Brandi Carlile Explains How Joni Mitchell, Dolly Parton & More Female Artists Made Her a 'Powerful Woman'

Brandi Carlile spoke with Billboard backstage at the 2019 Women in Music event, sharing advice for women who might be struggling with their self-worth and honoring a handful of female musicians who positively impacted her life.

Asked what words of wisdom she would give to women questioning their self-worth, Carlile told Billboard that she would suggest that they find other women to be in community with.

“Find a way to get in touch with your gratitude and genuinely be happy for the good things that happen to them,” she explained. “Eventually, that movement will be life-affirming for you and also it'll change the world because that's what we need, is we need more women who are willing to not compete with one another, but help each other move ahead.”

In the interview, she was also asked if there are any female artists she would like to honor, to which she named four key musicians who left a lasting impact on her life and made her a “powerful woman.”

Carlile called Joni Mitchell the “greatest contemporary artist of our time,” while she noted that Bonnie Raitt is a “badass and she leads with her hips” who won’t let anyone censor her and praised Tanya Tucker for battling for acceptance and forgiveness.  

Speaking of Dolly Parton, Carlile applauded her for being the first country artist to ever speak out in support of LGBTQ people. “I can tell you that as a queer kid from a small town, getting love from Dolly is second only to God,” she added.

You can watch the full video above to hear more from Carlile, and take a look at her Women in Music acceptance speech after she received the Trailblazer Award below.

2019 Billboard Women in Music


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