Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's Relationship Timeline (2024)

Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd have been going strong for more than a decade.

The Grammy-winning artist met her wife over the phone in 2009, when Shepherd was working for Beatles singer Paul McCartney's charity. The pair met in person in 2010 and tied the knot two years later — with three separate wedding ceremonies.

"She's my best friend," Carlile told Howard Stern in 2021. "Absolute best friend, and arch-rival, and the person that I love to be around the most, and the person I hate to leave a room, and the person I argue with late into the night."

In between walking red carpets and attending charity events together, the pair welcomed two children. Their daughters Evangeline Ruth and Elijah were born in 2014 and 2018, respectively.

"I made peace with knowing that there was some pioneering involved in what we were doing, to the point where there wasn't even a two-mother template on a birth certificate yet," Carlile told PEOPLE of the couple's journey to parenthood through IVF.

From striking up a friendship over the phone to welcoming two kids, here's a complete timeline of Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's relationship.

2009: Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd meet via phone

Shepherd, who is originally from the U.K. and coordinated McCartney's charity work for 10 years, first met Carlile over the phone in 2009 when she reached out to donate some Beatles memorabilia to the singer's Fight the Fear campaign. The pair continued to speak on the phone regularly.

2010: Catherine Shepherd and Brandi Carlile meet in person

Despite having spent an entire year making long-distance phone calls, Carlile was surprised when she finally met Shepherd in person in New York City in 2010.

"It was shocking to say the least," Carlile told PEOPLE in 2021. "Every time I talked to her over the phone, I thought I was talking to somebody who was like 65 years old. I don't know why. I think because of her wisdom and her demeanor. Or maybe I thought she was Paul's age or something. So we met backstage in New York, and we were both like 27."

May 16, 2012: Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd walk their first red carpet

Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's Relationship Timeline (1)

In May 2012, Carlile and Shepherd stepped out together for the first time publicly at the 2012 Donor Of The Day Celebration at The Whitney Museum of American Art in N.Y.C.

Other attendees at the event included Jeff Koons and Susan Sarandon.

September 15, 2012: Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd wed in Boston

Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's Relationship Timeline (2)

That September, Carlile and Shepherd tied the knot in Boston in front of family and friends. Carlile shared the news on social media, adding that although she was overjoyed to be married, the week leading up to the nuptials didn't exactly go as planned.

"See I'm sure all weddings have an insane week preceding the event but me and Catherine might have won that contest," she wrote on Facebook. "Bailey (the dog) had to be rushed to the vet on our wedding day, and the day before the wedding, we had to put down one of our goats (RIP Tim). To top it all off, our priest didn't show up!"

Luckily, her friends from church were able to perform the ceremony and they ended up having "a total blast." She concluded, "It was truly one of our best days, completely awkward and human and beautiful. I'm married to my best friend and nothing has ever brought me more joy than that."

February 2013: Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd have a London wedding

The couple followed their Boston wedding with a ceremony in Carlile's home state of Washington, before jetting off to England for a civil ceremony in front of Shepherd's friends and family.

"It was one of our best days," Carlile wrote on Facebook. "When the officiant asked if anyone could think of a reason we should not be married, a four year old guest wisely shouted 'NO!' "

June 15, 2014: Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd welcome daughter Evangeline Ruth

On June 15, 2014, Carlile and Shepherd welcomed their first child, daughter Evangeline Ruth.

"Welcome to the world, kid!" Carlile wrote on Instagram when announcing her birth.

The couple used IVF treatments to get pregnant, harvesting Carlile's eggs for Shepherd to carry. Carlile later revealed to PEOPLE that she initially struggled with not being the one to carry Evangeline, but she eventually came to terms with her role. "I'm hoping people see through my story that there's no right or wrong way to evolve into a parenting role in either heterosexual or same-sex relationships," she said.

February 15, 2016: Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd attend the 58th annual Grammy Awards

Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's Relationship Timeline (3)

Shepherd stood by Carlile's side at the 58th annual Grammy Awards, their first time at the event. That year marked Carlile's first-ever Grammy nomination, having earned a nod for best americana album for The Firewatcher's Daughter.

February 17, 2015: Brandi Carlile opens up about Catherine Shepherd's influence on her music

Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's Relationship Timeline (4)

In an interview with ​​KEXP Radio, Carlile shared that Shepherd's pregnancy had an impact on her 2015 album, The Firewatcher's Daughter, which was unusually stripped-down for Carlile. "My wife was about eight months pregnant when we started recording, and nine months when we finished, and the baby was born just a few days later. It was a really tricky time for me - and really special," she shared.

January 6, 2017: Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd attend a party at the White House

On Jan. 6, 2017, Carlile and Shepherd attended a farewell party at the White House for former President Barack Obama. Calling the party "legendary" in a Facebook post, Carlile also noted that it was "so diverse and beautiful, full of all walks of life and an amazing sense of strength and community."

January 26, 2018: Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd attend the 2018 MusiCares Person of the Year event

Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's Relationship Timeline (5)

The following January, Carlile and Shepherd stepped out to support Fleetwood Mac as they were honored at the 2018 MusiCares Person of the Year event in N.Y.C. The event marked Shepherd's first major public appearance while pregnant with the couple's second child.

March 18, 2018: Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd welcome daughter Elijah

Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's Relationship Timeline (6)

Carlile and Shepherd welcomed daughter Elijah on March 18, 2018. "But all the wonders I have seen, I will see a second time. I am the mother of Elijah," Carlile wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of her and a newborn Elijah.

Unlike their first pregnancy, the couple used IUI treatment to get pregnant a second time.

February 10, 2019: Catherine Shepherd supports Brandi Carlile as she wins her first Grammy Award

Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's Relationship Timeline (7)

Shepherd was on hand to support Carlile at the 61st annual Grammy Awards, where Carlile delivered a show-stopping performance of her song "The Joke."

The most-nominated female artist of the night, Carlile nabbed three Grammys — best Americana album for By The Way, I Forgive You, as well as best American Roots song and best American Roots performance for "The Joke."

September 15, 2020: Brandi Carlile shares a throwback picture for her 8th anniversary with Catherine Shepherd

Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's Relationship Timeline (8)

In a sweet tribute for their eighth wedding anniversary, Carlile posted a throwback photo of herself and Shepherd on a boat with baby Evangeline, taken just days after Shepherd gave birth.

"I really did marry the ONLY person who could ever put up with my crazy ideas," Carlile wrote, adding, "Happy 8 year anniversary Cath, let's stay crazy."

April 6, 2021: Brandi Carlile releases her memoir, Broken Horses

Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's Relationship Timeline (9)

In April 2021, Carlile released her memoir, Broken Horses, in which she reflected on her childhood, her faith, her sexuality and her life with Shepherd and their daughters. Broken Horses topped The New York Times bestseller list shortly after its release.

May 27, 2021: Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd attend the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards

Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's Relationship Timeline (10)

At the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards, Carlile and Shepherd shared some cute moments on the red carpet before Carlile hit the stage alongside Demi Lovato and H.E.R. The trio performed a special tribute to Carlile's friend and hero, Elton John, before honoring him with the iHeartRadio Icon Award.

June 1, 2021: Catherine Shepherd posts a tribute for Brandi Carlile's 40th birthday

Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's Relationship Timeline (11)

For Carlile's 40th birthday, Shepherd, who doesn't have an Instagram, took over Carlile's account to celebrate the milestone.

"Brandi, you are an absolute force of nature, your ideas defy gravity but you always make sure you bring everyone a parachute," she wrote in the lengthy tribute. "Life with you feels like an endless summer holiday. Even the bad days never feel insurmountable with your masterful problem solving skills and exhausting optimism!"

October 5, 2021: Brandi Carlile opens up about falling in love with Catherine Shepherd

In October 2021, Carlile appeared on The Howard Stern Show and opened up about her relationship with Shepherd, reflecting on the moment she fell in love with her now-wife.

"I hadn't seen her for six or seven months, and I'd ended my relationship," Carlile explained. "She'd come to Boston to visit her dad, and she walked up to my tour bus. I saw her at the front door, and I was just like, 'That's it. Everything's different.' "

That same day, Carlile also made an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show ahead of her stint as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. The singer joked with Ellen DeGeneres about potentially appearing in a sketch with host Jason Sudeikis.

"I only really impersonate my wife," Carlile said of her acting chops, before breaking into a British accent. "Well, she's very British. So she's absolutely as condescending as a person can be."

April 3, 2022: Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd show PDA at the Grammy Awards

Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's Relationship Timeline (12)

Ahead of Carlile's performance of "Right on Time" at the 2022 Grammy Awards, where she was nominated for five awards, the singer and Shepherd shared a sweet kiss on the red carpet. The fashionable couple both stunned in pantsuits, with Carlile telling PEOPLE that her custom Elton John-inspired look made her feel "like a boss."

"I don't think I've ever felt more glamorous," she shared.

Carlile later reflected on the Recording Academy's decision to nominate "Right on Time" in the pop category rather than the American Roots category during an interview with Billboard. While she noted how grateful she was for the Grammys and everything it has done for her career, she said the decision "pissed her off."

"When the Grammys made that decision for me, it felt like I had been taken out of my space that I wanted to be in," she told the outlet. "Communities are so important ... You should be able to choose which one you're a part of."

August 10, 2022: Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd host a radio show together

In August 2022, Carlile and Shepherd launched their monthly radio show, Somewhere Over the Radio. A few months later, the singer later posted about the show on Instagram, writing alongside a video of her and Shepherd goofing off in the studio, "My wife Catherine took me to work with her today. I took it very seriously because I'm a professional, she on the other hand… 🤪." She continued, "For those of you who've been living under a rock these past few months, my wife and I have a radio show! Celebrating queer brilliance in music!"

October 14, 2022: Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd sing together for a live IMAX event

While Carlile may be the more prominent singer of the pair, Shepherd has some singing chops of her own. Alongside a video of the couple dueting her song "You and Me on the Rock," Carlile penned a touching tribute to her wife. "Catherine Carlile is a musician, singer and songwriter above all things … but she's spent the last 12 years running a foundation, managing our careers and wrangling our wild daughters while travelling to every corner of the globe. Or as Catherine would say 'we've been living in a bloody pinball machine!' "

She added, "My life's goal is to make her sing more. So I somehow managed to persuade her to sing "You and Me on the Rock" with me live in front of IMAX audiences across North America. Turns out I was more nervous than her! There is no greater gift in life than to sing a song with the person you wrote it for."

February 5, 2023: Catherine Shepherd introduces Brandi Carlile's Grammy performance

Carlile's wife and two daughters introduced her performance of "Broken Horses" at the 2023 Grammys.

"Millions of viewers watching tonight fell in love with the next performer four years ago when she took the Grammys stage for the first time and delivered one of the most iconic performances in Grammy history," Shepherd said to the audience, referencing Carlile's "The Joke" live performance. "I was lucky enough to marry her more than a decade ago, so I was way ahead of you."

She continued: "It means the world to me to stand here tonight with our beautiful daughters by my side and introduce, in our humble opinion, one of the greatest, most authentic artists and human beings on the planet."

March 2023: Catherine Shepherd and Brandi Carlile raise $300K for earthquake relief in Syria and Turkey

After an earthquake devastated parts of Syria and Turkey on Feb. 6, Shepherd and Carlile sprung into action.

The couple were able to help raise $300,000 to aid the White Helmets, a volunteer organization of emergency responders, and AKUT Search and Rescue Association.

"Part of our mission is being able to pivot quickly and respond to whatever situation may arise at any given moment," Shepherd told PEOPLE about the nonprofit she and Carlile founded in 2008, Looking Out Foundation. "The average donation was around $50, so it's astounding we were able to make that impact collectively."

Carlile added: "Because we're small and scrappy, our fans trust us, and they feel very much a part of it. We love our ability to galvanize, pull together and respond."

Because of this effort, and many others by LOF, Shepherd and Carlile were amongst PEOPLE's 2023 Women Changing the World.

September 20, 2023: Catherine Shepherd and Brandi Carlile attend the Americana Honors & Awards

Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's Relationship Timeline (13)

The couple, who coordinated in black suits, walked the Americana Honors & Awards red carpet at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Later that evening, Carlile performed "Dear Insecurity" with singer Brandy Clark.

February 4, 2024: Catherine Shepherd and Brandi Carlile attend the Grammys

Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's Relationship Timeline (14)

Carlile, who turned heads in a bright yellow suit, and Shepherd, who complemented her wife in a black velvet suit, walked the red carpet at the 2024 Grammys in Los Angeles.

Later that evening, the country singer performed alongside music legend Joni Mitchell.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd have been in a committed relationship for over a decade. They first met in 2009 when Shepherd, who was working for Paul McCartney's charity, reached out to donate Beatles memorabilia to Carlile's Fight the Fear campaign. They continued to speak on the phone regularly and finally met in person in 2010 in New York City [[1]].

The couple got married in September 2012 in Boston, with a ceremony in front of family and friends. They also had a wedding ceremony in London in February 2013. They have two daughters together, Evangeline Ruth, born in June 2014, and Elijah, born in March 2018. Carlile and Shepherd used IVF treatments for their first pregnancy and IUI treatment for their second [[2]].

Throughout their relationship, Carlile and Shepherd have attended various events together, including red carpet appearances, charity events, and award shows. They have supported each other's careers and have been each other's biggest fans. Carlile has spoken about the influence Shepherd has had on her music and how her pregnancy affected the recording of her album "The Firewatcher's Daughter" [[3]] [[4]].

In addition to their personal endeavors, Carlile and Shepherd have also been involved in philanthropy. They founded the Looking Out Foundation in 2008, which has supported various causes, including earthquake relief efforts in Syria and Turkey. They were able to raise $300,000 to aid the White Helmets and AKUT Search and Rescue Association [[5]].

The couple has also ventured into the world of radio, hosting their monthly show called "Somewhere Over the Radio." They have celebrated queer brilliance in music and shared their love for music with their audience [[6]].

Overall, Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd have built a strong and loving relationship over the years. They have supported each other in their personal and professional lives, welcomed two children together, and have made a positive impact through their philanthropic efforts.

Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd's Relationship Timeline (2024)


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