In a recent interview with the LA Times (around the album’s release), she detailed parts of her journey so far and how she’s been able to remain at the forefront of mainstream country music for so long by doing it her own way.
Of course, it hasn’t come without a few bumps in the road, and that includes her extremely public divorce from Blake Shelton back in 2015. At the time, you couldn’t step foot into any sort of store without seeing one (or both) oof their faces plastered on the front page of a magazine with some sort of salacious gossip or spin to the divorce.
Blake has since remarried fellow The Voice coach Gwen Stefani and Miranda is now married to former NYPD officer Brendan McLoughlin, but Miranda recalls what “a shock to [her] system,” it was when she moved part-time to Hollywood with Blake and really experienced all of that tabloid scrutiny for the first time:
“I’m a Scorpio, so I’m already very private and protective. And choosing the job I chose… I mean, I get onstage, I’m in front of people.
But I didn’t choose random photos of moments when I wasn’t at work.”
With Nashville being basically the opposite of LA (in terms of paparazzi at least), she says they’ve run TMZ off more than once in Music City:
“TMZ has tried to come to Nashville like three times, and we keep running them out. We’re like, ‘Nope, not here.’”
She did learn a valuable lesson from her time there, though, that you’ve probably heard plenty of other country artists echo in the past (like Cody Johnson, for example):
“It taught me that Hollywood is not anything I want to be part of.”
Blake and Miranda were married in 2011, and Blake started his gig on The Voice that same year. Of course, there’s an endless supply of rumors in terms of what really went down between them, but ultimately, we did end up with an incredible record from Miranda in The Weight Of These Wings.
But she had to go through Hell to get there, saying the whole ordeal was:
“Horrible… like the death of something.”
She’s clearly since moved on, delivering a much lighter sentiment and feeling on Palomino (and even her 2019 Wildcard), but the trend of the “divorce album” is still alive and well.
Kacey Musgraves and Carly Pearce put out Star-Crossed and 29: Written In Stone in 2021, respectively, but Miranda says they get one good year to wallow and live in that space, and then it’s time to move on:
“I see all these women getting divorced, and I’m like, ‘You got one year, then no more wallowing. Let’s cry these tears and move on.'”
I can’t lie and say I don’t live for a good divorce record, but I think Miranda’s logic is spot on, and no on should live in that sad space forever… like she said before, it’s no way to be, even for the sake of “art”.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t still write those gut-wrenching sad country songs the genre is known for doing so well, and she included one of the best in her catalog on the Palomino tracklist, “Carousel”:
That EOTY award brings her ACM Awards total to 38, in addition to her already being the most decorated artist in ACM’s history.
She recently sat down for an interview with Pollstar prior to the show, where she talked a little bit about her journey in the music business so far and how she’s been able to stay at the forefront of mainstream country music for so many years.
And of course, in the music business (especially country music), there’s often an expectation that women have to look or act a certain way in order to make it. Unfortunately, even today, there’s still some of that in Nashville, especially when it comes to signing with a major label.
Miranda’s managed to go from playing small bars and honky tonks in Texas to selling an impressive 2.7 million tickets in total since she got started… but it’s because she’s connected with people, both men and women, all over the world through the honesty and authenticity in her music, and nothing else.
She says it’s been her life’s work, and she’s made sure to do it the right way:
“I’ve put my life in my songs… and I’ve never counted on my hair, my makeup and my boobs to get me over.
I’ve always used my guitar. A guitar and a real stubborn head will get you a long, long way.”
And that is the God’s honest truth (and some really great advice for any girl chasing a dream).
Her talent goes far and beyond her outward appearance, and she knows it. She admits that her ability to talk about real life and all of her experiences have been the key to her success:
“I feel like the girls I’m singing to, or even the people listening, are people just like me. Men or women, they’ve made their mistakes; they go through things, high and low.
So, I tell stories for everyone who can’t. I’m kinda representing all of us.”
Well, that, and the fact that she always keeps us on our toes. I mean, if she wasn’t just a little bit crazy, it’d be too vanilla to really work the way it has long-term (and just plain boring):
“Who doesn’t want to be part of a ball of fire? The emotional, moody, crazy part is part being with a women who excites you.
You’d be surprised all the boys with their great big beers singing every word of ‘Hell On Heels.'”
Her recent single, “If I Was a Cowboy” presents a message that sums up everything about her career over the last couple decades… she’s a cowgirl and a country queen:
Miranda Lambert Addresses Her Inner Demons With “Vice”
Miranda Lambert really went all the way there when she penned “Vice.”
A co-write by Miranda with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, it’s one of my favorite sad country songs and never fails to hit me right where it hurts.
On this day in 2016, it was released as the lead single from her 2016 The Weight of These Wings album, and the song fizzled out just before cracking the top 10 on the U.S. Billboard Country Airplay chart.
And honestly, that’s a damn crime… not that I expect much less from country radio, but still, I can never get over the fact that it wasn’t a #1 hit.
Miranda told The Tennessean that she wrote “Vice” during a hard time in her life, namely her very public divorce from Blake Shelton, and that the inspiration came when shit was hitting the fan and everything was going awry:
“I wrote this at the exact time of the shit hitting the fan. I think it’s great, though. It’s documented on paper with emotion.”
The song gets to the heart of the fact that we all have vices, no matter what they are, and Miranda added that she’s knows all too well what it feels like to run exactly to the thing that’s the worst for you to try to unsuccessfully fill a deep and painful void in your heart:
“Everybody has a vice of some sort. Sometimes when you’re going through something in your life, you may run to some things you shouldn’t and run from some things you shouldn’t.
I think this song is an opportunity to just be honest and own it and say, ‘Yeah, I have some imperfections, and I live a life and here and there I might get in a pickle.’
It’s not about one thing or another.”
Part of the reason the song has become a fan-favorite, and one of the very best in her entire catalog, in my very humble opinion, is because it’s acutely honest and relatable.
I mean, the bridge is so searing and straightforward in terms of her admission that she’s often let her vices get so out of hand that she doesn’t even recognize herself anymore:
“Standing at the sink not looking in a mirror Don’t know where I am or how I got here Well, the only thing that I know how to find Is another vice”
I think most of us have been there a time or two, at least…
She’s human just like all of us, and often, that means running towards the wrong things and reaching for something that will only make the situation worse:
“Everybody has a vice they run to when they need comfort, and I think that’s what this song says. There’s no mystery here.
I run to things for comfort just like everybody else.”
Amen to that, Miranda…
I mean, seriously, how was this not a mega hit?
And you know I had to include the acoustic version of Miranda singing with her co-writer Shane, because it’s as raw and honest as they come, and I would absolutely love to get an acoustic studio version one day: