“Country Music Raised Me”: Brandi Carlile Accepts CMT Impact Award

She Speaks at Next Women of Country Event

Brandi Carlile picked up the Next Women of Country Impact Award at the Next Women of Country Class of 2020 Reveal on Tuesday morning, then used her moment with the microphone to the invitation-only crowd, packed with young and eager talent.

“What an incredible honor. I’ve never received anything like this in my life and it means more to me than I can say,” she said, accepting the award from CMT’s Leslie Fram. “I mean, obviously, you don’t do these kinds of things because you think you’ll get an award but feels pretty damn good when you do. I did want to say a couple of things and so I wrote them on the picture that my oldest daughter made me this morning.”

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

Addressing the audience, she stated, “I think that this is an incredible time to be a woman in country music despite some of the chatter that you hear around because I can feel, and I think you can probably feel, the tide changing, right? There’s a huge monumental shift happening in the way that we perceive women’s music, in particular whether or not women want to hear other women sing country music.”

She added,” I think that that is down to the women in country music and the men who are all understanding that a platform needs to be given to women that tell the story to the other half of the human race because if country music is the story of rural America, then what is the story that we’re telling to our young girls?”

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

She told the audience, “I mean, I don’t know about you guys, but country music raised me. It was the only music I was allowed to listen to, the only music I had access to. I’m really proud of that and I love it. I think that the people that are involved in the country, the people involved in this town they know that, and they’re already there. But what we’re hoping, and what we’re inviting country radio to do, is to catch up.”

After some applause, she continued, “To catch up with the way we already think. So I would urge anybody that’s involved in country radio thank you for listening and ask yourself the question every morning before you go to work: “What do I want my job to say to my daughter today?” Because she’s an American girl. She’s in love with a boy. She needs wide open spaces. She’s a wild one. She’s more than a pair of blue jeans in the cab of a truck. Thank you for this amazing honor. I’m so grateful.”