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“I can’t get my head around it. I feel like I’ve always been on the fringes of mainstream acceptance,” Brandi Carlile says of being the most-nominated female artist at the 2019 Grammy Awards.

“It means the most that I’ve received that honor at this point in my life. Being a 38-year-old mom with two kids that is gay, that lives on a farm, and is nominated alongside Janelle Monáe and Cardi B is kind of unbelievable,” she adds during her Variety cover shoot.

When it comes to being a member of the LGBTQ community, Carlile says, “It’s important to be out in your music career, because in a situation like that, representation can be kind of life or death for a kid in a small town. At the very least it can give someone hope.”

“The Joke” singer also appeared in “A Star Is Born” singing Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman” in the moments before Jackson Maine had his famous fall at the pretend Grammys. Asked how performing at the awards show in the movie compares to the real thing, she says, “I guess they’re similar because Lady Gaga was in both audiences, and Bradley Cooper may or may not be drunk, we don’t know. But he’ll be there.”

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