After moving to Nashville to pursue her career in country music, Lambert released her single, "Me and Charlie Talking," in 2004, which made modest waves on the country charts and got her noticed. That was followed by the release of her 2005 album, "Kerosene," which was certified platinum in 2007.
Since then, Lambert has performed with other contemporary country music megastars, including George Strait, Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney. Lambert got to spend some time with one of her country music idols, the legendary Loretta Lynn, to do a recording and music video with her and Sheryl Crow for one of Lynn's hits, "Coal Miner's Daughter," in 2010.
"It was just so crazy to be sitting in [Lynn's] kitchen and talking about family and road stories," Lambert said. "You're sitting there and talking like, to a friend, and then you all of a sudden go, 'oh my gosh, that's Loretta Lynn,' so definitely it was kind of a life-changing moment for me because I just realized how blessed I was and how I thought I was looking at the big picture of my career and hanging out with Loretta just made me widen my spectrum even more. You know I definitely want to be, not doing this for 20 years, but doing it for 50."
5. "The Way I Am," Merle Haggard
In 2005, Lambert met fellow country star Blake Shelton, who shared her love for deer hunting. The two started dating and were married earlier this year. They now live in Oklahoma.
The past year has been explosive for Lambert, who took home all top prizes at the 2010 Country Music Awards, including Female Vocalist of the Year, after receiving a record nine nominations. She also won a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her song, "The House That Built Me," and had three number one singles.
Many of Lambert's songs are written out of real life experiences, something the singer has admired in other country music legends.
"He's just a living legend," Lambert said of Merle Haggard. "Just in general as an artist and as a writer, he's real honest, he's always talked openly about his troubles and being in prison and he really lived the songs he wrote, and I loved the honesty in his music. I think that's where I get my love of just honest country music, is from Merle Haggard."