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Publisher's Summary

Number-one New York Times best seller

The critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, producer, and six-time Grammy winner opens up about a life shaped by music in this candid, heartfelt, and intimate story.

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

“Brandi’s story is about perseverance, humor, forgiveness, and manifestation. I absolutely loved it.” (Elton John)

Broken Horses led me right into Brandi’s heart, and my own.” (Brené Brown)

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, 14 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 listeners 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 15 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.

Carlile recorded new stripped-down, solo renditions of more than 30 of the songs featured in the book, including her own and songs from artists who’ve inspired her, from Dolly Parton to Elton John, Leonard Cohen and more, available exclusively on the audiobook:

“I Don’t Hurt Anymore” by Hank Snow
“Coat of Many Colors” by Dolly Parton
“Ride on Out” by Brandi Carlile
“Honky Cat” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin
“Philadelphia” by Neil Young
“Happy” by Brandi Carlile
“That Year” by Brandi Carlile
“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
“Eye of the Needle” by Brandi Carlile
“Turpentine” by Brandi Carlile
“Wasted” by Brandi Carlile
“The Story” by Brandi Carlile
“Closer to You” by Brandi Carlile
“Caroline” by Brandi Carlile
“Josephine” by Brandi Carlile
“Sugartooth” by Brandi Carlile
“Looking Out” by Brandi Carlile
“Beginning to Feel the Years” by Brandi Carlile
“Love Songs” by Brandi Carlile
“I Will” by Brandi Carlile
“I Belong to You” by Brandi Carlile

©2021 Random House Audio (P)2021 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“A vulnerable document.... The resilience of her sense of self, through poverty and fame, is transcendent. One of her great strengths as an artist is a willingness to stare herself straight in the face and not flinch.” (Amanda Hess, The New York Times)

“[Carlile is] perceptive, vulnerable, humble, funny and above all else, a good storyteller. She’d already proven her storytelling chops as a lyricist and she proves them once again in these pages. She knows how to use a few words to make a big impact.... Readers walk away feeling like they know the real Carlile.” (Associated Press)

“Intimate...Carlile's story is too big to fit in a song..... The memoir covers it all with conversational ease.... This pulls the veil back in a way [Carlile] hadn’t done before.” (Vulture

What listeners say about Broken Horses

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Beautiful Memoir

I loved memoir and I’m so glad I listened to the audio version. Hearing Brandi tell her story and the vast amount of music included in the audio make it the logical choice.

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love the music!

loved the music at the end of each chapter, it really brought a new perspective when listening to her music. it felt like a glimpse into Brandie's soul.

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Binge-Worthy

A binge-worthy read! Brandi’s story is captivating from start to finish and her narration is powerfully steady and wise. You can’t help but adore her.

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Brandi is all of us.

I love the memoir genre; however, finding a true memoir is rare. So often we, the writers, whether it be a social media bio or in a post, we focus on the shiny parts of ourselves and we don’t linger in certain spaces long enough to have the shadows show.

Brandi is a game changer to the memoir genre. I only found her music in the past 6 months. I love Stone,Jeff, Mike, Eddie & Matt (& Boom of course) and the through their social media presence, they introduced me to Brandi’s music which led me to loving her unique sense of self. Of course I preordered her book.

Recently, I read a caption where someone interviewed Alexander Ludwig on the debut of his own debut, self titled country album. The article highlighted his “Radical Authenticity.”

It is Brandi’s radical authenticity that allowed us to see ourselves in her short comings & long strides. I respect her for many reasons, and one of the mIn reasons is because in her book, not only does she acknowledge the shadows of her life, she takes the threader but he hand and gives you a personal tour of them. She explains how they got their, what they taught her and why she appreciates them. No. One. Does. That… Brandi does that.

There is a comfort when someone shares the beauty & broken in the same sentence because we are all a bit of both, at all times.

Bonus- she sings throughout the book. Listening to this book is literally like sitting around a campfire with Brandy & listening to her tell her stories and every so often she’ll pull out her guitar.

Broken Horses is an experience, not a audio book.

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Outstanding Memoir

This memoir is outstanding . It is like no other. Brandi is a true story teller. Like a great writer,Brandi shows us ,not tells us the story of her life. The music is beautiful , extensive and generous. It was interesting to hear the story behind the lyrics or how an album was recorded in the studio. This book gave me a lot to think about .

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  • 2022-04-17

Superb

I was sad when this book ended as it was such a mix of fine storytelling and music. It’s always a bonus when the artist/writer narrates their own story, but the real magic was when Brandi ended the chapters with acoustic versions of songs that relate to the concept covered in the chapter. This book answered so many of my questions snd curiosities and gave me a peek into Brandi’s awesome life and world. She is an entertainer on the stage and on the page. A must for any fan.

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I’m now a fan!

I have several friends who are diehard fans and I just wasn’t. I started listening to the Highwomen 2 years ago and loved them. Then I saw this book on audible so I recommended it to my friends and thought I’ll read it too. Well, now I’m in league with my friends. This book was honest and real just like Brandi! My friends are saying I finally came to my senses and I agree. I have downloaded all Brandi’s songs and can’t wait to someday see her perform in person. You have fixed this broken horse!

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Absolutely fabulous

It's inspiring, hopeful And beautiful. The music between each chapter is amazing and soulful. You won't regret this one.

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Beautiful

I blazed through this beautifully written life story of a beautiful human. I appreciate her humility, inspiring faith and wonderful voice - definitely recommend the audiobook to hear her share her story herself and share songs that pertain to each chapter.

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great book!

I love this book in all the music in it! I highly recommend it!

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  • M. Lynn
  • 2021-04-22

I have almost 2000 audible books and ...

... this is my 10th review. This book is engaging from stem to stern, from top to bottom. Brandi shares her inner self with the world in a way few have ever done, warts and all. She lays plain her hurdles and joys. She provides support to all the “misfits” and those who society and the church often marginalize. Her tenacity and drive are amazing, her accomplishments many, her learning overwhelming, and her gift to us amazing.

In addition to the book, you’ll be serenaded acoustically. It’s a concert just for you. You’ll be grateful for it ... and you’ll listen to it again soon. For her words, her heart, her honesty and the wish that she lived next door.

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  • Jennifer King
  • 2021-04-22

Brandi deserves 10 stars

I read this book in three days and knew I needed to hear her tell it. Her music and voice are beyond comprehension as is her crazy sense of humor. If you love Brandi you’ll adore this book. If you don’t love her yet, you will.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-04-21

A lyrical life story AND an extended acoustic album!

My gift-giving decisions are made for the year to come. Everyone can relate to some part of this story. Brandi reads as if she is sitting in your kitchen sharing from days events or one of her deepest secrets. The 30-song acoustic collection .....I would have paid additional for that. Grammy #7 is in sight for recorded book! Entertainer of the year? I'll vote for that!

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  • Alena Amato Ruggerio
  • 2021-04-21

Magnificent

I wept the whole way through this memoir. I wept for the honesty, the mystery, the triumph, the rough times, the exquisite beauty of the music. This book will take it's rightful place among my very favorites.

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  • Kristen H
  • 2021-04-20

Comfort, love, heartbreaking, and inspiring

I’ve been waiting for this to come out and immediately started it as soon as it arrived this morning! I’ve always been a Brandi Carlile fan and this just puts things to a new level. Her voice is captivating and her story is inspiring. Brandi’s perspective on her life and how she understands people and events of her life and sees the best in people just makes me want to reevaluate how I perceive those around me as well. Brandi truly loves people. She is a gift to all of us. She also leaves us a wonderful surprise with her performances at the end of her chapters. If you have the hardcopy you need to purchase this as well. 🌈💕

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  • Soledad
  • 2021-04-21

Great book , highly recommended

A touching narration, the kind of book that you don't want to finish. The music it's something that puts more magic, in an already emotional narration.

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  • LaDonna Joy
  • 2021-04-22

Extraordinary!!!

This a phenomenally wonderful book! It is so real! I am so happy that Brandi’s music was included.

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  • Melissa P.
  • 2021-04-21

Amazing listen

Brandi is amazing and it was great to listen to her story with her own voice. The music was such an added bonus!

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  • JBNC11
  • 2021-04-25

Loved everything about this book

Brandi Carlile is a huge name-dropper by the end of her book, but you don't care because after listening to her tell us about her life you feel like you were right there with her every step of the way. I cried when Elton John was in the audience holding hands with Joni Mitchell at Brandi's Blue concert, and also when Janelle Monae started the standing ovation at the Grammies. Brandi's story is amazing, inspiring, she's so strong and talented. And getting to hear her sing interspersed with her story is a very entertaining bonus. Loved it!

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  • Marcella A. Caldwell
  • 2021-04-24

Just WOW!!

The most amazing thing I’ve ever heard! Her prose are magical and the music, heavenly. Thank you for sharing your beauty! 🌈❤️🌈

5 people found this helpful

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  • Client Kindle
  • 2021-10-02

Love it

Brandi have a beautiful voice and a sweet writing. I had a lot of pleasure listening her.