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A literate singer/songwriter whose music splits the difference between pop/rock and folksy Americana, Brandi Carlile was born in the small town of Ravensdale, Washington, an isolated community 50 miles from Seattle. With few neighbors or friends nearby, she grew up learning to make her own entertainment, which included hiking trips in the nearby woods and self-taught vocal lessons. Carlile also grew attached to the classic country music her parents doted on, specifically Patsy Cline, and she made her stage debut at the age of eight after she was taken to a local country radio show by her mother. At 17, Carlile picked up the guitar, having developed a taste for rock & roll through Elton John's classic albums of the '70s, and began hitting the Seattle bar scene, playing anywhere she could get a gig (including a stint singing backup for an Elvis Presley tribute act).
While playing clubs, she encountered a band called the Fighting Machinists, featuring twin brothers Tim and Phil Hanseroth. Impressed by their instrumental skills and spot-on harmonies, Carlile became an instant fan of the band, and when the group broke up, she persuaded the Hanseroth twins to form a new group with her. While they started out as an aggressive rock & roll band, Carlile's emotionally powerful songwriting and acoustic guitar work soon became the dominant component of their sound, and they began touring regularly, headlining small venues and opening shows for Dave Matthews, Shawn Colvin, and India.Arie.
In 2000, Carlile recorded the first of several self-released recordings that sold briskly at shows. By 2005, she'd earned enough buzz to secure a contract with Columbia Records, which released her self-titled debut later that same year. The album earned enthusiastic reviews, and Carlile was named one of 2005's "Artists to Watch" by Rolling Stone. In 2006, Carlile and her band began work on her second Columbia album, The Story, with T-Bone Burnett producing. The record was released in spring 2007 to warm reviews, and the inclusion of its title track in several commercials (most notably a General Motors ad that aired during the 2008 Beijing Olympics) helped boost sales. Give Up the Ghost followed in late 2009 and cracked the Top 40, featuring production from another high-caliber studio hand, Rick Rubin, as well as a duet with childhood idol Elton John.
Carlile rang in 2010 by issuing a Valentine's Day-themed EP, XOBC. She also continued to tour, making a well-received stop at the annual Bonnaroo Festival that summer and collaborating with the Seattle Symphony during two shows in November. The symphonic concerts were recorded and released the following year as Live at Benaroya Hall. In 2012, Carlile returned with the album Bear Creek, featuring production from Grammy Award-winning mixer/producer/engineer Trina Shoemaker. Taking its title from the Washington recording studio in which the album was recorded, Bear Creek included the leadoff single "That Wasn't Me."
Brandi Carlile (born June 1, 1981) is an American alternative country and folk rock singer-songwriter. She has released several albums including The Story, Give Up the Ghost and Live at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony which reached number 14 on the Top Rock Albums chart.
Early life 
At age eight, Carlile performed Johnny Cash's "Tennessee Flat Top Box" with her mother, Teresa Carlile and began playing the guitar and writing songs at age fifteen. At sixteen, Carlile became a backup singer for an Elvis impersonator. According to Carlile she was diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder as a teen and dropped out of school to pursue a career in music.
Carlile began her career performing in Seattle music clubs with twin brothers Tim and Phil Hanseroth. She joined Columbia Records in late 2004 and recorded her debut self-titled album Brandi Carlile the following year.
Her second album The Story was produced by T Bone Burnett. The album's title track was used in a General Motors television commercial. The song was also used in the 2008 commercial for Super Bock and helped the song reach number 1 and the album reach number 4 on the Portuguese charts. "The Story" was featured on the end credits of the romantic drama film The Lucky One. Three songs from the album, "Tragedy," "What Can I Say," and "Throw It All Away," were further featured in the TV drama Grey's Anatomy. Grey's Anatomy also released a version of the music video for "The Story" with interspersed footage of the show.
She was featured on Rolling Stone's list of "10 Artists to Watch in 2005" and in 2006, toured as an opening act for Ray LaMontagne, Jonny Lang, Hanson, Indigo Girls, The Fray, Chris Isaak, Tori Amos, and Shawn Colvin.
In 2007 Carlile performed at the Borderline in London and as guest on Newton Faulkner's UK tour. She was the opening act for Maroon 5 and OneRepublic during their Australia tour and in April 2008, she performed on the BBC2 show, Later... with Jools Holland.
Give Up the Ghost was released in 2009 and debuted at No. 26 on the Billboard 200. Produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Rick Rubin, it featured a collaboration with Elton John on the song "Caroline" as well as Amy Ray, drummer Chad Smith and keyboardist Benmont Tench. In 2010, National Geographic Channel in Latin America chose the song "If There Was No You" from the album as a jingle to promote its series "Grandes Migraciones" (Great Migrations). Also that same year, during the 21st GLAAD Media Awards, Carlile was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for "Outstanding Music Artist" for the album.
In 2011, Carlile's album Live at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony reached number 14 on the Top Rock Albums chart. Carlile's next album, Bear Creek, released June 5, 2012, was produced by Trina Shoemaker. The album is a collaboration between her and the Hanseroth twins. In an interview with American Songwriter she says, "We decided a decade ago to split everything in our band evenly amongst the three of us. So nobody has any vested interest in getting involved with someone else’s song or their story. But nobody has a vested interest in keeping someone out of the story either. It always comes down to what’s best for the song."
In September 2012, she will be featured in a campaign called "30 Songs / 30 Days" to support Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, a multi-platform media project inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book.
Musical style and influences 
Carlile is known for possessing a big voice that cracks emotively when she is belting. Her lyric content often showcases a "Southern sensibility" as well as reflections upon her personal experiences. Her music, although appealing to the pop genre, encompasses alternative country, folk, rock, blues and indie styles. Describing it herself, Carlile says "I mean, I couldn't be less interested in becoming genre-specific in any way. If I could be anything to the music industry, it would just be sort of a human eraser of lines between genres, just because it's so damaging -- 'they're on that team, I'm on this team.' 'I don't like country.' 'I don't like rap.' I would just really like to prove to someone that doesn't like country that they do."
Carlile grew up studying and listening to her favorite vocalists, experimenting with the capacity of her own voice. In interviews, she has referred to drawing upon various artists including Elton John, Freddie Mercury, Thom Yorke, k.d. lang, and Roy Orbison in her music. She often cites Patsy Cline as a major influence: "Patsy Cline was a big part of me discovering my vocal capacity. Most people don't realize how loud she is. If you really listen closely, the amount of times in any given song that she distorts, you might think it's your car speakers or something. They didn't quite know how to fully contain her voice then. She was loud."
Personal life 
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. On September 15, 2012 Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd got married in Boston, Massachusetts.
Carlile performed with Ben Taylor in the Eden Presents…Alive in the World concert series for the benefit of Eden Florida, an organization that assists children and adults with autism.
In 2008, she created the Looking Out Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, to give financial support to causes that she believes in. The Looking Out Foundation has awarded grants to Reverb, the American Diabetes Association, and Honor the Earth, among numerous other organizations. 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. Also in 2010, Carlile contributed the track "The Heartache Can Wait" to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation: More Hope For The Holidays album.
Carlile owns a Doberman Pinscher and a horse. She wears AURYN tattoos on her shoulders.
Brandi Carlile won Seattle's City of Music Breakthrough Award for 2010. The same year, she was a nominee for "Outstanding Music Artist", for her album Give Up the Ghost, at the 21st GLAAD Media Awards.