By Shirley Halperin and Anni Yuan
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Country singer Miranda Lambert has had a great year. Between nabbing Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2010 Country Music Association Awards and winning her first Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for "The House That Built Me," the former "Nashville Star" finalist has proven that it doesn't matter where you come from, as long as you've got the vocal chops to make it.
Next up for the rising star? The 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, where Lambert is nominated for seven awards, including Entertainer of the Year. The Hollywood Reporter recently spoke with the 27-year-old Lindale, Texas native.
The Hollywood Reporter: You're up for Entertainer of the Year at the ACMs...
Miranda Lambert: Yes I am. It's a little bit surreal because it's one of the things that I set as a goal for myself and here it is. I'm not sure I deserve to win this year, but I'm definitely glad to be in the category.
THR: When did you set it out as a goal for yourself?
Lambert: Probably 10 years ago when I first started. I said I want to be in the next 10 years nominated for Entertainer of the Year. A lot of the goals I set for myself have happened in 2010 and now this year. So, I've started thinking about making some new ones.
THR: Would the best scenario be that Blake Shelton, your fiance, would hand you the award as he's co-hosting?
Lambert: Yeah. It's awesome. We always hope that one of us will get to hand the other one an award, which would be amazing, obviously. This year, I probably won't see him because he's going to be real busy because he's hosting.
THR: Has he been practicing? How do you prepare for a gig like that?
Lambert: I don't think so. He's pretty good at off-the-cuff stuff. They'll give him a script, I'm sure, but I'm not positive he'll go by it. He's kind of a loose cannon.
THR: Another award you're nominated for is the "Coal Miner's Daughter" collaboration with Sheryl Crow and Loretta Lynn. Can you tell us about that?
Lambert: It was unbelievable. Really, it was crazy that I got to be part of such an amazing thing. Loretta is the queen of country music. She, to me, is everything I want to be. Also, I'm a huge fan of Sheryl Crow. I think she's amazing and so inspiring. Getting to be involved in that was really emotional for me because I got to spend all day at Loretta's mansion with her and Sheryl when we made our video. It made me think about what I want. It's not about the next five years, it's about the next 35 years. Loretta is so poised and funny and still makes great records. It will always stand out as a highlight of my career.
THR: Did you see the movie "Coal Miner's Daughter" when you were little?
Lambert: Oh, absolutely. That's one of my favorite movies, in my top three. So that was awesome to be able to ask her about the movie and how it made her feel. She said it was emotional for her. She said she could only watch it once, and she has never watched it again because it took her through some hard times in her life.
THR: The ACMs are taking place in Las Vegas, do you have a favorite Sin City activity?
Lambert: I go to Vegas like four times a year. When I get to go that's not work, is when I have the most fun obviously, because every time I'm there I have a lot to do. I like to play blackjack and I love the pools in Vegas.
THR: Do these awards shows ever get old?
Lambert: No. Especially when you win, it's never old then! I think it's cool because you work hard all year long to get recognized. It's also a place where you get to see the friends you've made in the industry. You get to see people that maybe you have been on tour with and haven't seen in a long time. It's kind of like a reunion.
THR: What is the status of your new album?
Lambert: Right now, I'm writing for it. I've been working on trying to wrap my mind around what I want to say and do on this record. I don't really go into it with a certain vision. I kind of just let the music do what it does. This time around there's a lot of pressure, so I'm just sort of feeling it out as I go.
THR: Can we expect some of those just married emotions to make their way onto the record?
Lambert: I hope so. I think the more emotional you are, the better. Every time I've opened up on my record, it has been successful. I don't know. I'm sort of writing as I go and I can never tell how it's going to be or how it's going to feel until I get into the studio. But I definitely think it will. I probably can't help but have the emotions in my voice.
THR: Do you think the stigma of being from a talent show is less so today than when you were doing "Nashville Star?"
Lambert: I think so. It's just a vehicle for someone whose talented to start with. I think that it's important that we have these because it's brought out so much great talent, from "American Idol" and also from "Nashville Star." But too, I think that it's important that artists that come off those things, really stand on their own after the show is done -- that the show is not their identity.
The 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards will air Sunday, April 3 on CBS at 8 p.m. EST.
(Editing by Zorianna Kit)