Blake Shelton. She also released her fourth album, Four the Record, which includes the singles “Baggage Claim”, “Over You” (also a number 1), “Fastest Girl in Town”, “Mama’s Broken Heart” and “All Kinds of Kinds”. Lambert also collaborated with Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley in the side project Pistol Annies.
Miranda Leigh Lambert was born November 10, 1983, in Longview, Texas, but then raised in Lindale, Texas. Her father, Richard Lee “Rick” Lambert, is a retired police officer who in later life became a private investigator in partnership with her mother, Beverly June Lambert (née Hughes). Miranda was taught about guns by her father in early childhood and later she became an avid deer hunter. Her parents took her to a Garth Brooks concert when she was nine and this started her interest in country music and being famous. Her father started writing and performing country music and she soon began singing in talent shows under his guidance. She then started out playing in local restaurants.

At sixteen, Lambert appeared on the Johnnie High Country Music Revue in Arlington, Texas, the same talent show that helped launch the career of LeAnn Rimes many year earlier. Lambert then acquired a recording session in Nashville, but left the studio after she became frustrated with the “pop” type of music presented to her. She went back to Texas in 2000 and asked her dad to teach her how to play guitar, so she could write her own songs.[2][3]

While still attending high school, Lambert made her professional singing debut within the band “The Texas Pride Band.” [4] She also fronted the house band at the Reo Palm Isle[5] in Longview, Texas, a long-running venue that had once a long time ago showed legends such as Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson and the place where the band Brooks & Dunn started out also as the bar room band.

Melissa Maerz, writer for Entertainment Weekly, stated, “Lambert’s teenage years provided her with some material for her music.” When she was fifteen, her parents opened their suburban home up to an abused woman and her daughter. “She had a black eye and she was bawling,” Miranda remembers, her own eyes widening. “I had heard about domestic abuse before, but that’s when it became real.” So witnessing the after-effects of that other woman’s experience had become an influence for the 2008 song Miranda co-wrote ‘Gunpowder and Lead, “where little girls are made of Gunpowder and Lead..” Miranda Lambert is licensed to carry her very own guns. Her forearm has a tattoo of two entwined guns with angel wings. She says that “knowing she can defend herself with guns makes her feel safe.”[4]
Music career
Lambert performing at Laughlin AFB in 2006
[icon] This section requires expansion with: Critical reception, musical stylings, any other relevant info. (February 2009)
2003–2008: Musical Beginnings

In 2002, while performing at Tye Phelps’ country music restaurant and venue “Love And War in Texas”, Miranda and her father, Rick, met entertainment attorney Rod Phelps who had previously been instrumental in getting Garth Brooks, Chris Cagle and Rory Lee Feek to move to Nashville and helping them get recording and writing deals. Phelps was impressed with the Lamberts and sent letters and demos to producer and record executive Mark Wright and Garth’s manager, Bob Doyle. Their positive responses served as encouragement and Miranda went back to Nashville to give it another try.

In 2003, Lambert auditioned for the talent competition Nashville Star, eventually becoming a third-place finisher on the show. She performed in many places such as The Tap in College Station, Texas when she was 18. On September 15, 2003, she signed with Epic Records.[6] Her debut single, “Me and Charlie Talking” (co-written by her father and Heather Little), was released in summer of 2004 as the lead-off single to her debut album. Titled Kerosene, Lambert’s first album comprised twelve songs, eleven of which she co-wrote. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums charts,[7] and eventually gained a Platinum certification by the RIAA for shipments of over one million copies,[8] selling more than 930,000 copies up to July 2008.[9] Overall, the album produced four Top 40 singles on the Billboard country charts, including the title track which was a Top 20 hit. Lambert also toured with Keith Urban[10] and George Strait[11] in early 2006. In 2007, she toured with Dierks Bentley and Toby Keith.[12]
Lambert on stage, in Pontiac, Michigan, March 31, 2007

Lambert’s second album, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was released on May 9, 2007. She wrote eight of the album’s eleven tracks,[13] including its four singles. Much of the track “Gunpowder & Lead,” the album’s third single and her highest-charting single, was written while she was taking a concealed handgun class in her home town.[14]

In 2005, at the 40th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, Lambert won the Cover Girl “Fresh Face of Country Music Award”. She was also nominated for the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award in 2005; in 2007, Lambert also received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her single “Kerosene”. She also won the Top New Female Vocalist award at the 2007 ACM (Academy of Country Music) Awards. At the 2008 ACM (Academy of Country Music) Awards, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend won Album of the Year.

Lambert was ranked No. 90 on the 100 Greatest Women (of Country Music) by Country Universe in 2008.[15]
2009–2011: Revolution

In February 2009, Miranda Lambert entered the studio to record her third album, Revolution, which was to be released on September 29, 2009. Lambert co-wrote all but four of the album’s 15 tracks; the album also includes co-writes from Blake Shelton, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum.[16] Ahead of the album’s release, an EP, titled Dead Flowers, was issued on September 8, 2009.[17] The EP, available exclusively at Best Buy, featured the Revolution album track “Dead Flowers” and three bonus tracks previously included on limited editions of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

During this time, Lambert (along with two other singers), became the new face of Cotton Inc.’s revived “The Touch, The Feel of Cotton” campaign.[18] She has appeared in ads to promote cotton, and the website features a free download of the full version of her song, “Fabric of My Life.”[19]

Lambert debuted her new single, “Dead Flowers”, at the 44th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 5, 2009.[20] It was released to country radio on May 4, 2009, and was a minor Top 40 hit on the charts.

On September 24, 2009, Lambert and her band performed all the tracks on Revolution in sequence at the Ryman Auditorium, five days before its scheduled release date.[16]
Miranda Lambert performing in Dallas, Texas, July 1, 2007

Upon the release of Revolution, Lambert’s work was met with significant critical praise.[21] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 85, based on 11 reviews, which indicates “universal acclaim”.[21]

Rolling Stone magazine praised the album saying, “Lambert remains country’s most refreshing act, and not just because she makes firearms seem like a matter-of-fact female accessory.” Entertainment Weekly magazine said, “She’s found stylistic shades of songwriters twice her age…” and that the album is “…a portrait of an artist in full possession of her powers, and the best mainstream-country album so far this year.” Boston Globe commented that “Revolution’’ is the sound of Miranda Lambert coming into her own.” Slant magazine also had high praises reserved for the album saying, “Miranda Lambert expands on her fascinating, fully realized artistic persona on Revolution.”

The album’s second single, “White Liar”, was released on August 17, 2009,[22] and debuted at No. 50 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. In February 2010, “White Liar” became Lambert’s first Top Five hit, reaching a peak of No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

In promotion of Revolution, Miranda Lambert launched a headlining tour; Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars kicked off in March 2010 and included stops in over 22 cities, as well as a performance at the Bonnaroo Music Festival.[23]

“The House That Built Me,” the album’s third single, was released on March 8, 2010 and became a No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It retained this position for four weeks and it received a platinum certification from the RIAA on July 8, 2010.[24] On February 13, 2011, Lambert won a Grammy Award in the Best Female Country Vocal Performance category for “The House That Built Me.”[25]

“Only Prettier” followed as the album’s fourth single in July 2010 and its accompanying music video became somewhat viral. The music video for “Only Prettier” was directed by Trey Fanjoy and filmed in Joelton, Tennessee in June 2010,[26] and premiered on VEVO on August 3, 2010.[27] It features a 1950s theme and cameo appearances by fellow country artists Kellie Pickler, Laura Bell Bundy, and Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum. In the video, Lambert and her friends portray two rival cliques attending a high school sock hop.[28] The alter-egos are shown doing things such as spiking the punch, stuffing their bras and smoking. Ultimately, the alter-egos have a bad time at the party, while Lambert, Pickler, Bundy and Scott enjoy themselves the entire night. Additionally, Lambert is also shown performing with her band on stage at the event.

On September 1, 2010, it was announced Miranda led nominations with an impressive 9 CMA awards, setting a record for the female with the most nominations in a single year by the organization. Miranda performed at the 44th Annual Country Music Association Awards on November 10, 2010.[29] That same night she won the CMA Award for Female Vocalist of the Year and Revolution won Album of the Year.[30] Lambert and Sheryl Crow performed “Coal Miner’s Daughter” as a tribute to country legend Loretta Lynn, who also entered the stage to join them and finished the song with Crow and Lambert as backup. Later that night, Lynn presented the Female Vocalist of the Year CMA award to Lambert.

In December 2010, “Only Prettier”, eventually reached a peak of number 12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, giving Lambert her seventh Top 20 hit. “Heart Like Mine” was released in January 2011 as the fifth and final single from Revolution. It became Lambert’s second Number One hit on the country charts for the chart dated May 28, 2011.
2011–present: Four the Record

Lambert announced in July 2011 that her fourth studio album, Four the Record, would be released on November 1, 2011.[31] A month later, Sony Music Nashville announced that Lambert and labelmate Josh Thompson would transfer to RCA Nashville as part of a corporate restructuring.[32] Four the Record has produced five singles: “Baggage Claim”, “Over You”, “Fastest Girl in Town”, “Mama’s Broken Heart”, and “All Kinds of Kinds”. “Over You”, which Lambert co-wrote with Shelton, reached number 1 in early 2012. Late in 2012, Lambert appeared on Shelton’s Christmas album Cheers, It’s Christmas, to which she contributed guest vocals on a version of “Jingle Bell Rock”.

Lambert also recorded a song for The Hunger Games soundtrack (The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond), called “Run Daddy Run” featuring The Pistol Annies. The soundtrack was released on March 20, 2012.

On October 23, Lambert and Dierks Bentley announced the co-headlined 33-show Locked & Reloaded Tour, beginning on January 17, 2013.[33]
Acting debut

Miranda Lambert made her acting debut on NBC’s long-running legal drama, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in an episode titled “Father’s Shadow”, which originally aired on February 8, 2012. Lambert portrayed an actress named Lacey Ford, who falls under the spell of a nefarious producer (played by Michael McKean) and later claims to have been sexually assaulted by the reality show producer. “I had to really pull from my gut on this whole role I was playing because I’m a very strong, confident person,” the country star says, noting that she was portraying “a more subdued, naïve character” than herself. “I really had to really transform my personality, which I wasn’t sure I could do until I got on the set and sort of just tried to put myself in her shoes.” She went on to add, “This was really nerve-racking all around, but also exciting because I’ve never acted before,” she says. “And then playing an actress trying to get a role, it was like an audition within an audition. It was sort of my audition for myself to see if I could even act at all.”[34][35] Lambert told CMT News, “I have all of the [episodes] TiVo’ed. I watch the marathons. I love them. And I never wanted to act. I still don’t. I don’t want to be an actress. I just wanted to be on that show mainly so I could be a groupie [for their autographs].”[36]

“I actually played a rape victim, which was crazy to go from never acting to going to such a serious thing. I have a pretty small part, but it’s big to me because I’ve never acted in my life, it was hard. I was really, really nervous, like about to throw up all day. I’m playing a character opposite of my personality, and I’m having to act with people that are actually amazing actors, so it really pushed me out of my comfort zone.”
—Miranda Lambert, to CMT News.[36]

Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly praised Lambert in her debut role on SVU; “Lambert quickly communicated a convincing air of sodden despair and desperation. The script’s idea, an all too believable one, was to have Lacey be so desperate to become famous as a reality-TV star, she declined a rape kit test. “If he goes to prison,” she said of McKean’s creep, “What happens to the show? I really want this part.” Lambert really made you feel Lacey’s addled yearning. I don’t know, Miranda — I wouldn’t rule out that acting career so quickly…”[37]
Pistol Annies
Main article: Pistol Annies

On April 4, 2011, during the taping of the Academy of Country Music’s ‘Girls’ Night Out’ television special in Las Vegas, Lambert debuted her new project, girl group Pistol Annies. The group consists of Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley. They released their single, “Hell on Heels,” in May 2011,[38] and released their debut album, Hell on Heels, on August 23, 2011, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s country chart. A second Pistol Annies album, Annie Up, was released in May 2013. This album produced the group’s first country chart entry with “Hush Hush”. The Pistol Annies are also one of many acts featured on Blake Shelton’s mid-2013 single “Boys ‘Round Here”, which went to number 1 on Country Airplay. They had previously accompanied Shelton on a rendition of “Blue Christmas” on Cheers, It’s Christmas.
Personal life

In 2006, Lambert began dating fellow country singer Blake Shelton.[39] Lambert sang backing vocals on Shelton’s 2008 country cover of Michael Bublé’s song “Home”.[40] The two recorded and co-wrote duet “Bare Skin Rug,” for his studio album Startin’ Fires released later in 2008. Shelton also co-wrote three songs on Revolution, and provided background vocals on “Maintain the Pain.” On May 9, 2010, Shelton proposed to Lambert after receiving her father’s blessing and they became engaged.[41][42] The two married on May 14, 2011 at the Don Strange Ranch in Boerne, Texas.[42] Wearing her mother’s wedding dress, Lambert walked down the aisle and exchanged vows with Shelton in front of 550 family members and friends, including fellow celebrities Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson, Cee Lo Green, Martina McBride, Dierks Bentley, Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum, Trace Adkins and the Bellamy Brothers. After the ceremony, Lambert expressed her excitement: “I’m married to my best friend! Looking forward to a lifetime of laughter and love.”[43] Lambert and Shelton live in Tishomingo, Oklahoma.

Lambert once stated that she loves watching the show “Snapped” on Oxygen, the show that tells the stories of female killers. “’It’s so weird,’ she murmurs. ‘I watched one about this woman whose husband had been beating the crap out of her for years. Finally, one day she shot him in the bedroom and shut the door–and left him there for two years. The road it happened on was County Road 233.’ She waits a beat. ‘That was where the guy gets shot in my song ‘Gunpowder and Lead.'” Does she feel responsible? She laughs. ‘You know, women have come up to me and said, ‘You gave me the courage to leave after 10 years of him hitting me.’ That’s the best compliment I could get.’ She stops, suddenly aware of her words. ‘But don’t shoot him,’ she adds, grinning. ‘Or don’t blame it on me if you do.’”[4]

On February 21, 2013, Lambert appeared on Project Runway as a guest. The contestants of the show were charged with the task of designing two outfits for the singer: one performance look and one red carpet look.[44]

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