On Tuesday (Dec. 2), she’ll be honored during the CMT Artists of the Year special alongside Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Keith Urban. Hosted by Larry the Cable Guy and packed with live performances, the show airs live from Nashville at 8 p.m. ET.
Lambert’s whirlwind year began with seven ACM nominations and four wins, including female vocalist of the year for a record-setting fifth consecutive time.
“I cannot believe this,” she said in accepting the award. “I really didn’t expect it, y’all. Thank you so much. I’m so grateful and thankful and humbled. I love my job.”
But her ACM victories were just the tip of the iceberg for the 31-year-old. She continued her streak of hits with “Automatic,” a reflective radio rocker that has become her sixth No. 1 single.
“When we wrote this song, we all had a gut feeling about it, and we knew what it meant to us,” Lambert said about her ‘Automatic’ co-writers Nicolle Galyon and Natalie Hemby. “We turned into little girls talking about our stories, talking about clothes on the line and how all of us came from small towns and driving to the nearest city to get a pretty dress.”
“Somethin’ Bad” went on to be certified platinum for 1 million streams and downloads, but that wasn’t the only platinum thing for Lambert this year. Her fifth studio album — titled Platinum debuted at the top of the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, making her the first artist in Billboard history to earn five consecutive career-opening No. 1 albums.
“It’s a little bit more introspective than any record I’ve done before,” she said about Platinum. “It’s pretty raw, and it’s got a lot more humor, too, than anything I’ve done. … I feel like this album is setting up for where I’m headed as an artist for the next phase of my career and the next phase of me as a woman.”
Lambert continued her history-making year in November at the CMA Awards, where she walked away with four trophies, including album of the year. She also took home the prize for female vocalist of the year for a record-breaking fifth year in a row. In doing so, she surpassed Reba McEntire and Martina McBride to become the most decorated female vocalist in CMA history.
“I don’t even know what to say,” she admitted from the CMA stage. “I can’t believe I’m standing here. I can’t believe this is my life.”
While the awards and recognition mean a lot to her, Lambert says seeing the reactions of her fans on tour is still one of the most rewarding parts about her job.
“When they’re holding up their beer and they’re singing along, that’s what it’s all about,” she said. “That’s it. That’s the end. Our job is done because we’re there to let people escape from their own reality. And I can escape from my own reality for that hour and a-half and just be in the moment and be in the music. And it’s awesome. I mean, that’s the whole point of all of this.”
Tune in Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET as CMT recognizes Lambert and four additional superstar country acts on the fifth annual CMT Artists of the Year special.