Brandi Carlile Sweeps Americana Category at the 2019 Grammy Awards

This story has been updated.

Brandi Carlile is the big winner coming out of the 2019 Grammy Awards Premier Ceremony, where some 70+ awards are handed out ahead of the telecast version of the awards show, including the Americana, bluegrass, folk, and blues awards. Brandi Carlile won Best American Roots Performance for “The Joke,” as well as Best Americana Album for By The Way, I Forgive You. She also won Best American Roots Song, which is a songwriters award she shares with Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth—a.k.a. ‘The Twins” who make up her band. Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings also share in the accolades as producers of By The Way, I Forgive You.

This makes Brandi Carlile three for three with the six nominations she is up for on the night. The three other awards she is up for are the all-genre Song of the Year and Record of the Year for “The Joke,” and Album of the Year for By The Way, I Forgive You, all of which will be given away during Sunday night Grammy telecast. It could be a very big night for Brandi Carlile, and Americana music by proxy.

“I’m going to say something,” Carlile said while accepting her award for Best Americana Album. “I wrote this win or lose. If we didn’t win anything, I was just going to put this in an envelope with a heart on it and give it to [Dave Cobb].”

Brandi Carlile then read,

“Americana music is the island of the misfit toys. I am such a misfit. It is this music that has shaped my life and made me who I am, and even given me my family. I came out of the closet at 15-years-old when I was in high school, and I can assure you I was never invited to any parties. I never got to attend a dance. To be embraced by this loving and enduring community has been the dance of a lifetime. Thank you for being my island.”

Dave Cobb also spoke after Brandi Carlile’s third award. “I’m so proud to be involved, and get to go into the studio with such incredible talent, including the talent that’s out there tonight. Thank you guys for giving us this platform.”

Other winners in the American roots categories included The Travelin’ McCourys for their self-titled album for Best Bluegrass Album, The Punch Brothers and All Ashore for Best Folk Album, Buddy Guy and The Blues Is Alive and Well for Best Traditional Blues Album, and Fantastic Negrito and Please Don’t Be Dead for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

Country awards handed out during the pre-telecast include “Butterflies” by Kacey Musgraves for Best Country Solo Performance, Best Country Song for Kacey Musgraves’ “Space Cowboy,” and “Tequila” by Dan + Shay for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. Willie Nelson also won Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for his Frank Sinatra tribute, My Way.

Make sure to stop by Saving Country Music during the Grammy Awards telecast for the Saving Country Music LIVE blog.


  • Best Americana Album – Brandi Carlile – By The Way, I Forgive You
  • Best American Roots Performance – Brandi Carlile – “The Joke”
  • Best American Roots Song – “The Joke,” Brandi Carlile (Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth, songwriters)
  • Best Bluegrass Album – The Travelin’ McCourys – The Travelin’ McCourys
  • Best Folk Album – The Punch Brothers – All Ashore
  • Best Traditional Blues Album – Buddy Guy – The Blues Is Alive and Well
  • Best Contemporary Blues Album – Fantastic Negrito – Please Don’t Be Dead
  • Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album – Willie Nelson – My Way (Frank Sinatra Tribute)
  • Best Country Solo Performance – Kacey Musgraves – “Butterflies”
  • Best Country Song – Kacey Musgraves – “Space Cowboy” (Luke Laird, Shane McAnally and Kacey Musgraves, songwriters)
  • Best Country Do/Group Performance – Dan + Shay – “Tequila”
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