How Not Going to College Affected Miranda Lambert’s Career: ‘This Has to Work Out!’

At the 2022 Academy of Country Music Awards, Miranda Lambert won Entertainer of the Year, affirming her role as one of the most iconic country artists of all time. Lambert did not go to college and instead decided to focus all her energy on making her career in country music happen.

Miranda Lambert speaks onstage during the 15th Annual Academy Of Country Music Honors
Miranda Lambert | Erika Goldring/Getty Images for ACM

Miranda Lambert did not go to college

Lambert was born and raised in Texas, and she graduated high school in 2001. From a young age, Lambert was determined to make it as a singer.

Lambert was so set on making it in country music, she opted not to go to college in favor of pursuing a music career.

According to PopSugar, Lambert told Marie Claire in a cover story:

“When I first started playing bars in Texas, my parents had to come so I could get in. I didn’t have any other plans. I didn’t go to college. There was no ‘If this doesn’t work out. . . .’ It was like, ‘This has to work out!’ When I walk into a bar and smell old beer and cigarettes, it smells like home, because that’s where I grew up.”

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Miranda Lambert received bad advice ‘early’ in her career

In 2001, Lambert released her own debut album as an independent artist. She then went on to appear on the reality competition show Nashville Star.

Lambert made her major label debut in 2005 with the album Kerosene. Speaking with Marie Claire, Lambert revealed that the beginning of her career was filled with bad advice.

“Early on, an artist told me, ‘Don’t be yourself. Perform and be someone else,’” Lambert said. “And I thought, That seems like exactly the opposite of what I should be doing.”

The singer continued, “Then I had people wanting me to adjust my lyrics to be more appealing to the masses or whatever. I said, ‘No, that’s bulls***.’ I’d rather sell four copies of something that’s real than 4 million copies of something that’s fake.”

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Miranda Lambert is also a songwriter

From the start of her country music career, Lambert has tried to be as authentic as possible. The singer told Marie Claire that she found it hard “to sing someone else’s songs,” leading to her writing some of her “own stuff.”

“I went to Nashville and tried to sing someone else’s songs and couldn’t,” Lambert told Marie Claire. “Even at that age, I was like, I can’t sell something that I don’t believe.”

She continued, “So I started writing my own stuff. I figure, if I’m feeling something, surely to God, other people are, too, but they don’t want to say it because it’s too embarrassing.”

What the singer thinks of her decision not to attend college

During a 2014 appearance on the radio show Taste of Country Nights, Lambert was asked about the decision to go to college.

“I didn’t go to college but I think everybody should try it if you really think it’s for you. But, don’t be discouraged if you don’t think you have a vision of what you want to do; it’s okay to float for a little while — that’s not a terrible thing,” Lambert answered.

For Lambert, the singer-songwriter knows that performing was what she always wanted to do.

“I knew I wanted to be in a band. If you know you want to do something that doesn’t necessarily require college, chase that too. It’s okay,” the singer said on the show.

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