Miranda Lambert Was ‘Terrified’ of Her First CMA Awards Performance

She may be a seasoned pro now, but Miranda Lambert got quite the stage fright when she first performed on the biggest stage in country music.

Back in 2005, Lambert was up for the CMA Horizon Award but that didn’t take away from the butterflies she felt as she anticipated stepping on stage in front of all of those famous faces. To put even greater pressure on the singer, the celebration was held in New York City that year and she remembered feeling out of sorts before her performance.

“I was terrified to get on that stage,” Lambert admits. “It was the year that it was at Madison Square Garden, so not only was my first time in New York City to perform but it was the CMAs and everybody I ever loved was sitting in the crowd, not to mention, you know, the television aspect of it. It was sort of my first time to say, ‘Hey, here’s who I am as an artist’ and so I felt like a lot was riding on that performance.”

“And we had fire, like, these huge firewalls, and I was afraid my hair was gonna catch on fire,” she continued. “You know, it was just like a million things going through my mind…but, now I definitely know that, the feeling of the butterflies is because I cared so much because I knew it was important.”

It took Lambert five more years to score her first win at the CMAs, but she continued raking in the nominations despite not receiving any accolade prizes.

This year though, Lambert can keep her nerves down a notch as she snagged the most nominations over any other artist at the 51st Annual CMA Awards ceremony. She’ll be competing for five different trophies in the Album of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, Music Video of the Year, Song of the Year and Single of the Year categories.

The 51st Annual CMA Awards will air live from Nashville on Wednesday, November 8, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.