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Americana musician Brandi Carlile thinks genre matters (Rebroadcast)

Brandi Carlile performed at the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards.
Brandi Carlile performed at the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards.

Brandi Carlile has received many accolades in her two decades as a musician. She’s won six Grammys and been nominated for many more. But until recently, much of that recognition remained within the worlds of country and Americana music.

That’s why it was a surprise (and a bit of a disappointment) for Carlile when her music was nominated in the Pop category of next year’s Grammy awards.

She wrote to her fans on Instagram after the announcement:

The importance of staying and working within Americana is greater than just me. There is not a moment where I don’t view my role as something larger. I feel great responsibility in representing marginalized queer people in rural America who are raised on country and roots music but are repeatedly and systematically rejected by the correlating culture. Every rung I can sling my gay sequined boot up on top of gets queer people a little higher on the ladder to being seen as just a bit more human in the great American roots landscape.

The news follows a big year for Carlile, who lives in Washington state with her wife and two children. She released a new album, “In These Silent Days,” and published a memoir, “Broken Horses.”

We sit down with Carlile to talk about queer representation in country music, why she finds other women musicians (like Joni Mitchell) so inspiring, and why genre matters.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Amanda Williams, Avery Kleinman