The state of Texas has produced many Country music stars, including Willie Nelson, George Strait, the Dixie Chicks, and countless others. Miranda Lambert is one new artist who also calls Texas home.
Kerosene is the debut album by the 21-year-old Country singer.
Born and raised in Texas, Miranda is the daughter of Country guitarist and songwriter Rick Lambert. Miranda made the decision to become a professional musician when she was only 10-years-old. She says seeing Garth Brooks perform live inspired her to enter local talent competitions. At 16, her father taught her to play the guitar, and she began writing her first songs.
"I definitely want to be recognized as a singer-songwriter," she says. "You know, I'm an artist. I write my songs, I sing my songs. I want to be known as that."
In 2002, Miranda auditioned for the Country music talent competition, Nashville Star. She placed third in the first season finals. Already a favorite in Texas, Miranda was introduced to many new fans through the nationally-televised show. She also caught the attention of Sony Music Group, which offered her a recording deal.
Miranda's debut single, "Me and Charlie Talking," became the highest-charting debut single by a new female Country artist in Billboard magazine's history.
The young singer insisted on making an album that stayed true to her own traditional Country roots. Miranda wrote 11 of the 12 songs on Kerosene.
"I don't want my music to be taken as something you just hum along with," she says. "No matter what I'm singing, I want to say something that makes people think. I want people to hear my songs and feel something. I want to be appreciated as someone whose music is real."
At one of the first meetings she had with executives at her record company, Miranda bravely demanded total artistic freedom.
"I was 19 and I had just signed with the label," she says. "I was a little scared to do that, but it was important to me that I get to be who I am. I think they were a little shocked at first, but they said, 'Go make your album.' I made the record that I wanted to make and I'm so proud of it. I finished it a year ago, so it's been a long wait for me and I'm really, really excited."
Miranda's patience has paid off. Kerosene recently entered the Country Albums chart at Number One. Only five other artists have debuted at the top of that chart with their first releases: Wynonna Judd, Billy Ray Cyrus, LeAnn Rimes, Buddy Jewell and Gretchen Wilson.
Miranda will spend the next several months promoting her album with concert appearances at fairs and festivals throughout the U.S.