East Texas native Miranda Lambert is an A-list celebrity and one of the most celebrated names in country music today. In fact, she's one of a select few country artists you can refer to by her first name and pretty much anyone will know you're speaking of the Lindale woman with a truckload of platinum-selling albums and industry awards.
Following her high-profile divorce from fellow country A-lister Blake Shelton, Lambert released the stunning double album Weight of these Wings in 2016 to deservedly rave reviews. The public frenzy over dissecting the new songs (to see which ones were about her failed marriage) was rather high.
And though her talents have taken her to stages and screens around the world, Lambert's occupation isn't star or celebrity, it's storyteller and songwriter. Ripping pages from her own memory bank, she's the kind of writer who puts it all out there, whether millions of fans think they know the whole story or not.
"I've built my career on being honest in my music," she explains by phone from Nashville on a recent day off from touring.
"I wouldn't have a career otherwise. So whether I'm going through a divorce or something else, I'm going to keep being honest about it. But that doesn't mean all of my songs are always about what people think they're about."
Her honesty has certainly gotten her far, and she's enjoying some sweet moments she describes as "pretty full circle."
She recently opened a new location of her Pink Pistol boutique in her Texas hometown, in partnership with the new downtown Lindale location of Love and War in Texas. The Plano venue is where Lambert played some of her first gigs even before getting her driver's license.
And her latest single to hit the Top 40, the gorgeous, acoustic-driven "Tin Man," is a tune she co-wrote with SMU grad and fellow country artist Jack Ingram. These days, he's a friend and colleague, but, just like many Texas country fans, Ingram was a guy Lambert admits to "following around Texas as a teenager."
Indeed, the gratifying feeling of such full-circle experiences offer stronger proof of her success than perhaps sales and awards do. And headlining massive arenas and local festivals such this year's Off the Rails Festival in Frisco only add to Lambert's personal narrative as the hometown girl who had the determination to become one of the globe's American music stars.
"A couple of years ago, I headlined the American Airlines Center in Dallas," she remembers. "Playing such a big stage so close to my home is a chance for me to encourage young performers in the crowd. It's like, 'hey, I'm from around here, and I put in the work and look at me now.'"
Miranda Lambert headlines Night 1 of Off the Rails Festival on May 6, with Justin Moore, Turnpike Troubadours and more. The fest runs May 6 and May 7 at Toyota Stadium, 9200 World Cup Way, Frisco. $34.99-$199. www.offtherailsfest.com.