31 Days of Women: Brandi Carlile

Credit: Jai Lennard

Editor’s Note: In celebration of Women’s History Month, You Sing I Write is highlighting female country artists and songwriters throughout March.

Brandi Carlile has had a successful career as a solo artist, songwriter and producer. Whether she’s taking the stage with her name on the bill or sharing the spotlight with The Highwomen, throughout her career she’s always made a point to lift up the women around her.

On Sunday, Carlile won a Grammy Award for Best Country Song for “Crowded Table” performed by The Highwomen. She penned the song with Natalie Hemby and Lori McKenna and during her acceptance speech praised her co-writers as “my heroes.”

“We just wanted to see women in country music embraced,” she said during her virtual acceptance speech. “We’re seeing that more and more.”

During the pre-show event on Carlile spoke of receiving recognition from the Recording Academy and her peers. “Nothing feels better than getting recognized by other people that you admire and getting to show other people that you admire that you’re recognizing their work in any given year,” she said.

I interviewed Carlile 11 years ago ahead of her performance in New Jersey. During our chat, she discussed how Lilith Fair shaped her life musically and socially, her songwriting process and advice on achieving success. 

“Women’s music is not a genre. It’s equivalent in every way to men’s music and it has a place,” she said at the time. “The strongest thing that you can do is to form a community around you. A community of musicians, artists, writers, free thinkers, activists. That will elevate you. You can always succeed with a community around you.”