Miranda Lambert’s ‘The House That Built Me:’ Story Behind the Star’s Smash Hit

by Quentin Blount
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In a bittersweet look back at her youthful life, the story behind country music star Miranda Lambert and her smash hit “The House That Built Me” is sure to make your eyes water.

“The House That Built Me” quickly became Lambert’s fastest-rising single when it released in 2009. The third single off her third album Revolution, the song was also her first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country charts.

The song is slow and emotional. It reflects a difficult eight-year period in Miranda Lambert and her family’s lives that included homelessness and despair. The country star and her family essentially became homeless at one point. They resorted to staying with family and friends until they found an old, run-down house that they could afford. They all lived in one room while slowly fixing the home together — adding windows, doors, and floor-to-ceiling repairs.

Miranda Lambert Cried When She First Heard ‘The House That Built Me’ Demo

The top-10 country hit was written by Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin. However, it’s an almost-perfect retelling of Miranda Lambert’s childhood. Miranda Lambert’s family was shocked when they found out she didn’t write the song herself.

The initial idea for “The House That Built Me” came to Shamblin back in 2002 while in Utah for a film festival. He then quickly met up with Douglas, a friend and colleague of his about the concept one morning over breakfast.

“He said, ‘been thinking about how houses hold memories. What if we wrote a song, not about the houses that we build, but the house that built me?'” Douglas told Billboard.

The hit song was first pitched to Lambert’s then-boyfriend Blake Shelton along with several other tracks. He and Lambert were driving around Oklahoma and she began crying upon hearing the track. Thanks to Shelton’s urging her on, Lambert decided to record “The House That Built Me.”

“It was beautiful,” Miranda Lambert told Today. “I mean, I just started bawling from the second I heard it. [Shelton] was like, ‘If you have a reaction to this song like that, then you need to cut it.'”

Lambert’s incredible rendition became her first No. 1 song and resonated with the industry as well as with her fans. Lambert is arguably at her best when she sings songs such as this one. Not only do these slower, reflective songs bring out the emotion and power in her voice, but she is also able to connect with so many of her fans who can relate to her on a personal level.

Not only did she win multiple CMA and ACM Awards for the song, but she also won a Grammy for best female country vocal performance and a nomination for Song Of The Year and Best Country Song.

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