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Brandi Carlile’s ‘Girls’ Festival: Eighties Covers, Duets and Karaoke

ROLLING STONE - February 6, 2019

Brandi Carlile’s inaugural Girls Just Wanna Weekend wrapped up this week in the Riviera Maya, Mexico. Curated by the Washington state native, the festival was far from a simple string of concerts. Carlile, whose By the Way, I Forgive You album scored her six nominations at this Sunday’s Grammy Awards, took pains to provide a one-of-a-kind experience.

To that end, Carlile hosted Brandioke, where artists, fans and even her niece interpreted Carlile’s songs; donned hair-metal wigs and bandannas to stage an Eighties tribute night called Ladies of the Eighties; and welcomed surprise guests like Anderson East and Mavis Staples, who filled in for an unable-to-attend Margo Price.

Carlile also duetted with Maren Morris, premiering their new collaboration “Common,” and cementing her friendship with Morris, a longtime fan. “The first week I moved to Nashville, I went to Grimey’s record store and Brandi had just released her album Bear Creek. It was the first thing I saw and picked it up. It was in my car for the next three years,” Morris told Rolling Stone. “When I met Brandi, I told her I bought your album and I was obsessed with you, and now we’re duetting.”

Both Carlile and Morris are set to perform at the 61st annual Grammy Awards, airing Sunday on CBS.