Miranda is Pollstar Cover Girl
March 7, 2022
Miranda Lambert has forged her music-forward brand of superstardom the same way heroes Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Emmylou Harris did: crisscrossing America’s highways, taking her songs to the people. Along the way, she’s become the most awarded artist in Academy of Country Music history, including nine straight Female Vocalist of the Year Awards and five Album of the Year Awards; won seven Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year Awards along with two Album of the Year Awards; and she took last year’s GRAMMY for Country Album of the Year for Wildcard, an award she’s nominated for in 2022 for her Jon Randall/Jack Ingram campfire album The Marfa Tapes.
As Lambert heads across the Atlantic to anchor the C2C Festival in the United Kingdom and Ireland, POLLSTAR places the superstar on the cover. Headlined “The Unforgettable Fire,” the story traces the rise of a young female artist intent on making music on her own terms, from touring the nation in an SUV hauling a trailer through headlining major festivals, including Country Thunder, Tortuga Music Festival and the first female headliner of this year’s Windy City Smoke Out.
For Lambert, it’s a mission of not just taking the music to the people, but speaking for those who need someone to represent their place in the world. As she tells the touring trade, “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.”
The six-page spread follows her rise from the moment at the 2005 CMA Awards when a young artist danced in front of a wall of flames, through turning down an opportunity to headline early, a game-changing Ryman show for the release of Revolution – and her commitment to hard ticket-selling.
Speaking to Live Nation head of country touring Brian O’Connell, longtime manager Marion Kraft, Joe’s Bar/Joe’s Live owner Ed Warm and William Morris/Endeavour’s Joey Lee, a picture is painted of a woman willing to do the work, unafraid of what it takes to create a musical legacy that will endure and as O’Connell notes, “Onstage, big or small, you have to keep up with her. She closed because most people can’t follow her – and nobody does what she can.”
Whether telling a story about a night on a co-headlining tour with Jason Aldean, where she came off the bus from a business meeting to talk to two young girls out on a school night, or setting up her own merchandise after her first soundcheck at Joe’s Bar, what emerges is a woman committed to connecting with her fans on the most personal level. Looking at her success, POLLSTAR surmises, “Lambert wants to keep it interesting, lean into music and give people more than they wanted, but what they didn’t know they needed.”
“I’ve put my life in my songs,” says the uncompromising force of nature, “and I’ve never counted on my hair, my make-up and my looks to get me over. I’ve used my guitar. A guitar and a real stubborn head will get you a long, long way.”
It’s working. As POLLSTAR ponders what it takes to win Entertainer of the Year, Lambert just keeps working. With a summer tour, C2C this week and more, she’s busy. Just how she likes it.