Billboard — As “Platinum” debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart with 180,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, Miranda Lambert becomes the first artist in the survey’s 50-year history to post five consecutive career-opening No. 1s. (All of her albums have additionally launched at the summit).
Lambert passes Carrie Underwood, who’s scored four No. 1s in her first four tries, a still-active streak dating to 2005; Underwood has also debuted at No. 1 with all four sets. The other acts to arrive with multiple career-starting Top Country Albums No. 1s are LeAnn Rimes, Gretchen Wilson (three each), Wynonna Judd, Billy Ray Cyrus, Kellie Pickler and Lady Antebellum (two each).
As previously reported, Lambert concurrently crowns the Billboard 200 for the first time, notching her best sales week and the largest for an album by a female country artist since the week ending Dec. 30, 2012, when Taylor Swift’s “Red” sold 241,000. Lambert is just the 11th female country artist to top the Billboard 200 (which became a regularly published list in 1956). Prior to Lambert, Swift was the last country female artist to notch her first No. 1, having topped the list for the first time on the chart dated Nov. 29, 2008, when “Fearless” bowed at No. 1.
Impressively, each of Lambert’s albums has started with successively a larger debut week than those before. Her first release, “Kerosene,” bowed in 2005 with 40,000. She followed with 2007’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (53,000), 2009’s “Revolution” (66,000) and 2011’s “Four the Record” (133,000).
On Hot Country Songs, Lambert’s new single “Somethin’ Bad,” with Underwood, flies 25-12 with Streaming Gainer honors (710,000 total U.S. streams, up 69 percent, according to Nielsen BDS), while lead “Platinum” lead track “Automatic” bullets for a second week at its No. 4 peak.
Rolling Stone — Miranda Lambert’s Platinum has notched its first chart-topping single. “Automatic,” a nostalgic tune about enjoying life’s slower pace, debuted at Number 26 on the Billboard country charts back in February, and while it rests at Number Three on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, it has already reached Number One on the competing Mediabase chart.
Lambert has had a busy week since the release of her fifth album, Platinum, last Tuesday. She made high-profile appearances on the CMT Music Awards, The View and The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, and at the 2014 CMA Music Festival and George Strait’s farewell show in Arlington, Texas, where she joined the King of Country for a surprise rendition of “How ‘Bout them Cowgirls.”
Meanwhile, “Somethin’ Bad” — her hell-raising duet with Carrie Underwood — sits at Number 36, giving Lambert two simultaneous tunes in Billboard’s Country Top 40. So much for enjoying a slower pace.
“Automatic” marks the sixth chart-topper for Lambert, Rolling Stone’s current cover star. To celebrate, she’ll hit the road on July 10th for the start of her Platinum Tour.
Billboard — As expected, country star Miranda Lambert earns her first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with the debut of “Platinum.” The set — her fifth release — sold 180,000 copies in the week ending June 8, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
That sum is Lambert’s best sales week yet, and the largest for an album from a female country artist since the week ending Dec. 30, 2012. That week, Taylor Swift’s “Red” sold 241,000, nine weeks after it debuted at No. 1 with 1.2 million.
Lambert is only the 11th female country artist to top the Billboard 200, which became a regularly published list in 1956. (For perspective on that total of just 11 leading country ladies: More than 400 acts have tallied a No. 1 album.)
Previous to Lambert, the last country female artist to get her first No. 1 was Swift, who topped the list for the first time on the chart dated Nov. 29, 2008 (when “Fearless” bowed at No. 1).
Impressively, each of Lambert’s albums have started with successively larger debut weeks. Her first release, “Kerosene,” bowed at No. 18 in 2005 with 40,000. She followed it up with 2007’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (No. 6 with 53,000), 2009’s “Revolution” (No. 8 with 66,000) and 2011’s “Four the Record” (No. 3 with 133,000).
“Platinum” also easily scores Lambert her fifth straight No. 1 debut on the Top Country Albums chart.
Miranda Lambert’s new album “Platinum” (out June 3) picks up where the singer/songwriter left off with 2011’s “Four The Record,” when she continued to blow past those who might have written her off as a one-note show, all bombast and arsenal. On “Platinum,” Lambert again showcases her skills as a confident, charismatic vocalist and a top-shelf songwriter, capable of sharp observations and—an even more rare quality among country stars and spitfires alike—scorching introspection and vulnerability.
It’s a diverse, ambitious record that manages to be both wide ranging yet cohesive in the sum of its parts. So even as the artist explores wildly varied themes, emotions and musical styles, “Platinum” is, unmistakably, Miranda Lambert. “You can’t pull one over on her,” says co-producer Frank Liddell, who has worked with Lambert on all five of her records, plus two Pistol Annies albums. “I can’t try to make her sound different than she wants to sound. It’s just all in her heart and in her gut, ‘this is who I am,’ and when we go in the studio, that’s what you’re chasing. There’s nothing else really we can do but make a Miranda Lambert record, because anything straying from that path one bit, we’re gonna get caught. She is, too, and she knows it.”
Lambert comes across, both on the album and in conversation, as very comfortable in her own skin, an observation she accepts. “At 30 years old, having lived and done a lot of things in my career and my life, I have a different take than at 20 when I was makin’ Kerosene,'” she says. “But, I also do not have near the stuff that Reba would have to say, I have so much more to learn and do. I’m just right here smack in the middle of it, hopefully. If I’m lucky, I’m in the middle of it, because I want to go so much farther and wider with my career and my empire, really.”
In laying the foundation for her “empire,” Lambert has built both respect from her peers and a fiercely loyal fan base. In addition to enough awards to fill an Airstream, Lambert has charted 22 titles that have spent a combined 442 weeks on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, led by the Grammy-winning “The House That Built Me,” which spent 22 weeks on the chart in 2010. All of Lambert’s previous four albums debuted at No. 1 on the Top Country Album’s chart, and have moved a combined 5.2 million units in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Lambert spoke easily and openly about a wide variety of topics, much appearing in the recent Billboard cover story. Plenty didn’t, like when we asked her if her husband Blake Shelton REALLY tweeted the cell phone number of Adam Levine, Shelton’s co-judge on The Voice.
For the record, Lambert’s not sure. “I texted Blake, ‘did you do that, did that just happen?,'” she replies, laughing. “I’m guessing it was a publicity ploy, I don’t know for sure. He wouldn’t actually do that. Blake’s pretty mean sometimes, but not that mean. He would have brought the wrath of Adam, because Adam has done some crazy shit. He sent us a nine-foot-tall, seven-foot-wide cover of himself as People’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive,’ he sent that to our house. So I wouldn’t even want to know his revenge if Blake did that, so I don’t think it’s real.”
As to whether Shelton and Lambert, country music’s power couple, might ever tour together, “I think it’s close to time, if we’re going to,” Lambert says. “There would be nothing better than being able to hang out with my husband on tour, we’ve never actually done that. We’re getting to the point where we want to slow down, we don’t want to tour as much, so I think it’s now or never, if you ask me. If we want to collaborate we should, if we want to tour together we probably should start thinking about it.”
Lambert points out that she and her husband have very different musical styles. “Also, just the scheduling, we have two different labels and management companies and producers,” she adds. “There’s so much more behind it than just saying, ‘let’s go on tour.’ That’s sounds great when you’re driving back roads drinking a beer, then you start the ball rolling and it’s a thousand other things come into play. I’m sure we will eventually, it’s just got to be the right time and the right way. I’m a very strong minded female, I’d be, ‘I want it this way, this is my band, my bus, and I’m sure he’s like, ‘never mind.'”
And, of course, Lambert talks about the songs on “Platinum.” Here’s her take on several the album’s tracks.
“Girls” (written by Nicolle Galyon/Natalie Hemby/Jimmy Robbins)
Lambert sings convincingly of a “fighter with a centerfold face,” in a pulsing mid-tempo featuring soaring harmonies and inventive background vocals. “I get pitched 100 ‘Gunpower & Leads’ and I’m like, ‘give me something I can’t write, I can write those all day long.’ I like to hear things where I go, ‘damn, I wish I’d written that.’ Natalie [Galyon] is a freak of nature, she’s such a great writer,” Lambert says. “I heard ["Girls"] and it was like, ‘oh my gosh, it’s so true.’ Girls, we’re so complicated, can’t live with us, can’t live without us. I feel like that song says that so well, it’s so beautiful. Every girl I play it for is like, ‘that’s me!’ and that’s what you want, it’s so relatable and powerful. Even guys, ‘oh yeah, that’s my girl, that’s my wife, that’s my mom, that’s my daughter.’ I love songs that make you feel something and this one definitely does.”
— CMT (@CMT) May 27, 2014
The good news? Miranda Lambert has completed her much anticipated, though somewhat overdue, fifth album. The bad news? You have to wait until June 3 for “Platinum,” a full two years and eight months since her last LP.
Why the wait? Lambert released an album with her Pistol Annies trio in 2013 and extended her tour. She also decided she was at a place in her career where she’d earned the time to fulfill her entire creative vision, and it simply took time.
“From the day you kinda go I need to start looking for songs and writing songs, it feels like no matter how much time you have, you’re rushed,” Lambert said. “And so I didn’t want to rush it at all. To me it’s all about timing and making sure that you can feel like you can finally sit there and go, OK, the album’s done, and never have a moment where you go, I wish we could change that or I wish we had a different song.”
An early listen reveals the singer’s most ambitious album yet. At 16 songs, “Platinum” sprawls across genre and style and expands on her already adventurous sense of song choice. She says everyone urged her to trim a few songs and conform to the usual country conventions.
“Now when you listen to it as a whole, what do you take off?” she asked.
The album paints a picture of Lambert’s life as she reaches 30. She wrote or co-wrote eight songs and chose the others based on how they reflected her personality or world view.
The first single, “Automatic,” suggests returning to a slower time and way of thinking. She contemplates her self-image in “Bathroom Mirror,” takes on tabloid scrutiny in “Priscilla” and teams up with several guests on songs that underscore her range and willingness to experiment.
The collaboration with Carrie Underwood on “Something Bad” brings together two of country’s most popular stars.
“We’re really rocking in country music and we’re coming together as a force,” Lambert said. “To me, like, if you’re sitting on the front row, you might want to scoot back. It’s a force. It just feels exciting to me. I’m ready to rock.”