Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert is a household name in country music, and after increasing fan demand, she will be returning to Country Thunder this year. The Explorer chatted with her to preview her headline performance on Saturday, April 12 at 9 p.m.

Explorer: “You're returning to Country Thunder for the second time. What made you decide to come back?”

Miranda Lambert: “Arizona has some amazing country fans as does the Country Thunder festivals. Who doesn't want to come back and play for this kind of crowd?"

E: “As a famous country artist, you've been all over the U.S. What's unique about performing in this setting? What do you like about Arizona?"

M: “Like I said, Arizona is full of country fans who really get into the music and like hanging with us for a night. It's always such a high when you perform in front of that many country fans at one time and they sing along to your songs. They are there for a love of music and are eager to be entertained. Those are the best nights”

E: “Your husband, Blake Shelton, put on a great show in 2012. Now it's your turn. Do you guys have friendly competitions as to who can "outdo" the other?”

M: “We support each other, and sometimes there is some friendly competition. We joke about it more than anything. “

E: “There's a special atmosphere to Country Thunder. People are generally friendly, inviting, and just out to have a good time. How is that reflective of what the country music industry stands for?”

M: “The setting for this festival is great, usually the weather plays along too. Our format as a whole is pretty down to earth and supportive.”

E: “You're nominated for several awards with the ACM's approaching just prior to Country Thunder. Would any award mean the most to you? As the winner of several country music awards in the past, do you ever become numb to the awards?”

M: “I still get butterflies seeing my name show up in the nominations. I hope that never goes away. It's very special for your peers to think that the work you have done that year is worth recognizing. I was definitely excited to see my name in the Entertainer of the Year category this year. That alone is a huge honor.“

E: “Who were some of your idols that inspired you to follow your dream of country music?”

M: “Musically, I have always loved artists like Merle Haggard and Loretta Lynn. They have been some of my largest influences along the way. My mom & dad really introduced me to music and I would play guitar a lot with my dad when I was younger. They also were there for me when I was playing honky tonks around Texas, so they definitely supported my dream 100 percent.”

E: “What would you like to say to your fans at Country Thunder?”

M: “Get ready to come out and rock! We are coming for you Arizona!”

For continuing Country Thunder coverage, and for more artist interviews, visit expnow.com/ct2014

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