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Miranda Lambert

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Biography

Miranda Lambert defied all conventional notions of how a credible country career should proceed. Following an adolescence where she alternated between singing and acting, she came to prominence not as the winner but as a runner-up on the 2003 American Idol knockoff Nashville Star, a dubious stepping stone to stardom if ever there was one, but Lambert's 2005 Kerosene obliterated any notion that she was a reality TV refugee. Filled with lithe, powerful, neo-traditional country songs, many penned by Lambert herself, Kerosene established the singer/songwriter as a commercial force to be reckoned with, while its 2007 sequel, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, pulled off the trick of turning her into a superstar while confirming she was a writer of considerable substance. From there, the hits piled up fast and furious -- most of them from her multi-platinum records Revolution, Four the Record and Platinum, but some coming from her side project Pistol Annies -- and tabloid headlines started to flow after she married fellow country star Blake Shelton in 2011. By that point, she could weather the gossip because there was no mistaking Miranda Lambert as anything but a major figure in country music. Raised by parents who were also professional partners in a private investigator agency (her father Rick was also a guitarist who taught his daughter how to play), Lambert began playing music early, entering talent competitions as a singer when she was 16. She performed well enough to be offered a demo recording contract in Nashville but she bailed on the sessions, claiming the music was too pop. She headed back to Texas, where she learned to play guitar with the idea of writing her own songs. As she was woodshedding this skill, she continued to sing, fronting a variety of local bands around Longview, Texas at ballrooms, dance halls, and restaurants. Additionally, she perused opportunities as an actress, appearing in a Ruffles potato chip commercial and landing a small role in the 2001 comedy Slap Her She's French, but her main concentration was music, particularly the Texas Pride band she fronted. In 2001, she and her father self-financed an eponymous independent album that made local waves: "Texas Pride" and "Somebody Else" garnered enough local play that they appeared on Texas music charts. Things started to gel in 2002 when she gained the attention of music attorney Rod Phelps, who pulled enough strings in Nashville to persuade her to move back to the Music City. Once there, she auditioned for the fledgling television show Nashville Star, a singing competition launched by USA Networks in 2003 in the wake of the massive success of American Idol. Lambert made it to the finale but didn't win -- she was eclipsed by Buddy Jewell -- yet her success on the show piqued the interest of Epic Records, who signed her to a deal in September 2003 (her Epic contract would later transfer to Sony Nashville). A single, "Me and Charlie Talking," appeared in 2004, with the full-length debut, Kerosene, released in the spring of 2005. Lambert wrote or co-wrote 11 of the 12 songs on her debut, including the title track, which made it to 16 on Billboard's Country Singles chart on its way to eventual platinum certification. Kerosene the album also reached platinum status, but her 2007 sophomore set Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is where Lambert demonstrated her commercial muscle. Debuting at number one on the Billboard Country chart and six on Billboard's Top 200, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend boasted two big hits in "Famous in a Small Town" and "Gunpowder & Lead," the latter reaching seven on the Country chart on its way to double-platinum certification; "More Like Her" was also a hit, making its way to 17. Released in September 2009, third album Revolution was her blockbuster -- her biggest seller containing her biggest hit singles. "The House That Built Me" became her first number one single -- it would be certified platinum twice over, whereas its predecessor, "White Liar," went platinum and peaked at two -- and "Heart Like Mine" also reached the top; "Only Prettier" peaked at 12. Buttressed by this success, Lambert decided to venture into a side project called Pistol Annies with fellow singer/songwriters Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley. Their debut, Hell on Heels, appeared in August 2011 and went gold, partially on the strength of good reviews, partially on the strength of its platinum-selling title track; the album debuted at five on Billboard's Top 200. Arriving quickly on the heels of Hell on Heels -- less than three months later, to be precise -- came Lambert's fourth solo album, Four the Record. A hit right out of the box -- it debuted at three on the Top 200 and one on the country charts -- Four the Record contained four Top Ten country hits ("Baggage Claim," the number one "Over You," "Fastest Girl in Town," and "Mama's Broken Heart"; "All Kind of Kinds" topped out at 15) and helped cement Lambert's position as the reigning queen of country music in the 2010s. Her status was also elevated by her marriage to fellow country star Blake Shelton in 2011, the same year he landed a starring role on NBC's televised singing competition The Voice and broke into the pop mainstream via his single "Honey Bee." Soon, Lambert and Shelton were gossip favorites but Lambert kept working hard. She returned to acting in a guest spot on a Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode in 2012, Pistol Annies released a second album, Annie Up, in May 2013 -- the album debuted at five on the Top 200, two on the country charts; its single "Hush Hush" didn't crack the Top 40 -- and in June 2014 she delivered her fifth album, Platinum. Supported by the Top Ten singles "Automatic," the Carrie Underwood duet "Somethin' Bad," and "Little Red Wagon," Platinum was another big hit for Lambert. During the summer of 2015, she and Shelton announced they were divorcing and she then entered the studio to record her sixth album. "Vice," the first single from these sessions, appeared in July 2016, peaking at number two on Billboard's country chart. It was a teaser from the moody, muddy double album The Weight of These Wings, which was released in November 2016. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Gunpowder & Lead
  3.   The House That Built Me
  4.   Mama's Broken Heart
  5.   Somethin' Bad by Carrie Underwood
  6.   Heart Like Mine
  7.   Fastest Girl in Town
  8.   Little Red Wagon
  9.   Over You
  10.   White Liar
  11.   Automatic
  12.   Kerosene
  13.   Baggage Claim
  14.   Vice
  15.   Smokin' and Drinkin'
  16.   Roots and Wings
  17.   Tin Man
  18.   Keeper of the Flame
  19.   Only Prettier
  20.   More Like Her
  21.   All Kinds of Kinds
  22.   Dead Flowers
  23.   We Should Be Friends
  24.   Famous in a Small Town
  25.   Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  26.   Highway Vagabond
  27.   Dry Town
  28.   Love Song
  29.   Me and Charlie Talking
  30.   Airstream Song
  31.   Sweet By and By
  32.   Bring Me Down
  33.   Run Daddy Run
  34.   Two of a Crime
  35.   Love Your Memory
  36.   Mama, I'm Alright
  37.   Smoking Jacket
  38.   Greyhound Bound for Nowhere
  39.   Hard Staying Sober
  40.   Time to Get a Gun
  41.   Two Rings Shy
  42.   America the Beautiful by Blake Shelton
  43.   Babies Makin' Babies
  44.   Bathroom Sink
  45.   Guilty in Here
  46.   Ugly Lights
  47.   Better in the Long Run
  48.   Pink Sunglasses
  49.   Gravity Is a Bitch
  50.   Priscilla
  51.   Getting Ready
  52.   To Learn Her
  53.   Holding on to You
  54.   Old Sh!t
  55.   Makin' Plans
  56.   Runnin' Just in Case
  57.   My Father's Gun
  58.   Love Is Looking for You
  59.   Tomboy
  60.   That's the Way That the World Goes 'Round
  61.   New Strings
  62.   There's a Wall
  63.   Honky Tonk Blues
  64.   Bad Boy
  65.   Things That Break
  66.   Pushin' Time
  67.   Girls
  68.   Safe
  69.   Virginia Bluebell
  70.   Love Letters
  71.   Down
  72.   Desperation
  73.   I Wanna Die
  74.   What About Georgia?
  75.   I Can't Be Bothered
  76.   I've Got Wheels
  77.   Six Degrees of Separation
  78.   For the Birds
  79.   Covered Wagon
  80.   Getaway Driver
  81.   You Wouldn't Know Me
  82.   Another Sunday in the South
  83.   All That's Left
  84.   Platinum
  85.   Same Old You
  86.   Oklahoma Sky
  87.   Fine Tune
  88.   Easy Living
  89.   Sin for a Sin
  90.   Easy From Now On
  91.   Dear Diamond
  92.   Good Ol' Days
  93.   Use My Heart
  94.   California
  95.   Nobody's Fool
  96.   Look at Miss Ohio
  97.   Maintain the Pain
  98.   Dear Old Sun
  99.   Well-Rested
  100.   Somewhere Trouble Don't Go
  101.   Me and Your Cigarettes
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