Miranda Lambert Talks Grind of Texas Country Music Scene for Females

by Maggie Schneider
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Miranda Lambert discusses the early days of her career back in Texas. The music scene there was a boy’s club.

Being a woman in the music industry is hard. As a frontwoman myself, I have received almost every response you can imagine. Being constantly compared to other artists and viewed as the “little girl” with an acoustic guitar are two things I continue to face today. In a recent interview, Miranda Lambert shared her similar experiences growing up in a male-dominated industry.

It is no secret that Lambert is from Texas. She began playing shows at bars and clubs right before she turned 18. It wasn’t easy for her to book gigs as a young female artist. With her mom as her booking agent, Lambert recalls the struggle.

“She was the one calling every bar owner in Texas saying ‘Can my daughter play some songs?’” Lambert recalls. “It was pretty much ‘No’ 99 percent of the time.”

“Girls Don’t Draw”

There was the sexist idea that girls could not draw audiences to watch them play. This added to Lambert’s difficulty in claiming a performance slot. So, she took matters into her own hands.

“And they would always say girls don’t really draw, so I ended up just kinda boots on the ground, like I’d go to shows of people I liked, and have my guitar and ask the bar owner if I could sing at set change.”

While these short performances were less than ideal, they inspired Lambert to keep moving forward. She wanted to prove the male-dominated scene wrong.

“And the more I had to learn to sing over clanking beer bottles, and bar fights, and louder jukebox music, and pool games, and football games on TV, the more it, like, put fire in me of like, I’m gonna get their attention,” she says.

While the music business has become more inclusive in recent years, Lambert’s fight reminds us that we still have a long way to go.

Miranda Lambert on Country Radio

Lambert is hopeful that female artists in country music will take over the radio airwaves again soon. According to Billboard’s Top 10 list of country artists for this year, Gabby Barrett and Carrie Underwood are the only two women on this list. Miranda Lambert follows closely behind at number 14. Why is this the case? Some argue that it’s due to a lack of radio airplay.

“I think it’s really only boys a lot right now because there are so many great guys artists out right now, but there are some females coming up that I love and that I’m so proud of,” Lambert says to ET. “There’s so many great female artists on the way up and I feel like it’s just one of those phases — sometimes it’s the guys, sometimes it’s the girls. But we’ll take over eventually like we always do.”

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