Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Brandi Carlile Holds Hands With Wife Catherine Shepherd at the Grammys

By Michael Feb 5, 2024

Brandi Carlile and her wife, Catherine Shepherd, first struck up a relationship over the phone — but it wasn’t long before they hit it off in person as well.

The Grammy winner and the U.K. native met in 2009 while Shepherd was working for Paul McCartney, coordinating his charity work. Carlile and her future wife spoke over the phone for a year before finally meeting in person.

The Highwomen member has a distinct memory of the moment when she realized she thought of Shepherd as more than a friend. Carlile was on tour in Vermont when Shepherd came to visit her on her tour bus.

“I hadn’t seen her for six or seven months and I had ended my [previous] relationship,” the “Right on Time” singer told Howard Stern in October 2021. “I saw her at the front door and it was like, ‘That’s it. Everything’s different. No day will ever be the same.’ I was just switched. I was totally infatuated with her, absolutely in love with her.”

The couple tied the knot in September 2012 in what Carlile described as a “falling down barn” near Seattle. In 2014, the twosome welcomed their first daughter, Evangeline, who later became the title subject of one of Carlile’s songs. Their second child, daughter Elijah, arrived in 2018.

Keep scrolling for Carlile and Shepherd’s complete relationship timeline:

2009
The twosome first struck up a relationship over the phone, chatting after Shepherd reached out on behalf of her then-boss, McCartney. At first, however, the philanthropist wasn’t interested in Carlile as a romantic prospect. “She told me she thought I lacked substance,” the songwriter told Stern in 2021. “She just didn’t think I was a viable or a real person. And she was right at the time! Maybe what happened was I became one, or I was ready to become one.” 
Courtesy of Brandi Carlile/Instagram
2010
Carlile and Shepherd met in person after spending a year exclusively speaking on the phone. 
Chris Pizzelo/AP/Shutterstock
June 2012
The “This Time Tomorrow” singer announced her engagement to Shepherd just before the passage of Referendum 74, which legalized same-sex marriage in Carlile’s home state of Washington. (The Supreme Court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage in 2015 in the case Obergefell v. Hodges.) 
Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock
September 2012
The duo tied the knot in two separate ceremonies: one in Massachusetts with their families, and a larger one outside Seattle with 250 guests. “It was and still is the best party I’ve ever been to,” Carlile wrote of the pair’s second wedding in her 2021 memoir.  
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
February 2013
The couple had a civil wedding ceremony in Shepherd’s home country of England. “It was one of our best days and when the officiant asked if anyone could think of a reason we should not be married, a four year old guest wisely shouted NO!” Carlile wrote via Facebook after the event. 
Courtesy of Brandi Carlile/Instagram
June 2014
Carlile and Shepherd welcomed their first daughter, Evangeline. “Evangeline was born to two mothers on Father’s Day, but she made it clear right away that she only needed us,” the “Turpentine” artist wrote in Parents in 2021. “The rigidity around gender roles in parenting is indeed a construct. We know that now! But it took time.” 
Courtesy of Brandi Carlile/Instagram
January 2017
The pair attended a farewell party at the White House for then-outgoing President Barack Obama. “It was so diverse and beautiful, full of all walks of life and an amazing sense of strength and community,” Carlile wrote via Facebook at the time. “The grace that the president and his family have shown over the last eight years has taught me more than I think I can even understand right now.” 
Courtesy of Brandi Carlile/Instagram
March 2018
Shepherd and Carlile welcomed their second child, daughter Elijah. “She was a dream baby,” Carlile wrote of her younger child in her 2021 Parents essay. “We call her ‘joy bomb’ because she has just exploded joy into our world and she’s finally taught our serious little Evangeline how to belly laugh.” 
Courtesy of Brandi Carlile/Instagram
February 2019
Shepherd was on hand at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards when Carlile picked up her first Grammys, winning Best Americana Album for By the Way, I Forgive You and Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song for “The Joke.” 
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
April 2021
Carlile published her memoir, Broken Horses, which she dedicated to Shepherd and their daughters. In the book, the music superstar opened up about how Shepherd’s influence helped her stay healthy on the road. “She ended my dependency on sleep aids,” the producer wrote. “No more Ambien, no more Lunesta and Xanax. I went from lorazepam to melatonin, melatonin to chamomile tea and a stern look that says, ‘It’s bedtime.’ She was a mother before she was a mother.” 
Courtesy of Brandi Carlile/Instagram
October 2022
Shepherd joined her wife for a duet of “You and Me on the Rock” that was filmed for the IMAX movie Brandi Carlile: In The Canyon Haze — Live from Laurel Canyon. 
Broadimage/Shutterstock
February 2023
The couple’s kids and Shepherd introduced Carlile on stage at the Grammys before her performance of “Broken Horses.” 
David Fisher/Shutterstock
February 2024
Carlile and Shepherd arrived at the Grammys together, holding hands while walking the red carpet.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

By Michael

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