It’s a sub-freezing February afternoon in Nashville and Miranda Lambert has just slipped into a $9,000 strapless silk chiffon gown. In a minute, she’ll brave the cold to step outside in front of a waiting camera, but at the moment, she’s poking fun at the decadence of couture: “This is what famous people do – lounge around in gowns all day!” she jokes.
After donning a few finishing touches – a pair of silver boots from her new retail line and a vintage pistol holster – the singer emerges with an Annie Oakley-meets-supermodel strut.
There’s little danger of Lambert abandoning her guns-ablazing image, but at the age of 30, she’s now comfortable mixing in a bit of glam with her gunpowder. (Her latest obsession? A hot pink Gucci tote, a $1,800 gift from her manager.) She’s also learning to be OK with softening what she calls her “I’ll burn your house down if you don’t listen to me” attitude.
“That attitude brought me here and got me where I am,” she says. “But that was me in my 20s. The chip on my shoulder is gone.”
With more than five million in album sales and an awards shelf crowded with six CMAs, 15 ACMs and a Grammy, “I feel like people have accepted me for who I am, with all the craziness, loudness and fire.”
These days, she’s a little less Miranda-rita party girl and a little more fine wine aficionado (“I think I’m turning into a wine snob!”); less Crazy Ex Girlfriend, more supportive spouse: “At some point, you calm down. I’m happy. I’m more settled. I’ve put down roots.”
That new contentment filters through the songs from her upcoming fifth album, Platinum, due out June 3, like her first single, the sweetly nostalgic “Automatic.” But it says something about the nature of Lambert’s fame – and the harsh media glare on her nearly three year marriage to Blake Shelton – that even before the song was released, some wondered whether it was meant as a jab at the couple’s relationship.
“There were rumors that it was about our marriage, that it had become boring and predictable. How do people even think that up?” Lambert says.
“It’s not easy when everyone is trying to tear you down, but you make a commitment and you stick to it. In other parts of the entertainment world, it sometimes seems like marriage is so disposable. But country has some enduring marriages – Johnny and June, George and Nancy, Faith and Tim. I’m thankful we have those role models. I feel like our peers are rooting for us. They’re holding us up.”
For more of the story, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE Country on newsstands, or download the enhanced digital issue in the PEOPLE app in the Apple iTunes store beginning March 29.