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At first glance, she reminds you of your favorite niece or that friend you used to enjoy hanging out with just to talk about stuff. Epic Nashville artist Miranda Lambert’s voice, though, lets you know this dimpled lass has done some living in her young life. Miranda hails from Lindale, Texas where she was born in 1983. As do most of the modern country artists today, Miranda says most of her early inspiration came from her father who is a songwriter and guitarist. Weekends friends and neighbors would come to Miranda’s family spread to play music. Miranda says, "We always had tons of people at our house. It's just an old farmhouse. My friends who lived in the city had swimming pools and four-wheelers and all that. We lived out in the country with a vegetable garden. Yet they were always going, "Let's go to your house!' I would think, "Why?' Now I realize that it was because at my house it was so homey. We took in just everybody.”

While many musicians contributed to Miranda’s talent, one country artist made a big an impact on Miranda’s life as he did on the rest of the country music industry. She explains, "I grew up on the songs of Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, Merle Haggard and my dad. We had music parties at our house on the front porch all the time. I was 10 years old and in the third grade when my parents took me to Dallas to see Garth Brooks. It was awesome. There I was in my braces screaming, "Gaaaarrrth!' I was freakin' out."

Miranda left Garth’s concert feeling more than a little inspired about her own country music career potential. She was 16 when she entered the Tru-Value Country Talent Contest. She did well in the Texas competition and then began to appear in the Johnny High Country Music Review in Arlington, Texas. At this she decided to find out more about the music business by attending a country music business seminar in Nashville. This led her to record a demo which didn’t turn out exactly as she’d planned. "This guy had these four country-pop songs, and I stayed up half the night learning them. I went in the studio, did these four songs and started bawling. I hated them. I was going, "What am I singing? What is this saying?' I went back home and said, "Dad, I think I'll take you up on that guitar lesson.' Dad taught me three chords, and I wrote my first song that first day. I thought, "This is more like it.' Of course it was a terrible song, but at least it wasn't pop-country. After I found out that I could actually do that, I just got so interested in it. I practiced four hours a day until my fingers would bleed. It came so naturally it was like sunbeams shining down on me. I always had to work at everything else. I never excelled in sports. In cheerleading, I was the last to learn the dance. I was terrible at school – if I made B's and C's my family was thrilled and jumping up and down. But with music it was, "THIS is what I am supposed to be doing.'"

After finding her musical way, Miranda began to play with her own band called Texas Pride. This led to several paying engagements as well as additional career learning experiences. Miranda played Texas’ music circuit throughout the year 2002 and managed to chart two of her own songs from her CD on the Texas music charts. In January of 2003 she finished first in the Texas auditions for the show ‘Nashville Star’. She headed to Music City to appear on the series. Of the 8000 initial contestants she finished third in the show’s final competition. She later sang harmony with winner Buddy Jewell on his CD, and has no regrets for finishing third. "I always say that "Nashville Star' saved me from five more years in the honky tonks. But I was still scared to death to sign that recording contract. I was afraid they'd change me. I was worried they'd take my songs that didn't sound like anyone else's and produce them just like the next record down the street. I did not want it to be the typical Nashville record. I have my own style. I want to be my own person. There are a million blonde chicks who can sing. I've always wanted to be different.”

Listening to her latest CD let’s you know her differences are what make her talent so unique. “Me & Charlie Talking” is a good example of the folksy, natural feel you get from Miranda. ‘Kerosene’, her first CD, contains great examples of her rocking country style. She says, “No matter what I’m singing, I want to say something that makes people think.” It sounds like she’ll be making us all think for quite a long time.

Check Miranda’s website out at: www.mirandalambert.com