Twenty years ago today, on Sept. 15, 2003, Miranda Lambert signed her first record deal, with Epic Records. The deal came only a few months after Lambert placed third in the first season of Nashville Star.
Lambert was approached by Epic, a division of Sony Records, about signing a record deal, when she was just 19 years old. Already showing her feisty side, the future country superstar said that she would only sign with the record label if they allowed her to choose the songs she wanted to sing, play her own guitar and remain true to herself in every way possible.
“When I got a record deal, I said, ‘I’m only wearing jeans. I’m not wearing frilly dresses,'” Lambert recalls to Elle magazine. “Dancing around in sequins is just not who I am. I wanted to be heard, not seen. People were like, ‘Well, you know, you need to kind of be flexible on that,’ and I just wasn’t at all.
“Looking back on it, it was a little extreme, but I really stuck to it,” she continues. “Luckily, it worked, but even if it didn’t, I always knew that I’d be able to sleep at night.”
Lambert’s debut single, “Me and Charlie Talking,” from her freshman album, Kerosene, was written by Lambert, along with her father, Rick Lambert, and friend Heather Little. The song barely cracked the Top 30, but the album’s title track landed in the Top 15 and was eventually certified platinum, for sales of one million copies.
Kerosene was released on March 15, 2005.
This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.
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