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Miranda Lambert Biography

Last updated: 08/31/2010 12:00:00 PM

Do not be misguided by her dimpled smile, her blue eyes and her tender years. Miranda Lambert demands respect as a serious artist.

"I don't want my music to be taken as something you just hum along with," says the Sony newcomer. "No matter what I'm singing, I want to say something that makes people think. I want people to hear my songs and feel something. I want to be appreciated as someone whose music is REAL. I want to be thought of as a true artist, not just as an 'entertainer.'"

Miranda Lambert's debut major-label CD states her case clearly. She proves to be not only a dazzling vocalist on this country showcase, but a major songwriter as well.

"Kerosene" is a rough, pounding, jangling country-rocker about being fed up with romance. "There's a Wall" is a stunning power ballad of a crumbling relationship. The thumping, chiming, rousing "What About Georgia" points an accusing finger at a wandering lad. On the sweet and gentle "Love's Looking for You" Lambert is tenderly philosophical. On the ballad "Love Your Memory" she's wistful and heartbroken.

All five of these top-drawer songs are her solo compositions. All five were written when she was between 17 and 20 years old. Few songwriters in country-music history have demonstrated such uncommon insight at such a young age as Miranda Lambert does in these five extraordinary works.

There's more. "Bring Me Down" is a complex blur of conflicting emotions. The expressive "Greyhound Bound for Nowhere" conjures up broken dreams and lonely misery. Innocent nostalgia is the hallmark of "Me and Charlie Talking." The bopping "Mama I'm Alright" is about a small-town girl leaving home and trying to be strong. The edgy, stomping "I Wanna Die" plunges headlong into a dangerous relationship. These five showcase Lambert's talents as a songwriter in collaborations.

Proof of her interpretive skill is demonstrated in her headstrong, in-your-face delivery of the honky-tonk shuffle "I Can't Be Bothered." Like the rest of her album, this recording has an unmistakably tangy Texas taste.

Miranda Lambert's Texas roots run deep. Texans are generally noted as forthright and bold, and she has those qualities in her personality. Texas fans like their country music straight-up and strong, and so does she. Texas has provided more major talents to the country scene than any other state. Add Miranda Lambert's name to that long list.

Born in 1983, she is a native of Lindale, population 2,500. Located about 80 miles east of Dallas, it's the kind of town where high-school football rules fall Friday nights and folks sit on their front porches making music. Or at least the Lamberts did. Papa Rick Lambert is a country guitarist and songwriter who gathered friends and neighbors often to his rural home. During the week, he and Miranda's mother Bev run a detective agency. But country music is the heart of the household on weekends.

"We always had tons of people at our house," recalls Miranda Lambert. "It's just an old farmhouse. My friends who lived in the city had swimming pools and four-wheelers and all that. We lived out in the country with a vegetable garden. Yet they were always going, 'Let's go to your house!' I would think, 'Why?' Now I realize that it was because at my house it was so homey. We took in just everybody.

"I always hung out with the adults. I never really was a kid. Didn't eat baby food. I was 16 by the time I was 5, inside. I think that's where my 'old soul' comes from.

"I grew up on the songs of Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, Merle Haggard and my dad. We had music parties at our house on the front porch all the time. I was 10 years old and in the third grade when my parents took me to Dallas to see Garth Brooks. It was awesome. There I was in my braces screaming, 'Gaaaarrrth!' I was freakin' out."

She was so inspired that when she returned home to Lindale, she entered her first country talent contest. Accompanied by her father, Miranda Lambert made her public debut singing Holly Dunn's hit "Daddy's Hands." Her bedroom was soon decorated with country-star photos. She began annually attending Nashville's Fan Fair festivities at age 13 and was soon an avid autograph collector. At age 14, her father bought her a guitar, but to his surprise, she expressed no interest in the instrument. That would soon change.

Miranda Lambert was 16 when she heard of the Tru-Value country talent contest. She entered and placed well in the Texas competition. She began appearing on the Johnny High Country Music Review in Arlington, near Ft. Worth, the same show that helped launch LeAnn Rimes. She attended a music-business seminar in Nashville, which led to a "demo" recording session.