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'Nashville Star' finalist enjoys playing to larger crowds Former 'Nashville Star' finalist enjoys playing to larger crowds

By Nekesa Mumbi Moody Published: June 16, 2006

NEW YORK - Miranda Lambert is putting the finishing touches on her sophomore album and continues to write new music on the road. Her debut CD, "Kerosene," continues to generate heat for the young singer-songwriter.

Since its release in March 2005, "Kerosene" has sold more than 700,000 copies behind songs like "Me and Charlie Talking" and her recent single, "New Strings." She's also been nominated for several awards, including CMA's Horizon Award, and the photogenic star even landed in the pages of Blender -- a magazine not known for profiling country singers.

For the 22-year-old Texan -- a past finalist on USA's "Nashville Star" -- her rise has been slow, but steady and strong. Part of her success lies in her constant touring -- she's spent part of last year with superstars like George Strait and Keith Urban.

Lambert spoke with The Associated Press recently about what's she's learned on the road over the past year:

You've been steadily touring for a while now. How have you grown as an artist?

I learned a lot about my audience and about myself as a performer, what I like to do live. My band is absolutely awesome. I think I've just grown up a little bit as far as how my career goes, and what works and what doesn't.

So what works and what doesn't?

Our live show has gotten really high energy, it's really energetic. It's a really fun show. I just realized, we're there to entertain people, and that's what I need to do. And I've learned about band members ... Right now we have such a great group of people that just get along great, and that helps a lot. When you live with someone on the bus, for four days a week, you really have to get along (laughs).

As your fame has grown, how has your connection to the audience changed?

I used to play for 200 people and now I'm selling out places that hold 16,000 people. It's a big change, and it's so cool to see people out there screaming the words to songs that I wrote.

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