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Broken Horses: A Memoir

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, producer, and six-time Grammy winner opens up about faith, sexuality, parenthood, and a life shaped by music in “one of the great memoirs of our time” (Glennon Doyle, author of Untamed).

“The best-written, most engaging rock autobiography since her childhood hero, Elton John, published Me.”—Variety

Brandi Carlile was born into a musically gifted, impoverished family on the outskirts of Seattle and grew up in a constant state of change, moving from house to house, trailer to trailer, fourteen times in as many years. Though imperfect in every way, her dysfunctional childhood was as beautiful as it was strange, and as nurturing as it was difficult. At the age of five, Brandi contracted bacterial meningitis, which almost took her life, leaving an indelible mark on her formative years and altering her journey into young adulthood.

As an openly gay teenager, Brandi grappled with the tension between her sexuality and her faith when her pastor publicly refused to baptize her on the day of the ceremony. Shockingly, her small town rallied around Brandi in support and set her on a path to salvation where the rest of the misfits and rejects find it: through twisted, joyful, weird, and wonderful music.
 
In Broken Horses, Brandi Carlile takes readers through the events of her life that shaped her very raw art—from her start at a local singing competition where she performed Elton John’s “Honky Cat” in a bedazzled white polyester suit, to her first break opening for Dave Matthews Band, to many sleepless tours over fifteen years and six studio albums, all while raising two children with her wife, Catherine Shepherd. This hard-won success led her to collaborations with personal heroes like Elton John, Dolly Parton, Mavis Staples, Pearl Jam, Tanya Tucker, and Joni Mitchell, as well as her peers in the supergroup The Highwomen, and ultimately to the Grammy stage, where she converted millions of viewers into instant fans.

Evocative and piercingly honest, Broken Horses is at once an examination of faith through the eyes of a person rejected by the church’s basic tenets and a meditation on the moments and lyrics that have shaped the life of a creative mind, a brilliant artist, and a genuine empath on a mission to give back.



From the Publisher

An intimate...look at a musician whose artistic journey is far from over. Kirkus ReviewsAn intimate...look at a musician whose artistic journey is far from over. Kirkus Reviews

One of the great memoirs of our time...a gift from Brandi’s soul. Glennon Doyle

One of the great memoirs of our time...a gift from Brandi’s soul. Glennon Doyle

Broken Horses led me right into Brandi’s heart, and my own. Brene Brown

Broken Horses led me right into Brandi’s heart, and my own. Brene Brown

Brandi’s story is about perseverance, humor, forgiveness, and manifestation...Elton John

Brandi’s story is about perseverance, humor, forgiveness, and manifestation...Elton John

Photo of young Brandi Carlile and her horsePhoto of young Brandi Carlile and her horse

Broken Horses shares Brandi Carlile’s humble roots and early influences

Featuring dozens of never-before-seen family photos and formative stories about Brandi’s upbringing, her rise to fame, and the friends that became her family along the way

Signed program from one of Brandi Carlile’s earliest performancesSigned program from one of Brandi Carlile’s earliest performances

Includes ephemera and notes from Brandi’s personal archives

With lyrics woven throughout the book from the songs that have inspired her, and from her own songbook, alongside the origins of their creation

Photo of Brandi Carlile backstage with JoniMitchellPhoto of Brandi Carlile backstage with JoniMitchell

Plus behind-the-scenes stories and photos featuring Brandi’s lifelong heroes-turned-friends

From Joni Mitchell to Elton John to Dolly Parton to Tanya Tucker, and so many more…

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