Wrote Carlile: “Let’s. do. this.” (One of the first responses on Carlile’s Instagram came from a fellow Seattle musician, Soundgarden’s Matt Cameron: “Hell yes!”)
“I wanted you to be the first to know!” wrote Tucker. “I’ll be performing at the #GRAMMYs this year with a whole line up of amazing artists, including one of my favorite people in the whole world, @BrandiCarlile!”
The “first to know” comment is a reference to the fact that CBS and the Grammys have consigned much of the announcement duties this year to the artists themselves, with many performers unveiling news of their appearances on Instagram ahead of the official network announcements, as in this instance.
Tucker is this year’s most nominated country artist, 26 years after her last nomination and 47 years after her first. She has four nominations this year for “While I’m Livin’,” the comeback project that was co-produced by Carlile and Shooter Jennings, and the song “Bring My Flowers Now,” which Tucker and Carlile co-wrote with Tim and Phil Hanseroth.
When the nominations came out in late November, Variety spoke with both Tucker and Carlile about the honor, an anomaly for a veteran artist in a year that otherwise seems to be all about celebrating the newest and freshest faces.
“I’m beside myself — I guess that’s what you say when you’re from the country,” Tucker said on the day of the noms. “I just won’t go away, see? They’re going, ‘God dang, man, we thought we’d gotten rid of her.’” In earnest, though, the singer says, “I really haven’t got my head wrapped up around it. First, I thought about how hard everybody else has worked to make this happen. I was sharing that with Brandi, and she said, ‘Don’t forget how hard you worked for it. We worked for about a year, and you worked for almost 50 years.’”
“She will always think that everybody else is carrying her, and that’s a beautiful quality in a person,” Carlile said. “But what it is is that no one in the world has Tanya Tucker’s voice or the ability to tell a story like Tanya Tucker. … And this [the nominations] is such a game changer for her.”
Carlile has made no secret of the fact that she’s campaigning for more than mere Grammys for Tucker: she’s on a full-on mission to get her heroine an honor that has so far eluded her, a place in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The two have done just a few public performances together. Carlile and Jennings sat in with Tucker for an appearance at the Grammy Museum in the fall. This past week, Tucker joined Carlile for part of her sold-out six-night stand at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, following the veteran star’s own SRO stint in the same hall.