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Miranda Lambert

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Before becoming one of country music's most popular females, Miranda Lambert successfully auditioned for Nashville Star, a reality TV series modeled on the American Idol format. She eventually finished third in the competition, earning a recording contract with Sony. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, released in 2007, established Lambert as one of country's newest "bad girls," a designation that nodded to the fiery temperament of her music. Her songs spun tales of cheating boyfriends and domestic abuse, and they often ended with the singer extracting violent, spectacular revenge on her aggressors. For 2009's award-winning Revolution, however, she branched out into other subjects, writing songs about love, regret, and childhood. Platinum, released in 2014, confirmed Lambert's pop-star status, becoming her first album to top the country and pop charts. Miranda Lambert grew up in Lindale, Texas, a small town 80 miles east of Dallas. The daughter of a country guitarist (Rick Lambert) and a detective agency owner, she was raised in a house dedicated to country music. Lambert began entering country talent contests when she was 16, including an appearance with the Johnny High Country Music Review in Arlington, Texas. She learned to play guitar and began writing her own songs while continuing to enter various competitions, one of which earned her an appearance in a potato chip advertisement and the 2001 teen comedy Slap Her She's French. At the age of 17, she formed the Texas Pride Band and began gigging professionally; later in 2001, with financial help from her father, she showcased her songwriting skills by releasing an independent CD, Miranda Lambert. Two of the album's tracks, "Texas Pride" and "Somebody Else," even entered the Texas music charts. In 2003, Lambert earned a spot on the competition series Nashville Star. She decamped to Nashville in order to appear on the show and finished third. Only 21 years old, she soon released her first single for Sony, "Me and Charlie Talking," and the full-length Kerosene followed in 2005. Lambert wrote or co-wrote ten of the album's 11 tracks, several of which became popular singles on country radio, and Kerosene eventually went platinum. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend experienced similar success upon its release in 2007; it was quickly certified platinum, and gained more success than Kerosene on country radio, driven by Lambert's stand-out songwriting on "Famous in a Small Town," "More Like Her," and her first Top Ten entry, "Gunpowder & Lead." For 2009's award-winning Revolution, however, she branched out into other subjects, writing songs about love, regret, and childhood. The album outsold both of its predecessors, and placed two singles -- "The House That Built Me," "Heart Like Mine" -- at the top of the country charts. Lambert wrote or co-wrote six of the 14 tracks on her next outing, Four the Record, which appeared in the fall of 2011 and became her fourth consecutive platinum album -- a big accomplishment in the growing age of digital downloads and streaming. It generated hit singles over the next two years including the Top Ten entries "Baggage Claim," "Fastest Girl in Town," "Mama's Broken Heart" and the number one single "Over You." During this time, Lambert also played with her side project Pistol Annies, a group that featured Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley; Pistol Annies' debut arrived in August 2011 and their second, Annie Up, came out in 2013. Lambert's popularity also increased via the tabloid headlines generated by her high-profile marriage to Shelton, whose fame increased once he signed on to co-host the singing competition The Voice. Lambert alluded to this gossip on her 2014 album, Platinum, which appeared in June of that year. ~ Steve Leggett & Andrew Leahey

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