Miranda Lambert Celebrates “Mama’s Broken Heart” With Songwriters

Blake Shelton Watches the Party From the Sideline

Well-wishers jammed Nashville’s fashionable Cabana restaurant Wednesday (Sept. 11) to toast Miranda Lambert and the three writers of her latest hit, “Mama’s Broken Heart.” The writers are Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally.

ASCAP and BMI, the two major performance rights organizations, co-sponsored the party. Musgraves is affiliated with BMI, Clark and McAnally with ASCAP.

Lambert and husband Blake Shelton slipped in at a side door of the eatery just as the action was about to start. As she stood near the stage waiting for the presentations, Shelton wandered through the crowd hugging and shaking hands until he found a good vantage point beside the bar.

BMI’s Clay Bradley called the crowd to order, proclaiming that “Mama’s Broken Heart” — which he said “creates a face-off between a daughter and her mother” — is “the ultimate revenge song.”

He then presented Musgraves a trophy and a monogrammed acoustic guitar for her part in writing the hit.

Speaking for ASCAP, Ryan Beuschel said, “If Music Row had an award for the most beloved person, Brandy Clark would win in a landslide.” He noted she will release her own album of self-penned songs, 12 Stories, in October.

“Mama’s Broken Heart” is Clark’s second chart triumph, Beuschel continued, her first having been The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two,” which also has McAnally as a co-writer.

Beuschel said that with Keith Urban recording “Come Back to Me” for his new album, Fuse, McAnally now has 100 cuts by major label artists.

Bradley returned to the microphone to praise Lambert, lauding her for her willingness to record songs she didn’t write.

“She has the best A&R ears in the business,” he asserted.

(An artist and repertoire person selects songs best-suited to particular artists.)

Lambert downplayed her own considerable talent as a songwriter, saying she writes a lot of songs no one else records. She did concede Shelton had cut one of her songs but added, “I had to sleep with him to get that one.”

She explained that she had been so impressed with “Mama’s Broken Heart,” she took time out from her wedding rehearsal dinner to tell Musgraves’ sister she wanted to record the song. She turned to thank Musgraves for giving her that right.

“I grew up with [Lambert],” the Texas-born Musgraves told the crowd. “I remember meeting her when I was 12 years old down at the Pizza Hut.”

“There aren’t a lot of female country singers on the radio,” Clark said, “but I think the two best ones are standing here behind me.”

McAnally, who seemed to be verging on tears, said it was impossible to describe his excitement at his current run of luck. He noted he had gotten off to a slow start as a songwriter before the hits started coming.

He said he grew up watching the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music awards shows and that it was especially gratifying to hear his name announced four times Tuesday morning (Sept. 10) when the CMA nominations were revealed.

He is in the running for album and single of the year awards as co-producer of Musgraves’ Same Trailer Different Park and “Merry Go ’Round,” respectively, and twice for song of the year as co-writer of “Mama’s Broken Heart” and “Merry Go ’Round.”

“Hearing my name called at all was mind-blowing,” McAnally said, “and I can share [that honor] with my friends.”

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.