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Miranda Lambert rose to fame in 2003 as the third-place finisher on the first season of the musical competition Nashville Star. After singing backing and duet vocals on first-placer Buddy Jewell's debut album, Lambert secured a contract with Epic Records Nashville. Her debut album Kerosene was released to critical acclaim and strong sales, although its singles did not perform well (the title track, at #15 on Hot Country Songs, being its best showing).
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend followed in 2007 on Columbia Records, due to the closure of Epic's Nashville branch. This album brought her into the top 10 for the first time with the single "Gunpowder & Lead". Revolution in 2009 includes her first and second number one hits, "The House That Built Me" and "Heart Like Mine". 2011's Four the Record includes the top 3 hit "Baggage Claim" and "Over You", the latter of which she co-wrote with her husband, fellow country singer Blake Shelton.
Lambert is known for her comparatively grittier style against the more mainstream and polished Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. Although it took her three albums to top the charts, Lambert has been a longtime critical darling, with several Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association awards, plus a Grammy for "The House That Built Me".
In 2011, Lambert recorded one disc with Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley as the side project Pistol Annies.
- Kerosene (2005)
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2007)
- Revolution (2009)
- Four the Record (2011)
Tropes present in her work:
- Break-Up Bonfire: "Kerosene".
- Chronological Album Title: Four the Record.
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
- Domestic Abuse: In "Gunpowder & Lead", the narrator plans to kill an abusive husband.
- Loudness War: A common fault of Frank Liddell's production, particularly on Revolution. See this article for more information. (However, Liddell said that he invoked this on "Only Prettier".)
- Not So Different: "Only Prettier", which is the point of view of a Cool Loser talking to an Alpha Bitch: "We're just like you, only prettier."
- Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: This happens in her music a lot.
- Take That: Went after The Grammy producers and general society for accepting back Chris Brown so easily after he beat up Rihanna and physically abused her and for being a convicted felon
"Chris Brown twice? I don’t get it. He beat on a girl," she tweeted, before adding "Not cool that we act like that didn’t happen. He needs to listen to 'Gunpowder and Lead' and be put back in his place. Not at the Grammys."
Before singing, Lambert pulled a poster out of the audience reading "Take Notes Chris Brown."
"Get a good picture now, put it on Twitter," she said, while holding the poster up. "I’ve been in a world of hurt with Chris Brown fans lately ...
but see, I just have to speak my mind because where I come from beating up on a woman is never okay.”
- The Runner Up Takes It All: Buddy Jewell initially outshone her on the charts (his had two top 3 hits, a number 1 album that went gold; Kerosene was a number 1 album that went platinum but its singles didn't fare as well). However, Jewell's momentum died on the second album, while Lambert has only continued to gain momentum with each successive disc.
- …but she has been promptly zig-zagged by Season 4 winner Chris Young, who has managed five consecutive number 1 singles (despite a false start on the first album) even though his three albums haven't sold nearly as well.