When Miranda Lambert announced she was releasing a duet with Maren Morris, "Way Too Pretty for Prison," she revealed she was inspired to write the story after an evening with Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild. But when Lambert was introducing songs from her upcoming Wildcard album at a recent media event, the singer recalled the personal story that led to one of the most talked about songs on her next set of tunes.
"I went on tour last year with Little Big Town for the Bandwagon tour and it was so awesome," Lambert said from stage, recalling their joint The Bandwagon Tour. "I love them. It's one of my favorite bands of all time actually. But Karen Fairchild came over. I told some of you all this, but I'll tell you again. She came over to talk about the tour. We were going to have 17 people on stage because we alone have a 10-piece band with no horns. So, including those we have 15. At capacity. With our band and their band together we're trying to figure out how we're going to navigate that and make it awesome without everybody just playing over each other and all that stuff.
"So we had wine," she added. "Everything's better when you talk about it over Cheetos and wine, I think. And we had a great night. We really got some set list ideas done and production ideas done and then we just had girl time."
It wasn't until Fairchild was getting ready to head home that Lambert uttered the phrase that would become the inspiration for one of her favorite songs she has ever written.
"She lives literally around the corner," Lambert recalled. "That's the great thing about Nashville. But I was like, 'Well you've had wine. I'd rather you not leave.' Because I told her to come over and I was wearing yoga pants, and she said okay. We were going to do a casual thing and she shows up with Gucci boots for it. And I was like, 'You can't leave after we've been drinking. I know you live just right down the street. It's not worth it, you know ... In them Gucci boots, you're way too pretty for prison."
The next day, Lambert went to write with Lori McKenna, Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey, better known as the Love Junkies, unaware that they were already planning on writing about that conversation.
"I guess Karen had been over earlier that morning or the day before and they said, 'We heard you probably have a song title already,'" Lambert recounted. "We were eating our chicken salad from Chicken Salad Chick. "I was like, 'What song title?' They were like, 'Well Karen was here earlier and told her, you told her last night she was too pretty for prison.' I go, 'That's a damn good song title.' Go me!"
As soon as Lambert started writing "Way Too Pretty for Prison," she thought of Morris.
"We started writing this song and right away we were sitting on the floor at Liz's house, and I was like, 'Man this is a duet. This is a Maren duet. I wonder if she'd do it.' So I texted Maren right then, and I said, 'I have a duet about killing somebody. You in? She goes, 'Duh!'"
Wildcard will be released on Nov. 1. Pre-order the record, and download or stream "Way Too Pretty for Prison" at her official website.
Photo Credit: Getty images / CBS Photo Archive