Miranda Lambert comes by her true Texas grit honest. The country star's parents, Rick and Beverly Lambert, worked as private investigators, during which time they witnessed the betrayal and pain that would one day influence their daughter's songs.
"They did lots of divorce cases, lots of cheating cases - our dinner conversations weren't too normal," Lambert told The Guardian. "My parents have been married for 35 years; I was safe and sheltered, but I'm glad I could see and hear more reality than that. People said, 'Your family is a good, solid family,' but we brought all the pain in."
Miranda Lambert's Parents
In her book From Cradle to Stage: Stories from the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars, Virginia Hanlon Grohl interviewed Bev Lambert about Miranda's involvement in the family business. One caper, Grohl writes, "involved dressing Miranda in a junior-high cheerleading costume and sending her out 'selling candy for the school' so she could look for the incriminating evidence her parents needed" (Quote via Country Living.)
In addition to investigating extramarital affairs as private detectives, the Lamberts' work put them in the middle of a national investigation. In 1994, after moving to the small town of Lindale, Rick and Beverly were hired by the lawyers for Paula Jones to investigate Bill Clinton. They spent two years building a case.
Bev Lambert said their files were subpoenaed and used as part of the Clinton impeachment investigation.
"It was Ken Starr's people calling, ripping my files off. That's what he presented to the House managers," Bev Lambert told Grohl.
The country music star credits her parents with much of her success in Nashville. The Grammy-winning singer said her mom was responsible for her Nashville Star audition, which earned her a spot on the show and a third place finish.
"I sang 'Still the One' by Shania Twain, which I love. But I didn't execute it. It was because I didn't try. I didn't want to be there," Lambert said during the 2020 Country Radio Seminar. "My mom got in the car and she wouldn't start the car. She was just sitting there...She was like 'You didn't give anything. I've given everything. I've driven you all over this state, spent all this gas money and you went in there and didn't try. That's not fair to me -- you're doing it again in Houston.' So she signed me up to audition in Houston...I went in with a different attitude. I realized that this could catapult me into getting out of smoke-filled bars. I sang 'Crazy' a cappella and that changed the game."
Lambert founded the MuttNation Foundation, which benefits rescue animals and shelters, with her mom in 2009.
Rick Lambert, who dabbled in songwriting and introduced Miranda to songwriting greats like John Prine, says his daughter's upbringing helped inspire her songs and career. (Lambert's debut album Kerosene features tunes she co-wrote with her dad.)
"We lost everything that we had. Our family went broke and we were basically homeless when we moved to the Lindale area," Rick Lambert told KLTV. "We moved in with a relative for a while. It took seven years to get back on our feet. But now I look back, I think that helped build Miranda's character. I believe that gave her some inspiration."
Today, the "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and "White Liar" singer-songwriter is the most nominated female artist in CMA Awards history and the most awarded artist in the history of the Academy of Country Music Awards (ACM Awards).
Lambert, who's married to former NYPD police officer Brendan McLoughlin, released her most recent album, Wildcard, in 2019. She'll team up with her Pistol Annies bandmates to release the trio's first Christmas album, Hell of a Holiday, on Oct. 22.
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This article was originally published in January of 2021. It was updated on Oct. 4, 2021.