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What is Brandi Carlile's net worth? Grammy winner sang backup for Elvis impersonator in first gig

Despite being a six-time Grammy-winning singer and songwriter, Brandi Carlile lives a modest lifestyle with her wife Catherine Shepherd and kids in Washington
Brandi Carlile has won six Grammys till date (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Brandi Carlile has won six Grammys till date (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

As a six-time Grammy Award-winning musician, Brandi Carlile isn't your average celebrity. The singer and songwriter has a modest lifestyle, despite having released six studio albums, several singles, and even collaborated with names like Sam Smith, Willie Nelson, and Sting. 

Carlile is currently making waves for her activism and will receive the 2021 Clio Music Impact Award. Reportedly, she has been chosen alongside the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) for the award. While the NIVA is being recognized for helping get federal funds for music venues, Carlile will be honored for her efforts to diversify country music. 


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The singer recently performed as part of the Citi Sound Vault series, in January 2021. Between her numerous awards, activism, humanitarian work, and highly successful career, the singer does sound like your average celebrity, however, she is anything but. You'll be surprised to learn just what her net worth really is.

In this screengrab, Brandi Carlile accepts the Best Country Song award for ‘Crowded Table’ at the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony broadcast on March 14, 2021. (Rich Fury/Getty Images)

What is Brandi Carlile's net worth?

According to Wealthy Genius, Carlile's net worth is just $2 million. A majority of that income comes from her music career, which she began as an eight-year-old. She started out singing back-up vocals for an Elvis impersonator, and was playing gigs every chance she got. She eventually developed a back-up band with brothers Tim and Phil Hasenroth.

Since then, she's also donated a large portion of her income to numerous causes. She reportedly donated a portion from every ticket sale for her 2009 Bellvue show to her nonprofit The Looking Out Foundation. In 2017, she released 'Cover Stories', a tribute album with proceeds going to War Child UK. But before all that, she was a struggling musician in Seattle. 

In 2004, Carlile got a big break when she was signed by Columbia Records. That set the stage for a series of albums, across multiple genres including country, folk, pop, and rock. That includes her 2007 breakthrough 'The Story'. The album became so popular, General Motors featured the title song in its 2008 Olympics ad. 'If There Was No You' was used by National Geographic to promote its 'Great Migrations' series in Latin America. A couple of her songs were also featured on the hit TV show 'Grey's Anatomy'. 

Brandi Carlile attends the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

That success led to more hit albums, and eventually three Grammy Awards. In 2019, she won Best American Roots Song and Best American Roots Performance for 'The Joke. In 2020, she won Best Country Song for 'Bring My Flowers Now', and was nominated for Song of the Year. In 2018 she won best Americana album for 'By The Way, I Forgive You' But despite those accolades, Carlile lives a very modest lifestyle in a log cabin in Washington. She bought the cabin when she was just 21 years old, and it is now home to her family.

Located in Maple Valley, the home is about 10 miles away from where she grew up. Carlile and her wife of more than eight years, Catherine Shepherd, are raising two young daughters in the rural Washington State. Not much is known about the home, or how much it cost. But for Carlile, there are clearly more important things. When Rolling Stone interviewed her in 2019, she said, "If it’s (old instruments) sitting on the wall just because it’s valuable, and you are not playing it, and there are 18-year-old girls everywhere scraping to earn enough money to buy a guitar, how can you not give it away?"

Carlile is also a strong advocate for several issues, including LGBTQ rights and equality. She is being recognized by Clio for "her efforts to bridge the gender and age gap in country music and amplify the voices of underrepresented people around the globe." That's something she has a lot of experience in. In 2008, she, along with Tim and Phil Hanseroth, founded the Looking Out Foundation, whose mission it is to make music mean more by facilitating donations and contributing a dollar from every campaign ticket sale toward their efforts, which range from creating welcome day school kits for kids to providing life-saving fistula repair surgery for sexual abuse victims.

Back in 2018, she hosted an all-woman music festival 'Girls Just Wanna Weekend' in Mexico.  Clio CEO Nicole Purcell said in a release, "This year, we are privileged to be recognizing two powerful forces for good in the industry who have made a tangible difference in the lives of countless music lovers."  Citi CMO Carla Hassan will present Carlile with her award on June 10, followed by a fireside chat, Billboard reported.