Brandi Carlile

  • Americana/Folk-rock singer and songwriter born in 1981 in Ravensdale Washington.
  • Carlile began to sing as a child, and by the age of eight, she was singing country music on stage. As a teenager, she taught herself how to play guitar and piano. She dropped out of high school, intent on finding a career in music. She played at small clubs in Seattle, and discovered a band called the Flying Machinists, which featured twin brothers Tim and Phil Hanseroth. When the band broke up, Carlile convinced the twins to perform with her.  Initially a rock band, they evolved to a folk rock sound that focused on Carlile’s singing and the songwriting skills of Carlile and the Hanseroths. They developed a following, and they began to open shows for other established artists. By 2000, she was selling CDs at her concerts – she made three demo albums between 2000 and 2003, and an EP in 2004. In 2005, she was signed to a recording contract.
  • Her debut album, the self-titled Brandi Carlile, was released in 2005. It was critically acclaimed, and Rolling Stone named her an “Artist to Watch.” The album managed to chart on the Billboard 200 album chart. With the Hanseroth twins, she start to tour nationally, continuing to develop her fan base.
  • Her breakthrough came with 2007’s The Story album. The title track was used by General Motors in commercials during the Olympics in 2008, which increased exposure for her music. The album reached #41 on the Billboard 200 album chart and #10 on the Top Rock Albums chart. The title track reached #75 on the Hot 100 and #35 on the Adult Pop Songs chart. The song was covered by country artists LeAnn Rimes in 2016 and Dolly Parton in 2017.
  • In 2009, she released the Give Up the Ghost album. It included a collaboration with Elton John, with John providing backing vocals and playing piano on the song Caroline. The song Dreams reached #8 on the Adult Alternative Airplay chart.
  • During the 10s decade, Carlile established herself as one of America’s premier folk-rock artists. All three albums released in the 10s – 2012’s Bear Creek, 2015’s The Firewatcher’s Daughter, and 2018’s By the Way, I Forgive You were top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 album chart, and #1 on the US Folk Albums chart. She won her first Grammy award for Best Americana album for By the Way, I Forgive You, which also was nominated for Album of the Year. The album included the single The Joke, which peaked at #4 on the Adult Alternative Songs chart and won two Grammy awards, for Best American Roots Song and Best American Roots Performance. It also was nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
  • In 2019, Carlile co-produced Tanya Tucker’s 25th studio album, While I’m Livin’, Tucker’s first in ten years. The album included a single that Carlile co-wrote titled Bring My Flowers Now. The album and single both won Grammy awards for Carlile. That same year, Carlile formed a side project supergroup with country singers Amanda Shires, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby. The group was called Highwomen, and they released a self-titled album in 2019. It included the single Crowded Table, which won a Grammy award for Best Country Song in 2021.
  • Her 2021 album In These Silent Days was her fourth to top the Folk Albums chart and her third to top the Top Rock Albums chart. It was included in many “best of the year” lists from various sources, including the #1 spot from USA Today. The single Right On Time received three Grammy nominations, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year – we will find out on April 3 if she wins. Also nominated for Song of the Year is a collaboration she did with Alicia Keys titled A Beautiful Noise. She has a fifth Grammy nomination pending for Best American Roots Performance for Same Devil, a song by Brandy Clark with Carlile contributing harmony vocals.
  • Carlile appeared on Saturday Night Live in October 2021 – another indication that she is riding a wave of success. Here is her performance of The Joke at the 61st Grammy Awards show.

1 thought on “Brandi Carlile”

  1. saw her at an outdoor amphitheater in Bend maybe 6 years ago. Great show. Did a great rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody in concert.

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