Brandi Carlile owes a lot to Ellen DeGeneres.
On Monday, the singer appeared on the comedian’s talk show and discussed her struggles growing up queer and being celebrated at the Grammys.
“As a queer person raised in organized religion and having such a close connection to my faith, and having to come through some trauma around public accountability within my faith, trying to get baptized and not being allowed to, and not being allowed to be involved in the church when I wanted to sing there, there was something really cathartic about standing up on that stage, accepting those awards and singing that song and feeling like I’ve come to a place where I can look myself in the mirror and go, ‘Okay, you did something.'”
Carlile then reveals the impact DeGeneres herself made on her life.
“What you did for me, and people like us, when you came out, was so huge for me in my life,” she says. “You were the first gay person I’d ever met. To me, you were what it meant. And I wasn’t going to stay in the closet after that.”
The singer also laughs about still having a tape from when she was 14 of the famous episode of “Ellen” in which DeGeneres came out as gay, with the label reading “David’s Baseball Game” to hide it from her family.
As it turns out, the David on the label was her boyfriend at the time, and has since become the father of her children, whom she shares with wife Catherine Shepherd.