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Seattle’s Most Influential People 2019: Singer-songwriter, Brandi Carlile

On top of her Grammy wins, Carlile is the cofounder of the Looking Out Foundation, which funds humanitarian causes

By Gavin Borchert November 11, 2019

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This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the November 2019 issue, as part of the Most Influential People of the Year feature. Click here to subscribe.

The six Grammy nominations and three wins Brandi Carlile earned for 2018’s By the Way, I Forgive You proved that, finally, the rest of the country loves the Ravensdale native as much as we Washingtonians do—and not only for her music. The words of the album’s lead single, “The Joke,” powerfully reflect the Americana singer-songwriter’s concern for social justice: “They come to kick dirt in your face…After carrying your baby on your back across the desert…Let ’em laugh while they can…the joke’s on them.” She also puts her money where her lyrics are as a cofounder of the Looking Out Foundation, which funds humanitarian causes. But despite her pull-no-punches songs, Carlile’s message is one of empowerment and positivity. 

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