There's a reason why after years of being in the spotlight, Miranda Lambert's still the queen of country.
Rocking a sexy black dress with a sassy fur coat, the "Vice" singer glows on the cover of Billboard's Nashville issue. In her accompanying feature with the music outlet, teased as "No pain, no reign," she opens up about her unique journey in the industry, and why she'll never fit the mold.
"I'm not going to try to fit in, but I'm not trying to be an outlaw -- I'm just trying to do me," she says. "And if that's carving my own path or making my own lane, then I'll do that."
With power hits like "Mama's Broken Heart," "Gunpowder & Lead" and "Kerosene," you would think Lambert is as confident as they come. But the Longview, Texas, native admits that even she has days when it's difficult to be strong and put on a smile -- and that's OK.
"I'm more known for my fiery personality and my confidence, but that's not me all the time," Lambert, who made major headlines in July 2015 for her highly publicized divorce from Blake Shelton, confesses. "I won't look at things ever again in the same light, because different things in your life bring you to a deeper level with yourself. I won't take pain for granted anymore."
And when she's not onstage or walking a red carpet, the 33-year-old singer lives a laid-back lifestyle, relaxing by writing songs, riding horses or hanging out with her boyfriend, Anderson East, on the 400-acre property she recently bought about an hour outside of Nashville.
"I go to my farm, and I don't wear makeup for a week or wash my hair," she tells Billboard. "I put it in a bandanna and wear cutoffs and play with my dogs."
Lambert credits music for being "an escape from your own reality," which is why she says she'll never use her platform "for anything other than music," politics included.
"I don't want to go to a show and hear somebody preach about their opinions," she explains. "It's so divided [in politics], you can't win anyway -- and what are you winning?"
"For someone to agree with you," she adds, "and now you've spoken your piece and p***ed off many other people, just for one person to go, 'She’s right'? It doesn't do any good."
Instead, she's fully focused on "writing and singing songs that count."
"I want to do a good job of holding up my end of the deal, which is lifting up other singer-songwriters," she says. "I'm a country singer. We talk about tears in our beers."