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Brandi Carlile has been ubiquitous in country music and Nashville since her big night at the Grammys in February to singing with Maren Morris, creating the High Women with Morris and producing Tanya Tucker’s first album in 18 years. Last night (6/9), she surprised the CMA Fest crowd by joining Maren on stage to sing.

Before taking the CMA Fest stage for the first time, she told us about being accepted so warmly into the country music family. She shared, “It means so much to me I started out singing country music as a child and through my teenage years, I’ve never really been far away from it. I consider country music, country western music, Americana music to just be the great American story.”

She continued, “So, I’m telling that story whether I’m playing rock and roll or country or whether I’m working with Tanya or the High Women or the Secret Sisters, I feel really embraced by that community right now and for that, I am unspeakably grateful especially as an LGBTQ artist.”

Morris and Carlile performed their duet “Common” for the CMA Fest crowd.

See the making of the upcoming video for the song below:

-Nancy Brooks