By Grady Smith
Updated August 26, 2011 at 08:45 PM EDT
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Miranda Lambert
Credit: Fred Breedon/Nashville Rising/Getty

Miranda Lambert, the current queen of country music, is working double time these days.

Not only is she promoting her new girl band, Pistol Annies, who released their debut album, Hell on Heels, on Tuesday, she’s beginning to gear up for the November 4 release of her own disc, Four The Record.

But Lambert, whose single “Baggage Claim” is quickly racing up the charts, isn’t just a performer—she’s a listener, too!

EW caught up with the no-nonsense blonde last week, and she told us about what she’s been playing on her iPod recently.

Check out Miranda’s music picks below:

“I just love how much soul she has. She sings with all of herself, and whenever you listen, it just feels like she’s telling a story and you’re believing every word of it. I like “Rumour Has It.” I like sassy songs, as you know—it’s got some sex appeal to it, but it’s also just sassy.”

“I’m obsessed with Beyonce. B’Day is my favorite. I remember reading interviews and watching her in interviews and her saying that she wasn’t even really scheduled to go into the studio, and she just [went], kind of, underground. That record—it really feels like no one was bothering her. She kind of went in and did whatever she wanted. It feels like a lot of influences of Motown are in that record. I have every Beyoncé record, I have Destiny’s Child, I’ve seen her four times in concert, so I’m just a giant fan. I actually got to meet her briefly at the American Airlines center last year. I just love her, and I will always buy every record she makes, but I still love B’Day the most.”

“Blake [who Miranda married earlier this year] is such a great singer, and we have such different tastes in music, but ‘Honey Bee’ is such a feel-good song. It makes you just want to listen to it over and over. Red River Blue—I feel like he had a good time in the studio when I listen to that record. It’s really him. It’s 100% him. There’s nothing on there that’s kind of just stuck on there. Every song belongs on the album.”

It’s just the best. You can literally put it on and sit there for four hours and sit on your deck and drink a beer and never feel like you need to change a track. It’s absolutely the best box-set ever. I’m a huge Merle Haggard fan. I think people that feel like they don’t know country music need to listen to Merle Haggard because, to me, he’s everything that I love about country music. He’s real, and he writes about real things that he’s actually been through without being afraid of what he’s saying, and his voice is so smooth and so country. He’s a great representation of what I love about country music. I love ‘The Way I Am.’ That’s one of my favorite songs of his. And ‘Down Every Road,’ because it sort of describes what my life is. ‘Down every road is always one more city,’ you know? Sometimes you can put an album on and not feel like you need to skip any [tracks], and that’s that whole box set for me.”

“She’s actually one of my good friends. She sang at our wedding, and she’s just one of the most amazing songwriters. She’s this tiny little girl, and she has the biggest voice. I mean, she can belt it. She’s a diva—she’s awesome. She’s one of the greatest singers around, and her live show is amazing, and her songwriting is amazing. I love ‘The Story,’ and she sang it at our wedding, so I’m partial to that one. And ‘Terpentine,’ I love that one too.

Pistol Annies is obviously my new girl band project. I just feel like it happened so organically. It’s three friends that came together and have the same passion for songwriting, and we just have this amazing chemistry together. It’s been so much fun to write with those girls and put this project together, and have the girls on the road with me. It’s a real thing. It’s the opposite of contrived. The whole record, Hell on Heels, takes you back like 30 years. If you put it in, you’re going to think you stepped back in time. [My favorite songs on the album?] Obviously, “Hell on Heels.” It’s swampy and sexy, and it’s girls with attitude, and you really aren’t sure what happens to the guys in the song, if they’re dead or not dead. (laughs) It’s so much fun to do live. Another one of my favorites on there is “Hunter’s Wife,” because I married an avid hunter.

“I really love Ashton Shepherd. I think that she’s a girl that we need in country because she’s so raw and real and just hardcore country. She’s the real deal. I’m definitely trying to kind of champion her and push her name out there even more, because I think she’s good for us.”

There’s a guy named Hayes Carll that we listen to a lot. For the Pistol Annies, he’s our gettin’ ready music. He had a song, actually, on the Country Strong soundtrack called “Hard Out Here.” He’s kind of that red dirt sound, but he’s just really great songwriter, just really cool, raw, real sound. He’s awesome. You should check him out.

What do you think of Miranda’s picks, Music Mixers? Surprised by any of these choices?