One of the most widely-debated hot-button issues in the country today, of course, is gun control. But just because her albums include such songs as “Gunpowder and Lead” and “Time to Get a Gun,” that doesn’t mean Miranda Lambert relishes the idea of finding herself in the crossfire of such heated discourse, knowing as she does that sharing one’s personal opinion on a highly-politicized topic could mean trouble for your career.
“I pretty much will answer any questions with a truthful answer, because that’s just how I am,” Miranda tells The Boot. “But when it comes to any sort of political debate or anything revolving around politics, I’m a huge fan of the Dixie Chicks and I saw what happened and I learned from that. I don’t want to ever use my career or this thing that I’ve built as a platform to sway people to my direction, because, truthfully, I don’t care. I just want to believe what I believe and be happy, and people can believe what they believe. I don’t ever want to push my opinion on someone because I don’t want them pushing their opinion on me.”
Miranda believes that having politicians and pundits argue over gun-control legislation only goes so far.
“You can debate all you want, it won’t really change anything,” she notes. “It’s such a sensitive subject with everybody. I feel like there are people that should be willing to give — to meet in the middle — that aren’t, and vice versa. Obviously, I have my concealed handgun carry license, I’m pro on guns and I’m a hunter, so for me, that’s what I use guns for, protection and hunting. I’ve always been that way, it’s the way I grew up. But some people don’t feel like they need guns and that’s their prerogative. But I do think that we should each have a choice of one or the other.”
Perhaps no single aspect of the gun-control issue sparks more debate that whether or not to enact a ban on assault weapons, another topic on which she refuses to engage.
“I don’t ever talk politics,” she explains. “That’s now become a political debate. It doesn’t matter what I say, I feel like I’ll piss somebody off. All I know is you can pretty much see where I stand on everything. I have two guns tattooed on my arm, that’s all I need to say.”
On May 7, Miranda and her friends Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe will fire another shot with the second Pistol Annies album, Annie Up. That same month, she returns to the road with fellow country superstar Dierks Bentley on the Locked and Reloaded tour.
Miranda Lambert’s lifelong devotion to her four-legged friends led the country superstar to start the MuttNation Foundation in 2009, with the goal to end pet suffering and homelessness in the U.S. and abroad. Because the singer-songwriter/activist is one of the most in-demand country entertainers working today, she’s often approached to become involved in other fund- and awareness-raising efforts, and has to pick and choose carefully which causes she’ll support. But it’s a pretty safe bet the recipients of her goodwill will have furry paws and cold noses.
Miranda’s lastest involvement is with the Pedigree Feeding Project, and their “Choose the Next Community” initiative, which, thanks to Miranda’s fans, will result in animal shelters receiving a supply of dog food at no cost, allowing them to spend the money they save on other worthwhile programs to help the pet population.
“We get a lot of calls to be part of and partner with,” Miranda tells The Boot. “But I’m really a stickler for something that fits with me and what I do. When we got the call from Pedigree telling us about the Feeding Project, I jumped right on it because it really coincides with all the work I’ve been doing for animals all this time. Pedigree is a great brand you kind of think of as high-end dog food, but they’re also really doing a lot of work in shelters.”
To start the program this year, thousands of fans submitted the names of communities they felt would benefit from the feeding project, then those were narrowed down to five communities. From those five, two will be chosen, with at least two participating shelters in those communities receiving their core dog food needs at absolutely no cost for at least a year. The five communities chosen were Detroit/Flint, Mich., Erie, Pa., Wasau, Wis., Jackson, Miss., and Jacksonville, Fla. The winning two communities are currently being determined and will be announced in the coming weeks.
“When they’ve done this in the past, it has saved shelters up to $100,000 a year by not buying food,” says Miranda. “So they can use that money in other ways, building new facilities or improving their facilities, or doing adoption drives or spay-and-neuter clinics.”
Blake Shelton, Miranda’s husband, knows all too well his better half’s animal-loving ways. “I never know what to expect when she goes to town in Tishomingo, [Okla.],” Blake told The Boot and other reporters at a press conference earlier this year. “When she comes back I never know what’s going to be in the car. I can tell you — I’m not kidding when I say 20, maybe 25, maybe 30 times — she’s come home from the grocery store and there will either be a dog or a cat in her car. And they’re not always puppies, it might be a big a– pitbull in there and I’m going, ‘What the hell, you can’t just …’ ‘Well, it licked me so it was nice,’ and I say ‘Yeah, but you don’t know if it has rabies or what.’”
Join Pedigree on Facebook here, and click here for MuttNation Foundation’s Facebook page.
Miranda Lambert returns to the Locked and Reloaded tour on May 9, in Bakersfield, Calif. See a list of her upcoming concert dates here.
On May 7, Annie Up, the sophomore album from Miranda’s trio Pistol Annies (with Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe) will be released. The lead single from the album, “Hush Hush,” is out now.
Kelly Clarkson helped Sony Music Nashville rock its annual boat show with a performance of a brand new song. The Grammy-winning pop goddess and American Idol alum debuted “Ain’t Gonna Like This,” with Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley aka the fierce country trio Pistol Annies, backing her.
Unfortunately, only a bit of the live performance has made its way to YouTube. But a snippet is all we need to knowl that the track, which finds Kelly declaring her loves for a wide array of musical genres and performers, like Coltrane, Johnny, and Elvis, is an absolute killer.
After 18 months of marriage, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are still acting like newlyweds. So, what’s the secret to their wedded bliss?
“We won’t go more than two weeks without seeing each other,” says Lambert, 28, in PEOPLE’s new issue.
But sometimes, not seeing each other works wonders too. If they spend too much time together, says Shelton, 36, “we’ll kill each other!”
Despite their busy schedules, which Lambert has said meant they’ve spent only about 150 days together since they exchanged vows under an arch of antlers in her native Texas in May 2011, the couple has recently been able to hunker down in their rented home in Hollywood (where Shelton tapes The Voice).
Up next for country’s fun-loving couple: Each is nominated for four CMA Awards, which will be handed out Thursday; Lambert heads into the studio to start work on a new Pistol Annies album; and Shelton celebrates his new holiday album Cheers, It’s Christmas with a TV special called Blake Shelton’s Not So Family Christmas, airing Dec. 3 on NBC.
Hayden Panettiere stars in ABC’s new show Nashville which premiered last night. Miranda’s Sin For A Sin was also briefly featured last night. I watched the show and thought it was great!
Actress Hayden Panettiere isn’t just going to play the part of Juliette Barnes when the new ABC drama, Nashville premieres Wednesday (Oct. 10). She’s going to sing the part, too. She will be providing her own vocals on the country music series, and it seems like she is a natural. “I always said if I was ever going to do music again, I’d do country,” Panettiere told Women’s Health magazine. “There’s honesty and truth in it.” Panettiere has mostly done pop songs for Disney soundtracks in the past, but some of her favorite singers in real life are the Dixie Chicks, Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean. In the new TV series, her character’s album is titled All My Angels, so the show’s costume designer will have her in all kinds of short pink and white dresses, dangly sparkly earrings and 5-inch Jimmy Choos. Panettiere got her acting start in soap operas like One Life to Live and Guiding Light, so I’m sure she’ll fit in perfectly in this role about what really goes on behind the scenes in Music City.
Loretta Lynn will celebrate her 50th anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member during a Sept. 25 performance on the long-running radio show. The evening will also feature appearances by her sister, Crystal Gayle, along with friends Miranda Lambert, Lee Ann Womack and Trace Adkins. Lambert’s band, the Pistol Annies, will also make their Opry debut that night. After hitting the country chart with her first two singles, “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl” and “Success,” Lynn became an Opry member on Sept. 25, 1962. She will perform Friday (Aug. 31) at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.