As part of Rolling Stone‘s third annual Icons & Influences feature, reigning ACM entertainer of the year Miranda Lambert opened up about the influence of Emmylou Harris as part of Rolling Stone‘s third annual Icons & Influences feature. Lambert said that although she grew up hearing Harris’ music, she discovered Harris’ music in a whole new light when she began writing her own songs around age 16.
“I think the first song was ‘Two More Bottles of Wine,’ which was written by Delbert McClinton. I’d heard the male version, but it hit harder with her singing, because I had gone through this phase of ‘How do I be a bada– and still be feminine?’ Emmy exuded all of that. Her delivery in a beautiful song like ‘Boulder to Birmingham’ just rips your heart out. But then ‘Two More Bottles of Wine,’ I was like, ‘This girl’s here to party and not take s–t.’ I like this, too.”
Lambert also added that Harris’ 1978 recording “Easy From Now On” inspired not only a tattoo, but also played a role in Lambert’s hit song “Bluebird,” which topped Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart in 2020.
“What I love about Emmylou is when I’ll have no clue which song she wrote and which she didn’t write, because she owns every single thing she does with such grace and heart, and it all kills me,” Lambert said. “‘Easy From Now On’ was another one of those songs, at 18, where I was like, ‘This song is life-changing.’
“I have a huge wild card tattooed on my right arm, a queen of hearts, because the line in that song hit me so hard: ‘Don’t worry ‘bout me, I got a wild card up my sleeve.’ When we were writing my [2019-released] song ‘Bluebird,’ I was like, ‘Can we just do an ode to that?’ The emotion in that song was the same emotion being stated in ‘Easy From Now On.’”
Lambert covered “Easy From Now On” on her 2007 album Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and added that she would love to cover Harris’ “Red Dirt Girl” at some point.
“I’ve always said from day one, I want a career like Emmy’s, because it’s a never-ending career. She has 26 albums and none of them are the same. Emmy’s got this certain freedom because she sings with whoever she wants, whenever she wants; she covers whatever she wants; she writes whatever songs she wants to write. It’s very inspiring to watch.”
It seems Lambert is well on her way. To date, she has earned seven No. 1 hits on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart, and last year took home the ACM’s triple crown honor, after earning the ACM’s top new female vocalist honor, female vocalist of the year honor and entertainer of the year honor during her career. Lambert is one of only seven artists that have been honored with the Triple Crown Award, and is the most-awarded artist in ACM Awards history, with 37 total wins.
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