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Miranda Lambert fringe live Instagram/@mirandalambertgram

Miranda Lambert has made a name for herself by not playing by anyone else’s rules, and she’s not about to start chasing trends now.

For proof, just look at this Instagram photo Miranda posted while on the road with her current “Livin’ Like Hippies” tour.

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She’s looking down with a knowing, confident smile on her face while siting in front of a mirror with the words “I do this thing called whatever I want” written on it. Unfortunately, that’s not the title of a brand-new Miranda single like we were hoping it would be, but it is a phrase that could sum up Miranda’s entire career.

RELATED: Miranda Lambert hints that new music may not be far away

Like fellow country singer/songwriter Chris Stapleton, Miranda has managed to play arena tours and become one of the key stars of country music while not exactly being the most consistent hit-maker at country radio. Granted, Miranda has had multiple No. 1 hits over the years, but she’s not afraid to put out a song that colors outside of the lines of what’s currently popular on the country stations.

Miranda tells “The San Diego Union Tribune,” “Radio has always been a little different for me. I am not your typical mainstream artist, but I always welcome being heard anywhere, anytime.”

That being said, Miranda knows her success in building a fan base on her own terms is rare for a female country act. As a result, she’s worked hard to help the women coming up behind her by funding a scholarship for aspiring female artists at Nashville’s Belmont University and inviting artists such as Gwen Sebastian, Lucie Silvas and Sunny Sweeney to share the stage with her. Miranda even formed an all-girl trio, Pistol Annies, with Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe. There’s talk that the trio will be reuniting to record a third album very soon.

Miranda knows it’s not easy for a woman to make it in country music, but she has some really solid advice for her protégées.

“Nothing great comes easy,” Miranda says. “I just keep my eye on the prize no matter what, and I like to champion other women to do the same.”

She adds, “I think if you deliver the music and the performance that’s true to you, then you can’t lose. It’s not about sexy or accommodating, it’s about getting your s–t done and telling the truth always. And a lot about work ethic and drive and heart.”

As for her own journey, Miranda is “still chasing the magic” and says she’s “happy and focused these days.”

She says, “I think life, love, heartbreak, age and experience have all had a hand in molding me into who I am today. But who I am today may not be who I am tomorrow. I have so much more to learn, and I think I’m ready for whatever comes next.”

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Tacoma, WA #LivinLikeHippiesTour

A post shared by miranda lambert gram (@mirandalambertgram) on

Here’s hoping that whatever comes next for Miranda is some killer new music. It’s been about a year and a half since she released her ACM Award-winning album “The Weight of These Wings.”

For now, you can catch Miranda on the “Livin’ Like Hippies” tour through the spring. This summer, she teams up with Little Big Town for “The Bandwagon Tour.” All dates are posted at MirandaLambert.com.

Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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