Miranda Lambert Wants More Women in Country Music

She Wins Third CMA Award for Female Vocalist

Miranda Lambert continued her hot streak at the CMA Awards on Thursday night (Nov. 1), winning her third female vocalist trophy as well as the song of the year award for writing her hit, “Over You.” She shared that latter win with her husband, Blake Shelton.

Backstage, she admitted she really wanted to win song of the year, but what she’d truly like are more contenders for that female vocalist category.

“I mentioned every woman in the category because [they're] amazing,” she told the reporters backstage, after being asked about her acceptance speech. “But we’re very few right now. We had like a jolt of women in country, and it seems like we’re just kind of there now. The young females are not existent right now, and I refuse to accept that. I’m one of those girls right now that’s on top, and I’m so thankful to be the reigning female vocalist three times in a row and to be standing here, but I know it’s going to be time to pass that trophy on to the next.”

She continued, “I hope there are enough females to put in that category. There’s some great talent out there, and we’re going to accept it. I kicked the door open, and I’m gonna hold my leg in there. I’m keeping the door open for all these amazing female singer-songwriters that are coming out. I have the Pistol Annies. I’m a big fan of females in this business. We’re going to do it. We’re going to keep plowing through. It is a man’s world a little bit. And we love the guys, but we’re awesome, too,” she concluded with a giggle.

However, Lambert confessed she couldn’t remember exactly what she said in her acceptance speech.

“I had to be reminded by my people because I never know what I said or know what I’m going to say,” she said. “I’m sitting there in glam, getting touched up from crying because I cried all night like a tick bag. Yes, that’s me. My tough exterior is now disheveled.”

Lambert spent most of the time backstage talking about her working relationship with Shelton. They are only the fourth married couple to win the CMA Award for song of the year, which is presented to the songwriters.

“We love getting to celebrate together as artists and musicians and songwriters,” she told reporters. “Song of the year was special to us. We really wanted to take that one home secretly. I spoke it out to the universe that I would love to take it. But he has this thing where he won’t say it because he thinks you’re hexing it or something. I’m the opposite: Say it to the universe! ‘We’re taking song of the year!’ And we did.”

Commending Shelton’s win for entertainer of the year, the night’s biggest honor, Lambert reflected on her nomination in that category two years ago.

“One year, I was nominated for entertainer of the year, and I didn’t think I deserved it. So I started to research what I thought entertainer of the year meant,” she said. “And I realized that it meant not only touring numbers, not only ticket sales or how much production you had, but the way that you represented country music within a year. The media that you do and the work that you do and the TV shows that you’re on and how you represent yourself and how much you speak out about country music. And when you think of it that way, Blake Shelton deserved to win that trophy tonight. He’s on national television every single week, two nights a week, representing us as a genre, and I’m so proud of him to take it home.”

Later in the interview session, she spoke about being wed to someone whose career is thriving at exactly the same time as hers.

“It’s really ironic to be married and to be celebrating at the same time. You have a career, and you start as a business person. And you work your way, you reach this peak, and you know the time’s going to come when you go back down,” she said with a laugh. “But I have so many goals as a singer-songwriter, and I’m just getting started. I feel like I’ve reached this amazing place, but I have so many more goals to reach. And I know he does, too, personally and professionally.”

She added, “When people see us on camera acting shocked, it’s not an act. I mean, I’m not an actress. We can’t believe it because we’re sitting next to people that we know deserve it, too. And we’re so thankful to celebrate it. You know, we’re newlyweds, and when people say the first year of marriage is hard, they’re not kidding. We’ve just been married a year and a-half, and we’ve been apart. He’s been on The Voice, and I’ve been on tour. And we work our butt off to be here, and to be celebrated for that is really something. … We’re very appreciative.”

Lambert and Shelton wrote “Over You” about his late brother, who was killed in a car accident at age 15. Much later in life, Shelton’s father encouraged Shelton to remember his brother in a song. Sadly, Shelton’s father died earlier this year, and Shelton honored their memory in the evening’s most touching acceptance speech, causing Lambert to weep openly at the podium.

“Blake is a passionate person, and he is a very strong person. In January, he lost his father, and I think that the emotions that came back up from losing his brother 15 years ago gave him a boost. Like, ‘You know what? I’m going to do this.’ He sort of took on the male role of our family — of his family and our family — because we’re a family now, me and him.

“And he’s just a hoss. I mean, we’re Oklahoma people. I’m from Texas, and we got married and moved to Oklahoma. When we’re at home, we’re just country folk. And when he’s at work, he is absolutely a workaholic and he represents himself in the best way possible. I’m so proud to be his date tonight. I’m so proud of him, and he’s the most humble human being you’ll ever meet in your life.

“And the first thing he did after he walked offstage was call his mama. And that’s who we are,” she concluded with a smile.

Craig Shelburne has been writing for CMT.com since 2002. He is also a producer for CMT Edge, Concrete Country and Live @ CMT.