Just How ‘Influential’ Is TIME 100’s Miranda Lambert?

by Jim Casey
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On May 23, Miranda Lambert was named to the 2022 TIME100, the mag’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. The full list is out via Time‘s site, while the print issue will hit stands on May 27.

This year’s list—the outlet’s 19th—recognizes the impact, innovation, and achievements of the world’s most influential people. Of course, keep in mind, that’s according to the Time staff. Time categorized this year’s century club into six categories: Artists, Innovators, Titans, Leaders, Icons, and Pioneers.

Miranda, the only artist from the country music genre (and one of only a handful of recording artists on the list), was recognized in the Innovators category, alongside Zendaya, Taika Waititi, Josh Wardle, Demna, and Mike Cannon-Brookes, among others. Other names from this year’s list include Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin, Volodymyr Zelensky, Oprah Winfrey, Joe Rogan, Adele, Keanu Reeves, and more.

“This is further proof that God dreams bigger than any of us ever do,” said Miranda Lambert, regarding Time‘s distinction. “I’m so honored to join this year’s class of TIME100 as this recognizes that our team, our band, our crew, fellow songwriters, producers, and collaborators are being acknowledged for shaking things up and coloring outside the lines to bring even more people under our country music tent.”

How Influential Is Miranda?

How influential is Miranda? Within the context of the music industry, the short answer is “exceptionally.” Miranda released her major-label debut album, Kerosene, in March 2005. So, 17 years into her career, let’s take a look at a handful of the 38-year-old’s highlights.

  • 2022 ACM Entertainer of the Year
  • 37 ACM Awards
  • 14 CMA Awards
  • 3 Grammy Awards
  • 7 No. 1 Albums

Miranda has won more ACM Awards (37) than anyone in the 57-year history of the show. Yes, more than Brooks & Dunn. Yep, more than George Strait. Uh-huh, more than Reba McEntire. And she’s not done. The reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year is almost certainly going to win more—probably a lot.

On April 28, 2022, I caught Miranda’s concert south of Nashville at FirstBank Amphitheater. Here’s what I wrote about her show, in part: “If Miranda Lambert is anything, she’s an original. An authentic country star. The whole package. Write, sing, play guitar, perform . . . but also she connects with her fans in a way I’ve only seen a few big-name contemporary country artists, namely Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, and Kacey Musgraves. I know, you’ll say there are others (everyone staunchly defends their fandom), but . . . Miranda’s concerts aren’t about the spectacle of production, as much as they are about the spectacle of music.”

The Innovator

And yes, Miranda continues to innovate. So her TIME100 classification as an Innovator is apropos.

In the past year, Miranda has released new albums at a prolific clip, both collaborative and solo. She dropped The Marfa Tapes (with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall) in May 2021, Hell of a Holiday (with Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley) in October 2022, and Palomino in April 2022.

In addition, Miranda joined forces with Elle King to record “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” in 2021. The tune topped the Billboard Country Airplay chart in April 2022, becoming the first duet from solo female artists to reach No. 1 since Reba McEntire and Linda Davis’ “Does He Love You” in 1993.

And it was Elle King who penned the Time tribute to her friend Miranda, writing, in part: “Not a lot of people will take your hand, nudge you right into the spotlight, and share it with you—especially if they’ve already spent decades as one of country music’s most acclaimed performers and songwriters. But that’s exactly what Miranda Lambert did in 2019, when she asked me to be a part of her Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour, during which she brought along a new generation of artists to share her stage. It was Miranda’s idea to bring us all together—she wanted powerful female voices to front the whole thing. That’s her vibe: she’s all about making everybody feel welcome. And there is not one inauthentic hair on her head.”

It’s hard to argue with any of that.

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