Friday, June 01, 2018

Happy Birthday to Folk Singer-Songwriter Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile was born today, June 1, in 1981. She is a folk rock and Americana singer-songwriter. Born in Ravensdale, Washington, she dropped out of high school to pursue a career in music, teaching herself piano and guitar. Her debut major label album, Brandi Carlile, was released to critical acclaim yet achieved limited commercial success. Carlile garnered wider recognition with her 2007 single "The Story," from her album of the same name. The Story was awarded gold status in 2017, having sold more than 500,000 copies to date. Carlile's most successful album to date, The Firewatcher's Daughter, earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Americana Album and peaked at number 9 on the Billboard 200.

Carlile has released seven albums in total. Her latest album, By The Way, I Forgive You, was released this year.

Carlile's music through the years has been categorized in several genres, including pop, rock, alternative country, and folk. She said of her style, "I've gone through all sorts of vocal phases, from pop to blues to R&B, but no matter what I do, I just can't get the country and western out of my voice." 

In a November 2002 interview, Carlile identified herself as a lesbian. She later told the Los Angeles Times, "I don't have to have a lot of formality around it ... there were people before me who paved the way."

In June 2012 she announced she was engaged to Catherine Shepherd (right). The two were married in Boston, Massachusetts on September 15, 2012. They welcomed their first child on June 15, 2014, a daughter named Evangeline Ruth Carlile. On March 18, 2018, Brandi and Catherine welcomed their second child, Elijah.

In 2008, Carlile established the Looking Out Foundation to give financial support to causes that she believes in. The Looking Out Foundation has awarded grants to Reverb, the American Diabetes Association, Honor the Earth, The Bridge School, UNICEF, The Women's Funding Alliance, Doctors Without Borders and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) among numerous other organizations. The Looking Out Foundation has also launched numerous grassroots campaigns including Looking Out For The Hungry, The If Project and The Story Campaign. Carlile also donates $1 from every concert ticket sale to the foundation.

In January 2010, Carlile's Looking Out Foundation partnered with the Seattle Police Department, the Indigo Girls, and two local Seattle self-defense studios to support the Fight the Fear Campaign.

In May 2017, Carlile released Cover Stories, a benefit album featuring songs from her 2007 groundbreaking album, The Story. Troubled by the world’s refugee crisis, especially the horrific impact it has on children, Carlile and her Looking Out Foundation chose War Child UK as the beneficiary of the album. Cover Stories features 14 artists, all of whom cover songs from The Story. Highlights are Dolly Parton's cover of "The Story," Pearl Jam's cover of "Again Today," and Adele's cover of "Hiding My Heart." Other artists featured are The Avett Brothers, the Indigo Girls, Kris Kristofferson, Miranda Lambert, and Chris Stapleton. President Barack Obama wrote the foreword.

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