Brandi Carlile talks the magic of Studio A, Dolly Parton and that time she crashed into it
The 2019 Grammy nomination list of Nashville artists included Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton The Tennessean
LOS ANGELES - Brandi Carlile is nominated for six Grammy Awards during Sunday's show including top categories Album, Record and Song of the Year. While hers isn't a face spotted around town every day, she said she owes all of her success to Nashville, Studio A and Dolly Parton.
"I belonged to Nashville before I belonged to anyone," said Carlile. "I knew Nashville was the mothership, that it was where my music came from when I was six years old and to get there was always my biggest dream, to even see the Ryman, to even see Broadway, was my biggest dream."
Carlile recorded her Grammy-nominated album "By the Way, I Forgive You" at Nashville's famed Studio A. She said she could "feel the magic" as soon as she walked into the room for the first time, which was, coincidentally, to record Dolly Parton's version of her song "The Story." Since then, she's returned to work at the studio many times and has picked up bits and pieces of its history along the way. One of her favorite stories is about the time Parton drove her car into the studio's wall.
"Dolly Parton pulled into the parking lot at Studio A and she crashed her car into the wall," Carlile said. "She came inside and, 'You guys, I just hit the wall with my car.' You can still see the spot on the wall."
Carlile has been a fan of Parton as long as she's dreamed of Nashville. At 15 years old, Carlile read Parton's book. In it, she expressed her love and acceptance of the LGBTQ community. Carlile said for a high school kid who was in the process of coming out of the closet, finding support in the pages of that book was priceless.
"It said (to me), 'This woman is religious, she's inspiring, she's positive and she's open arms to people like me,'" Carlile said. "(It let me know) I'm going to be alright. Dolly Parton is my hero."
Carlile sang with Willie Nelson Friday night when Dolly Parton was honored as MusiCares 2019 Person of the Year. But Sunday, regardless of how many trophies she wins, will be a highlight for Carlile, too.
"I am most looking forward to being old enough to handle this and feeling really relaxed about it," Carlile said. "I have seven albums out. I'm 38. I'm going to enjoy this right now, not in retrospect because I was too anxious."
The 61st Grammy Awards will air 7 p.m. Sunday on CBS.
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