Miranda Lambert Recalls Terrifying Experience Trying out for 'Nashville Star'

Growing up in the small town of Lindale, Texas, Miranda Lambert dreamed of becoming a country music singer. But when she had the opportunity to audition for the inaugural season of Nashville Star, a reality TV talent show that ran from 2003 to 2008, Lambert admits she was scared to not only appear on Nashville Star, but to even leave her hometown.

"I was so scared of the DFW [airport]. How am I going to navigate this?" Lambert recalled during the annual Country Radio Seminar. "I have to land in Nashville and live in a house with 10 strangers. I basically treated it like moving into a dorm, I guess. That's what it was. I just thought, 'I have to give it my all. I'm here, I've made it, I'm going to try.'"

"Then, when the show started, the first episode, I was the first contestant to do the first song, on the first episode," she continued. "I was the youngest by 10 years. It was like, 'Oh, this is fair.' I did a Hank Williams song, called 'Settin' the Woods on Fire.'"

The 36-year-old had already been performing all over Texas in bars and clubs –– experiences she relied on when singing on Nashville Star.

"All my grit from the bars, all the moments where nobody was listening, people were clanking balls, people on the stage and booing you, requesting waltzes 24/7. It was like, everything that had culminated came to that moment," Lambert recounted. "That was what set me on this journey."

Lambert was grateful for the exposure on Nashville Star, but she was also grateful she didn't win. Lambert came in third place, with Buddy Jewell being declared the winner and John Arthur Martinez coming in second. As part of the Nashville Star contract, if she won her first single was already picked, and it wasn't something she loved.

"I didn't want the first song out of the gate, for my major label deal, to be something I didn't like," explained the singer.

Nashville Star is also credited with helping launch the careers of artists like Chris Young and Kacey Musgraves, among others.


Lambert is currently on her Wildcard Tour, with Cody Johnson and LANCO serving as her opening acts. Her latest single, "Bluebird," is in the Top 30.

Photo Credit: Getty / John Shearer