- Associated Press - Thursday, June 7, 2012

NASHVILLE, TENN. (AP) - Miranda Lambert recently got a much-needed 10-day vacation with Blake Shelton. It capped the couple’s crazy first year of marriage, during which country music’s hottest romantic duo experienced every emotion imaginable, from deep loss to pure exhilaration.

Quickly rejuvenated, Lambert admitted she was getting a little bored at their Oklahoma home toward the end.

“After that long, I was ready to do something,” Lambert said with a little extra Texas twang in that last word.

They’ll have lots on their plate this week at the CMA Music Festival. Both are top draws for the fan-driven event and expected to perform. Each has been experiencing career overdrive since their marriage, with Lambert launching her first arena tour and Shelton’s popular run on “The Voice.” Each has also scored No. 1 hits.

But each has experienced loss _ Shelton’s father passed away, as did a close friend of Lambert‘s.

The success of the couple’s “Over You” _ about the untimely death of Shelton’s brother _ coincided closely with both events. That made for a series of both difficult and powerful performances over the last few months.

Miranda had a tough time for a couple of weeks there performing that song,” Shelton said at a party celebrating their success at the top of the country charts. “She said she couldn’t sing it and the crowd ended up singing it back to her. And once the dust started settling there, she lost one of her childhood friends and had to go through the same thing again. And that’s the tough part about a song like that. That’s also how important it is, that it does bring some closure and it helps you get those emotions out of your body, out of your mind, out of your heart, and you can do it through a song.”

“Over You,” which gave Lambert her third straight CMT female video of the year award Wednesday night, is believed to be the first country chart-topper co-written by spouses, then performed by a member of that couple. In a way, it will always be intertwined in the fabric of their marriage.

“It’s just all around,” Lambert said. “It’s like this song is surrounded by magic, you know, it’s serendipity. It’s just really a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”

Though they are newlyweds, as a celebrity couple, they haven’t had the most traditional first year of matrimony. They spend very little time together with two bustling careers that sometimes have them on the other side of the country from each other.

This week’s CMA Fest will be one of those fleeting moments when both are in the same town at the same time. The four-day event is the ultimate opportunity to interact with fans. Lambert performs a set that will include “Over You” and a song with her Pistol Annies trio on Thursday and Shelton is part of Friday’s lineup. From autograph sessions to the nightly concerts at LP Field, which feature 65,000 fans at the home of the Tennessee Titans and country music’s biggest stars, there’s no better way to get closer to your favorite artist.

Lambert ended up in the emergency room due to dehydration and exhaustion during her first festival experience. She’s learned how to handle the heat these days, but it remains a pretty intense experience.

“When you walk out onto the stage at LP Field it’s very overwhelming, the amount of people and the energy,” Lambert said. “Everybody in there is there because they love country music. And it’s a (lot) of people that love country music. And it’s cool to see them all at one time.”

It’s another celebration Lambert and Shelton, who despite seeing very little of each other over the last year feel even more strongly about their marriage.

“Man, you know what? I think Miranda is a keeper,” he said, then joked: “At first I married her just because of her looks, but since then I’ve realized how rich she is. You know, that equals out to many years of happy marriage.”







Follow www.twitter.com/AP_Country for the latest country music news from the Associated Press. Follow Entertainment Writer Chris Talbott at https://www.twitter.com/Chris_Talbott.

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