Sometimes it seems that Miranda Lambert, the powerful singer and songwriter from Longview, Texas, can do no wrong. In collecting her first country album Grammy Award for her fifth album, "Platinum," she took home honors to go with the 2010 award she won for female country vocal.
"Platinum" is an ambitious work by mainstream country standards, and despite the broad-based appeal Lambert has found for her music — as well as her high-profile marriage to singer and coach on NBC's "The Voice" Blake Shelton — it's hard to apply the word "mainstream" to anything she does.
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OK, so there was "Somethin' Bad," a straight-ahead manifesto of bad-girl intentions for which she collaborated with Carrie Underwood on the incendiary hit single and video. But much of what she explored in "Platinum" (written and recorded as she was closing in on her 30th birthday in 2013) had to do with change and growth, topics that don't get a lot of sway in the male-dominated party culture that's currently all the rage on country radio.
Lambert's album was singled out over Dierks Bentley's "Riser," Eric Church's "The Outsiders," Brandy Clark's "12 Stories" and Lee Ann Womack's "The Way I'm Livin'."
Grammy voters have often skewed somewhat edgier than those who choose the winners for the Country Music Assn. and the Academy of Country Music, and last year saluted Kacey Musgraves' critically acclaimed "Same Trailer, Different Park" album.
In recent years the country album Grammy went to Zac Brown Band's "Uncaged," back-to-back Lady Antebellum albums ("Own the Night" and "Need You Now") and Taylor Swift's 2009 effort, "Fearless."
Grammy Awards are determined by about 13,000 voting members of the Recording Academy, a body comprising musicians, producers, engineers and various music industry executives. Recordings released from Oct. 1, 2013, through Sept. 30, 2014, were eligible for award consideration.