Miranda Lambert is undoubtedly a country superstar. But, way back in 2003, when she was just 19, she finished in third place in a Nashville country music contest. Shortly thereafter, in 2005, Lambert put out her first record label album.
That album was called Kerosene, and it really lit the world on fire. But, in September of 2003, Lambert released her first single, “Me and Charlie Talking.” She co-wrote the song with her father as well as her songwriter Heather Little.
“Me and Charlie Talking” did well on the country charts, getting to the number 27 spot. This was also the first time that her music had been on the radio. Lambert talks about the pure jubilation of having a song of hers being played on the radio for the first time.
“I was in Dallas, driving to the airport, and I heard it. The song was ‘Me and Charlie Talking.’ I almost didn’t think it was on the radio. I thought there was a CD in because I kind of forgot I had one out. But it was definitely an exciting moment. I think all of us in the car screamed!”
Lambert’s journey to stardom has not been conventional. In fact, she was only the fifth person to have their debut album reach number one on the charts since 1992 when Kerosene was released. On top of that, though, is her steadfast devotion to writing her own songs. She wrote all but two of the songs on Kerosene.
Miranda Lambert’s Success Away From Mainstream
Moreover, in 2003, the country music world had never seen a musician with Lambert’s style of singing. Her twangy yet soulful vocals helped her stand out in her early years. Consequently, it made her one of the most popular country musicians. Furthermore, as the years passed, other country singers tried to emulate Lambert’s style to create their own success.
In an interview with Songwriter Universe, Lambert talks about the importance of writing her own music. She says that it doesn’t feel right for her to sing someone else’s words.
“It’s hard for me. I’m really kind of a closed person. I don’t open up to just anybody. Having an appointment to write with someone I’ve never met and then telling them everything is a little scary for me. Writing by yourself is almost unheard of now. Nobody does it anymore but I still can, so I’m going to try to hold on to that.”
Lambert, at the time, was certainly not in the mainstream of country music. Nowadays, she seems to be comfortably mainstream, but not because she changed, rather country music conformed to her.