Raised in Texas by private investigator parents, Miranda Lambert was schooled early in covert operations—and the art of big hair: "Mom taught me to tease it up like a cloud," Lambert laughs. The star, 25, grew up to be best pals with her mama, Bev, who runs her fan club and joins her on the road a week each month. The two dish to PEOPLE COUNTRY's Kay West:
Bev, how did having kids fit into your PI work?
Bev: Children were not on the agenda. But when we got our surprise, we were extremely excited.
Miranda: I did my first job with her when I was 4.
Bev: She's always been great at undercover.
Miranda: My friends thought it was so exciting, but it was usually sitting in the car doing schoolwork while my parents did surveillance.
Were you two close when Miranda was little?
Miranda: I cried every day of first grade because I was away from my parents.
Bev: She was very much...rooted at home.
Miranda: I still am.
Bev: You could not be any closer than we were. Until I started managing her.
Miranda: We fought nonstop.
Bev: She'd say, "I want you to go back to being my mom!" It was a tough time.
As BFFs, what do you love doing together?
Miranda: We were in New York City recently, and we went to get mani-pedis.
Bev: But first we went next door and got a six-pack of beer to bring to the salon!
So what's the PI's take on Miranda's boyfriend, Blake Shelton?
Bev: Blake has brought out the very best in my daughter. He brings out things that I had not seen before, like a really intriguing sense of humor.
Miranda: That's true. I was lacking that.
Bev: For that reason alone, I would love him to death. But I love him to death anyway.