Singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile has had a meteoric rise to stardom in the realm of folk-rock and alternative country music. The 39-year-old singer has released six studio albums and received seven Grammy Award nominations, and she shows no signs of slowing down. Scroll down for a break-down of Carlile's accomplishments so far.
Carlile has become a familiar face for music fans. Even those who haven't picked up her records have likely seen her perform live at some major award shows in recent years, including the 2019 ACM Awards where she captivated the crowd. Carlile is known for her soulful voice and her confessional lyrics, though at times she ranges into all-out rock anthems as well. On top of that, many fans appreciate her integrity when it comes to charitable work and representation for women in the music industry.
Carlile began pursuing a musical career early, dropping out of high school to go after it. The self-taught musician plays piano and guitar, and later picked up the banjo as well. Carlile made her major label debut with a self-titled album in 2005. The record was a huge critical success, though it did not do a lot in terms of sales numbers.
Carlile did not waver, steadily picking up more and more listeners with each subsequent release. She was born and raised in Ravensdale, Washington, and was doing most of her performing around Seattle in the early days. As her success picked up, she embarked on big headlining tours, opening up for such artists as Tori Amos, The Fray, Ray LaMontagne and Chris Isaak.
Carlile's second studio record, The Story really put her on the map. For starters, the title track was featured in a General Motors commercial during the 2008 Summer Olympics, which exposed Carlile to a much wider audience. It also hit huge peaks on the Billboard charts, the iTunes Music Store and other important metrics for an up-and-coming musician.
Carlile's success has not wavered since then. Her latest album, By the Way, I Forgive You, was a massive critical success, earning a total of 6 nominations at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. Carlile got more nominations than any other woman at the award ceremony this year.
Meanwhile, outside of music Carlile has flourished as well. The singer came out as a lesbian in 2002, and has fought hard to keep it from defining her in the press or distracting fans from her music.
"I don't have to have a lot of formality around it," she told the Los Angeles Times in 2009. "There were people before me who paved the way."0comments
In 2012, Carlile married Catherine Shepherd after just a few months of engagement.The two live in Washington state.