A cultural highlight for Washington state this year is the remarkable trajectory of Maple Valley singer and songwriter Brandi Carlile.

Carlile and bandmates Phil and Tim Hanseroth stole the show at February’s Grammy Awards with their powerful performance of “The Joke,” a song that comments on societal discord while looking forward to a positive future.

They won Grammys for Best American Roots Song and Best American Roots Performance for “The Joke,” while their album, “By the Way, I Forgive You,” won Best Americana Album.

The streak may continue as Carlile recently received four 2020 Grammy nominations. They include a Song of the Year nomination for “Bring My Flowers Now,” written for and performed with country music queen and Carlile idol Tanya Tucker. It’s also nominated for Best Country Song of the Year and the album, co-produced by Carlile, is nominated for Best Country Album.

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Carlile and the Hanseroths are making other tremendous contributions. In 2008, they established the Looking Out Foundation, funded with $1 from every ticket to their concerts, to assist organizations supporting the arts, women, health, education, community development, the environment and civil rights.

Their awards and ongoing success validate the feelings of fans and many proud Washingtonians: Carlile and company are outstanding torchbearers for the state’s storied music industry, uplifting and enriching the lives of countless others with their art and charity.