Miranda Lambert on Career Choice: 'I've Been Obsessed With Country Music My Whole Life'

Miranda Lambert never really imagined doing anything but country music. The Texas native grew up listening to some of her own heroes as a child, which unintentionally impacted her career choice, even though she was likely unaware of their influence at the time.

"I go across the spectrum from Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline to Emmylou Harris — that generation," Lambert told Woman's Day. "Then skip ahead to Patty Loveless, Faith Hill, Martina [McBride]. I’ve been obsessed with country music my whole life, so I’ve studied all of these women."

Lambert also became a fan of a few artists from her early days, whose impact she still remembers more than 15 years later.

"The first person to ever show her true colors, which was just sweet and supportive, was Gretchen Wilson," Lambert recalled. "We came out at the same time, and I was really young. She was just so sweet to me and, like, 'Call me if you need anything.' Faith sent me a note one day with a bracelet that was basically, like, 'I wear this onstage, and when I get scared I just remember that I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.' A lot of them have been supportive and kind.

"It really gives you hope, because when you’re 19 and you’re just starting out, you’re scared to death," she continued. "Everything’s new, and it’s hard, and you’re gone all the time, so having other women in the industry — especially icons like those — say, 'Hey, you’re going to be OK; call me if you need anything,' really meant the world to me."

It's because of artists like Wilson and Hill that Lambert felt inspired to help other female artists, which she is doing with her all-women Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour.

"It helps you pass it on," Lambert acknowledged. "When people are nice to you, you turn around and you’re nice to someone else, because you realize how scary it is out there at first. It doesn’t necessarily get easier. You just get used to it. I think it’s important that you let the younger generation know, 'Hey, we’re dealing with the same thing. We’re all in the same boat.'"

Lambert is a fan of all the artists joining her on the road, which includes Maren Morris, Tenille Townes, Ashley McBryde and more, and insists they can all have successful careers at the same time.

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"There’s room for all of us, and competition is healthy," Lambert said. "It makes me want to work even harder."

Photo Credit: Getty/ Rich Fury/ACMA2019