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Brandi Carlile Rocks the F Out of the Grammys With ‘Broken Horses’ Performance

Backed by the Hanseroth twins, the duo Lucius, and producer Shooter Jennings, the Grammy winner leans into her rock & roll side

Brandi Carlile gave a scorching performance of her song “Broken Horses” at the 2023 Grammy Awards on Sunday night. The multiple Grammy winner was nominated in seven categories this year.

With a sweet introduction by her wife Catherine Shepherd and their two children, Carlile led off the guitar-heavy song flanked by her longtime collaborators, twin brothers Phil and Tim Hanseroth. She showed off her incredible vocal power on the classic-rock-flavored song from 2021’s In These Silent Days, assisted by Shooter Jennings on piano and the vocal duo Lucius. Full of searing guitar and lyrical references to retribution, the song crescendoed with Carlile pushing her voice to a piercing scream in the final vamp.

The louder sound of the recording caught notice of the Grammy voters as well, and they nominated “Broken Horses” for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song, both of which Carlile won prior to the broadcast. “I’ll never be the same!” Carlile said in her acceptance speech. “I cut my hair, I learned how to scream, and I just won a Grammy for a rock & roll song!”


A perennial Grammy favorite for the last few years, Carlile’s In These Silent Days was nominated for Album of the Year as well as Best Americana Album, the latter of which she also won during the pre-tel ceremony — scoring Grammys for the LP’s producers Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings too. The Joni Mitchell-flavored song “You and Me on the Rock” also scooped up several nods, including Record of the Year, Best Americana Performance, and Best American Roots Song.

“Broken Horses” shares its name with the title of Carlile’s 2021 memoir, which traces her journey from rural Washington to musical stardom. Carlile also recently hosted her annual Girls Just Wanna Weekend in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and is currently producing a new album for singer-songwriter Brandy Clark.

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