Singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, who’s recently made significant moves into the country music sphere with her founding of the Highwomen and production of Tanya Tucker, will come to Nashville to receive CMT’s Impact Award at the network’s annual Next Women of Country event, taking place at the CMA Theater Nov. 12, the day before the CMA Awards.
The daytime confab is held annually to unveil a slate of young female performers CMT will promote throughout the year, online or on tour. The network has also taken to taking the occasion — now in its seventh year — to celebrate the successes of women who’ve already scored major success in the industry, too. The three previous recipients of the Impact Award were Maren Morris (Carlile’s co-Highwoman), last year, preceded by Kelsea Ballerini in 2017 and Brandy Clark in 2016.
The lineup of younger artists who’ve been selected as standouts by CMT won’t be revealed till Tuesday morning.
Leslie Fram, CMT’s senior VP of music strategy and talent, is a driving force behind the Next Women of Country initiative. Of Carlile, Fram said, “Not only is she one of the greatest performers of our time, she’s an incredible advocate and champion for her fellow female artists, lending her support and starpower to up-and-coming artists in the genre. We are truly thrilled to celebrate her monumental achievements, both as a solo artist, producer, and as a member of the groundbreaking group the Highwomen, with this Impact Award.”
Carlile will receive the honor from singer-songwriter Lucie Silvas and Tracy Gershon, a co-founder of Change the Conversation, a Nashville-based advocacy group dedicated to getting women their due in a genre where sales and radio play have skewed overwhelmingly male for many years.
Although Carlile has not traditionally been identified as a country artist in her 14-year recording career, she’s increasingly made her deep roots in and love for country known — with Tanya Tucker’s “While I’m Livin'” album, which she co-produced and co-wrote for her childhood heroine, the greatest indicator of that lifelong passion. Carlile made a move into pure country herself this year with her supergroup, the Highwomen, which includes mainstream star Morris, hit Nashville songwriter Natalie Hemby and alt-country favorite Amanda Shires. Variety called the Highwomen’s self-titled debut album “the best country album in years.” For her solo work, Carlile recently won artist of the year at the Americana Honors; earlier this year she was nominated for six Grammys, winning three.