In a new interview with Apple Music, Miranda Lambert told the stories behind some of her biggest hits, including the 2012 Hot Country Songs No. 1 “Over You,” which she co-wrote with her then-husband Blake Shelton.
As it turns out, the song’s poignant lyrics were all about the automobile-accident death of Shelton’s older brother Richie in 1990 when he was just 24 years old. Lambert recalled talking about Richie’s death with Shelton and thinking: “I would never try to write your story because I didn’t live it, but maybe I could help because I’m an outside perspective, but I feel your pain talking to me right now.”
“Over You” went on to win song of the year at both the CMA Awards and the ACM Awards and, more importantly, brought some catharsis to Shelton and his family. “It was really a special moment and I’m so glad we shared that song and that it helped his family heal, to have that together,” Lambert said.
The couple went on to divorce in 2015, but not before they had collaborated on 13 songs — from co-writing to background vocals to duets. Below, take a look at the former couple’s musical history.
SONGS THEY CO-WROTE
Miranda Lambert’s “Me and Your Cigarettes”
Lambert co-wrote this one with then-boyfriend Shelton and fellow country singer (and Pistol Annies bandmate) Ashley Monroe for her 2009 album Revolution.
Miranda Lambert’s “Love Song”
Lambert and Shelton co-wrote “Love Song,” another Revolution album cut, with Lady A’s Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley, who also sings background vocals.
Miranda Lambert’s “Sin for a Sin”
Shelton was clearly a big force on Revolution, as the sole co-writer alongside Lambert on one last deep cut.
Miranda Lambert’s “Over You”
Here’s the onetime couple’s blockbuster ballad, which went top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Hot Country Songs chart. While the song tells Shelton’s story, Lambert told The Tennessean, “Blake said he couldn’t record it for himself or sing it onstage every night, but he would be honored for me to.”
Pistol Annies’ “Family Feud”
Shelton is the only songwriter on Pistol Annies’ 2011 debut album Hell on Heels outside the Annies themselves — Lambert, Monroe and Angaleena Presley — joining the female country trio to co-write this album track.
SONGS THEY SANG BACKGROUND ON
Miranda Lambert’s “Maintain the Pain”
One last Revolution contribution for Shelton, who sang background vocals for the driving finale of “Maintain the Pain.”
Blake Shelton’s “Home”
Lambert appropriately sings background on Shelton’s Michael Bublé cover, considering he’s likely singing the homesick lyrics to his then-girlfriend. Shelton earned his fourth No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart with the cover, which was included on a reissue of his 2007 album BS.
DUETS & FEATURES
Miranda Lambert’s “Better in the Long Run” with Blake Shelton
The pair’s vocals are a perfect match trading verses and in the classic-country chorus of “Better in the Long Run,” from Lambert’s 2011 album Four the Record.
Blake Shelton’s “Bare Skin Rug,” feat. Miranda Lambert
Shelton’s 2008 album Startin’ Fires wraps with this cheeky campfire duet, which the duo also co-wrote.
Blake Shelton’s “Red River Blue” with Miranda Lambert
Another album closer for the pair, who duetted on the title track from Shelton’s 2011 project — his very first No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
Blake Shelton’s “Jingle Bell Rock,” feat. Miranda Lambert
Shelton kicked off his 2012 holiday album Cheers, It’s Christmas with this cover of the Bobby Helms classic, sweetly harmonizing with his then-wife for the festive tune and peaking at No. 37 on Hot Country Songs.
Blake Shelton’s “Blue Christmas,” feat. Pistol Annies
Another yuletide song, this time enlisting Lambert’s girl group for a feature on the Elvis Presley standard.
Blake Shelton’s “Boys ‘Round Here,” feat. Pistol Annies & Friends
Look no further than the music video for this Country Airplay chart-topper: This song, from Shelton’s 2013 Based on a True Story…, is a boot-stomping porch party, and Lambert and her Pistol Annies gal pals are there with their red Solo cups in hand. Their heavenly harmonies break up what could be a boys-only song.