Brandi Carlile is a living legend. The genre-defying artist already has six Grammy wins and twice as many nominations. She’s a voice for women across the country who feel like they don’t fit in or are left behind. And she has one of the most powerful and beautiful voices of any singer in her generation.
Whether she’s singing her own songs or covering classics by all-time-great artists, Carlile’s voice never fails to give us chills and move our hearts and minds. We could listen to her singing all day long, and we often do.
With that in mind, here are eleven of our favorite live performances from the singer, each showcasing her dynamic and unforgettable voice and stage presence.
Holy shit. This song is classically sung by one man and one woman, but here, these two superstars come together and make it even better than before. Carlile takes the lower part, and when the two sing together, it’s mesmerizing. You can see the admiration each of them has for each other.
At the beginning of the clip, Carlile’s daughter Evangeline comes on stage and gives her mom a kiss. “We have a rule, where it doesn’t matter what’s going on, if Momma’s working, she can come on stage and get a kiss,” Carlile says. Then she continues to talk about her wife and her queer family to the Austin City Limits crowd before launching into her beautiful song about becoming a mother for the first time.
Carlile says the three greatest songs ever written are “I Will Always Love You,” “Hallelujah,” and this song. After talking about her friendship with Joni Mitchell, she lends her heartbreaking vocals to this already heartbreaking song. Part of her strength lies in just how great her voice sounds when singing other great singer’s songs.
Back in 2010, Carlile appeared on the famous Austin City Limits and blew away the audience with her performance of her powerful first hit, “The Story.” There’s no denying her strength and control as she wails through the song. You can tell even early on that you’re witnessing greatness.
Carlile got to show off her powerhouse vocals and incredible songwriting skills to a national audience when she performed this song at the Grammys, where she was the most nominated female artist and won three awards. “The Joke” won for both Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song, and her album, By The Way, I Forgive You, won for Best Americana Album.
This supergroup of female country singers features Carlile, along with Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby, and Amanda Shires, and they can do literally anything. Here they take on Fleetwood Mac and they don’t miss at all. Is it sacrilege to say I like this more than the original?