Miranda Lambert @ Salt River Fields

Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn are the real-deal female country music singers; no one else comes close. But within the modern country realm, look no further than native Texan Miranda Lambert, who easily could kick Taylor Swift's pretty pop-country ass. Just glance at the cover of Lambert's latest album, Four the Record, on which, looking totally badass, she appears to be walking away from a burning boat in the desert. In many ways, the image perfectly represents her music: rugged, biting country about breakup and retribution from a woman you don't want mad at you. (Maybe hubby Blake Shelton can enlighten us?) Anyway, female country singers shouldn't be only sweet and demure — think Wynette's "D.I.V.O.R.C.E." — and Lambert, to that end, doesn't play it safe. The rough edges work in her favor, providing enough grit to satisfy the men while inspiring women to seize the moment. With her sexy, silky drawl of a voice, Lambert's snagged Female Vocalist of the Year awards from both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music, as well as a Grammy for "The House That Built Me."

 
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