Brandi Carlile has become a household name in the country music industry in recent years, but some fans may not realize how deep her discography already goes. The 39-year-old singer-songwriter has seven studio albums to her name already, and seven Grammy nominations. Whether you're just discovering Carlile are just catching up on her back catalog, here's a quick breakdown of her career highlights.
Carlile's profile has been on the rise for the few years thanks to some high-profile award show performances and viral live session videos to go with her radio hits. Her music has a wide appeal, with all-out rock anthems appearing right beside soulful, confessional ballads on the same record. If that weren't enough, Carlile has ingratiated herself to many fans through extensive charitable work. Perhaps her biggest breakout performance to date came at the 2019 ACM Awards.
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 2018 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 that year. In 2021, Carlile released her seventh studio album, In These Silent Days, as well as her first book, Broken Horses: A Memoir, which debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.
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."
In 2012, Carlile married Catherine Shepherd after just a few months of engagement.The two live in Washington state. You can find Carlile's work on most major music streaming services.