Miranda Lambert: “Now People Are Listening”

LAS VEGAS — When I had the chance to catch up with Miranda Lambert at her 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards rehearsals, I asked her about the chip on her shoulder. Or the lack thereof, actually.

Lambert said in a recent interview with People magazine that that chip on her shoulder was kind of gone. And I wanted to know why had she had it in the first place?

“In general, when you first start out, you feel like you have to have a little more grit so that people will listen to you,” Lambert told me. “But now people are listening.”

She’s right about that. Lambert took home three ACM Awards on Sunday night (April 6) — female vocalist, single record (“Mama’s Broken Heart” ) and vocal event of the year (“We Were Us,” her duet with Keith Urban).

“Now I feel like I can just kind of start to chill out a little,” she said.

The grit that launched Lambert’s 2005 career would be songs like “Kerosene” and “I Can’t Be Bothered.” Then in 2007 there was “Gunpowder & Lead,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Guilty in Here.” Then in 2009 there was “White Liar” and “Time to Get a Gun.” And in 2011, I think her grittiest, tell-it-like-it-is kiss-off had to be “Baggage Claim.”

But if there is going to be less grit in her music as Lambert moves forward, especially on her upcoming album Platinum, what will she replace it with?

“I’m still going to have those song with grit. But there are just not as many of them. I’m just not killing people as much,” she laughed. “It has some humor and some sad songs, and there’s maybe more feminine songs. There’s something for everyone, I hope.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.