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Country Star Miranda Lambert

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Photograph by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Miranda Lambert is a gun-toting former cheerleader whose big country hit, 2007's "Gunpowder & Lead," about shooting up an abusive boyfriend, transcends the jilted-lover genre. On her new album, Revolution, the fiery 25-year-old mixes Loretta Lynn twang, Joan Jett rock, and a few dashes of Kelly Clarkson heartache for a sound that's at odds with her blond aesthetic. And that's a good thing. Matt Hendrickson

Q: Your father was a Dallas cop who started a private-investigation business with your mother. Did that affect your songwriting?

A: We didn't have normal dinner conversations, that's for sure. My dad and mom were the head investigators for Paula Jones when she was suing Bill Clinton. It was crazy, all the cheating. That probably inspired my early songs.

Q: Is anyone at risk on your new album?

A: There's a couple, but it's subtler. I've moved from that crazy girl to someone a little wiser. I kill them a little more softly this time around.

Q: So you're not as wild as you seem?

A: No. I was a few years ago—I was constantly on the road, always partying. But isn't that what your early twenties are supposed to be about? I feel like I've lived a lot in the last five years. But you still can't take away my Bacardi.

Q: Do you really use a rifle butt for a mike stand?

A: I do. My tour-bus driver got it for me because I love to hunt and fish. Fill the cooler up with beer, no makeup on, crank up Waylon Jennings—it's total redneck-ville.

Q: Are you packing heat right now?

A: Well, I'm on the bus, so I'm always carrying. It's a Colt .45, some old-school Annie Oakley. So don't come knocking.



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