Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's love story: How Paul McCartney's charity work brought the sweet couple close
Shedding light on her marriage with Shepherd, Carlile told Rolling Stone in 2019: ‘It was an interesting way to fall in love’
Love can knock at your door any time and it was the same with Brandi Carlile — the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter whose music spans multiple genres. Did you know she was the most nominated woman at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in 2019?
Dominating all major categories like Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year, the singer has released seven albums including ‘Give Up the Ghost’ and ‘The Story’. If you have followed her music, you would have heard about her all-female quartet called the Highwomen with Amanda Shires, Maren Morris, and Natalie Hemby.
Brandi Carlile performed Johnny Cash's song when she was 8
Born in Ravensdale, Washington, a rural town southeast of Seattle, Carlile was drawn to music from the very beginning. At eight, she performed Johnny Cash's ‘Tennessee Flat Top Box’ with her mother, Teresa Carlile and began writing songs when she was 15. As a child, she would build forts and play music with her brother Jay and sister Tiffany. Soon after, she decided to drop out of high school and self-taught herself piano and guitar.
An LGBTQ activist who inspired the world after coming out as a lesbian, she has been married to her wife of more than eight years, Catherine Shepherd, since 2012. The two are raising two young daughters in rural Washington State... and here's a sneak peek into their life.
Who is Catherine Shepherd?
Back in November 2002, Brandi Carlile announced she was a lesbian. An old Western Old Front Online feature records guitarist Keith Wright saying, “(Fans) love us now, and they want to marry us and hump us,” adding, “Brandi is a lesbian.” She later told The Guardian she came out as a lesbian when she was 14, shortly after Ellen DeGeneres did.
Ten years later, in June 2012, she announced she was engaged to Catherine Shepherd. How did the two meet? A shared passion for activism brought the two together and they first locked eyes with each other backstage at one of the ‘The Joke’ singer's shows. Catherine and Brandi got to know each other in New York City where Shepherd had come to work with Paul McCartney on a charity project and sparks flew. The rest is history. “We communicated for about a year, and the entire time, I thought I was talking to somebody who was 65,” Carlile told Rolling Stone in 2019. “It was an interesting way to fall in love.”
A British actress, Shepherd is known for her stint in the movie ‘Paddington’ and the TV series ‘Peep Show’, where she played April from 2004 until 2015.
A love for the ages
The adorable couple exchange vows in Boston, Massachusetts, on September 15, 2012 and has been together ever since. Brandi once shed light on her wedding and said, “See I'm sure all weddings have an insane week preceding the event but me and Catherine might have won that contest,” she wrote. “Bailey (the dog) had to be rushed to the vet on our wedding day, and the day before the wedding, we had to put down one of our goats (RIP Tim). To top it all off, our priest didn't show up! Ha ha! (Not her fault but it'll be one of those funny stories we'll be telling for years.) My church friends Jason and Mandy were there and Jason performed the perfect ceremony with 15 minutes notice!”
In one post, Brandi wrote, “Happy anniversary Catherine Carlile!! ❤️ you’re my very best friend to light up NYC with. Even with a champagne hangover today was so special. 😂 I LOVE when we go out on dates and just sit around zooming in on pictures of our kids the whole time...I could listen to you talk forever. 7 years has gone lightning fast.”
The couple is parents to two kids
After their marriage, the pair first gave birth to their daughter, Evangeline, in 2014. Four years later, Elijah also came into their world after she was born in 2018. On Instagram, Brandi often shares beautiful moments with her little ones. In fact, she narrated her parenthood experience in a song called ‘The Mother’.
Calling her the coolest misfit, Shepherd once wrote for Brandi, “This is us looking like 12-year-olds on our honeymoon. We took a road trip to Ocean Shores and had fish and chips and champagne in the back of our truck with our old dog while we watched the sunset on the beach. I am so incredibly proud of you and all the Grammy stuff but this is how I love you the most. It could only be you, love of my life.”
Catch a few photos from their Instagram profiles here: