Maggie Rogers Presents Brandi Carlile With The Trailblazer Award | Women In Music

– Billboard’s Trailblazer Award is given to an artist who acts
as a music industry pioneer, by using their platform to
spotlight unheard voices and break ground for future
generations of performers. I will never forget the first time I met this year’s honoree, at Newport Folk Festival two years ago, where she invited me to join her, singing backup for the
great Mavis Staples. I remember how nervous I was. My EP had been out for like six months and here were two
incredibly powerful women whose voices I had grown up
singing harmony along to. Brandi heard the hesitation in my voice, and after one of the fastest rehearsals I have ever been through, she pulled me into her dressing room. She grabbed her guitar, and
she looked me in the eye, and she said “We have 15 minutes, and we are going to sit here and run this as many times as you need
to feel comfortable.” She caught me. I was so completely blown
away by that gesture. By how fully she saw me, by how completely she made space for me. She took me under her wing and
brought out the best in me. And I’m not unique. That’s just who Brandi is. She speaks with her actions,
she looks out for others and finds ways to lift other people up every minute of every day. It’s an instinct embedded
deep in her skin. This year, that instinct
brought us Tanya Tucker’s heartbreaking, Grammy-nominated
While I’m Livin’. (applause) It also gave us our generation’s
answer to The Highwaymen, an all-female country supergroup with Brandi, Maren Morris,
Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby. (applause) In 2017, Brandi released Cover Stories, a re-recording of her LP The Story. Artists from Pearl Jam to
Dolly Patron contributed, and all the proceeds were
delivered to War Child UK, a non-profit that seeks to aid children affected by armed conflict. Brandi also has her own non-profit, the Looking Out Foundation, which helps fund causes and organizations
which often go unnoticed, and encourages fans to get involved. Brandi Carlile is a powerful performer. She is an unflinching
songwriter, and producer. She is a loving wife, a
dedicated philanthropist, and the working mother of
two beautiful little girls. And she wants every musician, every person to have an equal shot at bringing
their gifts to the world, no matter where they’re
from, what they look like, or who they love. And I, for one, am very grateful.

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