Image: Lesbian singer/songwriter gives an emotional acceptance speech at the 2019 Grammys. Screenshot Grammy Awards Youtube
37-year-old lesbian folk singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile was the most nominated female artist at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards, with six nominations.
She made history on the night by becoming the first LGBTQ person to win the award for Best American Roots Song for The Joke. Carlile also won the awards for Best American Roots Performance for The Joke and Best Americana Album for By The Way I Forgive You.
Carlile sent social media into meltdown with her spine-tingling performance of The Joke during the telecast. The song gives a voice to the marginalized in today's divisive world and was written "for people that feel under-represented, unloved or illegal."
On the red carpet with her wife, Catherine Shepherd, with whom she has two daughters, 4 year-old Evangeline and 11-month-old Elijah, Carlile told Variety how much the nominations meant to her.
“I am elated, I’m over the moon…I don’t think I’ve ever felt so seen in my life.”
“I didn’t even dream about winning one Grammy, I didn’t ever think that was ever going to be in my world.”
“These nominations have changed my whole life, you know. They’ve changed my visibility and my ability to represent my community in a way that I’ll never forget.”
“I mean the ability to speak to young people is everything isn’t it? That’s the future. And I remember being a young, person, I remember being allowed to stay up late to see Whitney and Celine hit the notes.”
“And to think that there’s some young girl somewhere, especially an LGBTQ girl, that’s allowed to stay up late to see me hit the notes tonight, that’s monumental.”
Screenshot of Brandi Carlile and her wife Catherine Shepherd speaking to Variety on the Grammys red carpet courtesy of Variety Twitter
During her first acceptance speech of the night, Carlile opened up about the rejection she experienced after coming out at high school.
"Americana music is the island of the misfit toys. I am such a misfit," she said. "It is this music that has shaped my life and made me who I am and even given me my family, Tim and Phil.”
“I came out of the closet at 15 years old, when I was in high school, and I can assure you that I was never invited to any parties and never got to attend a dance."
"To be embraced by this enduring and loving community has been the dance of a lifetime," she continued. "Thank you for being my island."