Last time I checked in on Miranda Lambert she was telling the world (via a pap) to “mind their own f-cking business.” Miranda is good for gossip. Great, actually. And I don’t think a songwriter as self-aware as she is doesn’t know that, just like I don’t think she was a babe in the woods when she posted her wedding announcement, followed closely by pap shots in New York and “sources” dropping compliments about her fiancé, who was in his own sticky situation (reminder: his baby was born the week he met Miranda at GMA).
All of this is a big deal because Miranda is a big deal. She is a country star who doesn’t have a crossover hit but has crossed over in pop culture, and a large part of that is because of her personal life. And that’s OK! Last night I started (and finished) Daisy Jones & The Six, the oral history of a fictional rock band in the 70s. Yes there’s the drinking and the drugging and the groupies on tour, but what makes the music click is the tension, both external and internal. For me, the book raises two central questions: can an extraordinary talent can live an ordinary life? What happens when you love the right person at the wrong time?
Miranda seems like someone who has wrestled with these ideas in her personal life, with relationships flaring up and flaming out pretty quick – sometimes with questionable men. But if Miranda uses her experiences, like the one she’s having now in a long-distance relationship with a new dad who isn’t in show business, and turns that into a song people sing along to at the top of their lungs, wouldn’t that be worth it? Think of the great singer/songwriters in any genre, be it folk, rap, pop, country – they are telling the classic stories of loss, infidelity, rejection, unrequited love. We don’t listen to music about people picking up their dry cleaning and filing their taxes on time.
Miranda performs her great loves (like she is doing right now) but she also shows us what happens when that implodes, or is replaced by something (or someone) else. In that way, she is like Taylor Swift, and I can appreciate them both for it. They want people to sing along to their heartbreak, whether they are receiving it or inflicting it on someone else.
This is their first red carpet appearance, which is getting play everywhere, but this won’t be the story of this relationship. The story will be whatever words Miranda sets to music.