Brandy Clark

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Brandy Clark
Clark performing in June 2014
Clark performing in June 2014
Background information
Birth nameBrandy Lynn Clark[1]
Born (1975-10-09) October 9, 1975 (age 48)
OriginMorton, Washington, United States
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active2005–present

Brandy Lynn Clark (born October 9, 1975) is an American country music singer-songwriter. Her songs have been recorded by Sheryl Crow, Miranda Lambert, the Band Perry, Reba McEntire, LeAnn Rimes, Billy Currington, Darius Rucker, and Kacey Musgraves.[2] She debuted as an artist in her own right in 2013 with her album 12 Stories and has released four additional studio albums. Clark is a sixteen-time Grammy Award nominee, including the 2015 Best New Artist award, and won the Country Music Association Award for Song of the Year as a co-writer on "Follow Your Arrow".[3] In 2023, Clark and frequent collaborator Shane McAnally wrote the music and lyrics for the musical Shucked, earning a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Original Score.

Early life[edit]

Brandy Clark was born in Morton, Washington, a logging town of 900 people in the shadow of Mount Rainier. As a child in the 1980s she was influenced by the country-pop and traditional country music artists she heard her parents and grandmother play, like Barbara Mandrell, Ronnie Milsap, Merle Haggard and Loretta Lynn. Clark cites the Patsy Cline movie "Sweet Dreams" as one of her biggest early influences.[4]

Clark began playing guitar at nine years old and sang in school musicals, also writing songs. She obtained a basketball scholarship at Central Washington University, but later moved back home, obtaining an associate degree from a community college. Still a teenager, she joined the music business program at Belmont University, and moved to Nashville in 1998.[citation needed] At Belmont she took guitar lessons again and joined a band with her mother and a friend. She studied commercial music and was chosen to perform in the school's "Best of the Best Showcase". Upon graduation, Clark got a job with Leadership Music which led to her eventual publishing deal. [citation needed]

Music career[edit]

In 2011 "Mama's Broken Heart", written by Clark with Shane McAnally (her frequent collaborator) and Kacey Musgraves, appeared on Miranda Lambert's album Four the Record. It was released on January 14, 2013, as the fourth single reaching No. 2 on both the Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts. Clark's biggest success to date was as the co-writer along with McAnally and Trevor Rosen when she celebrated a No.1 song ASCAP Party at an industry gathering for The Band Perry's third No. 1 hit, "Better Dig Two".[5]

As a Music Row songwriter Clark writes songs that are mostly about the seedy underbelly of country folk. They are observational pieces based on flawed characters that tell the truth on the human condition. They contain dark humor, with a blend of wit and realism, while having the artistic license to make them fictional.[6]

In 2012 she opened shows for Grammy Award-winning artist Sheryl Crow. Brandy found an advocate in country artist Marty Stuart when on Saturday December 8, 2012 she joined him to make her Grand Ole Opry debut when she played his Grand Ole Opry Anniversary celebration and also at his Late Night Jam at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.[4][7]

At the beginning of 2013 Brandy was chosen by CMT as one of the "Women of Country", a year-long promotion featuring up and coming artists.[8]

In December 2012, Clark digitally released a self-titled three-track EP including songs "Pray to Jesus", "Stripes" and "Take a Little Pill". The song "Stripes" was released as a single and the official video made its CMT debut on July 4, 2013. It was directed by Becky Fluke (Little Big Town, Pistol Annies) and HLN's Nancy Grace plays a cameo role.[8]

As a co-writer of Miranda Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart", on September 10, 2013 Brandy received a nomination in the Song of the Year category (presented to the songwriters) for the 47th Annual CMA Awards broadcast, held in Nashville on November 6, 2013.[9] She was also twice nominated for Song of the Year at the 4th Annual American Country Awards which were held in Las Vegas on December 10, 2013.[10]

2013: 12 Stories[edit]

On October 22, 2013 Clark released her debut album 12 Stories. Produced by Dave Brainard, it features Vince Gill on background vocals.[8] It made its debut at No. 28 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart[11] On January 6, 2014 Clark made her network CBS network TV debut on The Late Show with David Letterman, performing the lead single "Stripes".[12] In 2014, Clark opened for Jennifer Nettles on her "That Girl" tour.

2016–present: Big Day in a Small Town and Your Life Is a Record[edit]

On June 10, 2016 Clark released her second album Big Day in a Small Town, which was produced by Jay Joyce.[13] Lead single "Girl Next Door" became her only chart entry to date, reaching No. 39 on Country Airplay.[14]

Clark releasedYour Life Is a Record in 2020. Also produced by Joyce, the album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Album.[15]

In 2023, Clark released a self-titled album, Brandy Clark. It was nominated for five Grammys, including Best Americana Album.[16] Clark won the Grammy, her first, for Best Americana Performance for her song, "Dear Insecurity", featuring Brandi Carlile.

Critical reception[edit]

Clark's song "Stripes" received favorable reviews from critics. Ben Foster of Country Universe praised the track: "As the first radio bid from an exceptionally talented singer-songwriter, "Stripes" does not disappoint. It's an ambitious, energetic debut single that makes the prospect of a full-length Brandy Clark album even more enticing." Foster rated the song an A.[17]

Music roots publication Engine 145 described her as "one of the most talented songwriters on Music Row, and she proves she is as talented a performer as she is a writer." 12 Stories received a 4.5-out-of-5 rating.[18]

Americana and Roots music blog Twang Nation placed 12 Stories at the top spot of its best of 2013 "Cream of the Crop".[19]

NPR music critic Ann Powers named the album her favorite of 2013. Powers noted that others share her sentiments, writing, "the top honor on many critics' lists is going to Clark, a storyteller of the highest caliber."[20]

The Los Angeles Times wrote that Clark's 2017 release Live from Los Angeles is "smart to the core."[21]

Your Life Is a Record has been described as "the best-sounding album that she’s released."[22] The New Yorker wrote about the album saying, "No One Is Writing Better Country Songs than Brandy Clark Is".[23] Writing about her 2023 self-titled album, NPR described Clark's voice as "a powerful, agile instrument that she wields masterfully".[24]

Personal life[edit]

Brandy Clark is openly a lesbian.[25]

Songwriting credits[edit]

Songs written by Brandy Clark
Year Title Artist(s)[26] Album
2005 "That's Why I Hate Pontiacs" Rebecca Lynn Howard Alive and Well (unreleased)
2008 "She'll Believe You" Kenny Rogers 50 Years
2009 "Things a Mama Don't Know" Mica Roberts Days You Live For
2010 "The Maker of Them All" Guy Penrod Breathe Deep
"Cry" Reba McEntire All The Women I Am
"The Day She Got Divorced"
2011 "Mama's Broken Heart" Miranda Lambert Four the Record
"The Boy Never Stays" Sarah Darling Angels & Devils
"Crazy Women" LeAnn Rimes Lady & Gentlemen
"That's How I'll Remember You" David Nail The Sound of a Million Dreams
"Tryin' to Go to Church" Ashton Shepherd Where Country Grows
2012 "Better Dig Two" The Band Perry Pioneer
"Waitin' on a Train" Buffy Lawson I'm Leaving You for Me
"We Can't Be Friends" Joanna Smith
"Boys and Buses" Hayden Panettiere The Music of Nashville, Season 1: The Complete Collection
2013 "Dandelion" Kacey Musgraves Same Trailer Different Park
"Follow Your Arrow"
"It Is What It Is"
"Hollywood" Maggie Rose Cut to Impress
"Love Without You" Darius Rucker True Believers
"You Can Come Over" Craig Campbell Never Regret
"Get Outta My Yard" Gretchen Wilson Right on Time
"Come Back To Me" Keith Urban Fuse
"Songs About Trucks" Wade Bowen Wade Bowen
"We'll Come Back Around" Craig Morgan The Journey (Livin' Hits)
"Last Night's Make Up" Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan Dos Divas
"Homecoming Queen" Sheryl Crow Feels Like Home
2014 "Two Rings Shy" Miranda Lambert Platinum
"Burnin' Bed' David Nail I'm a Fire
"Bad Girl Phase" Sunny Sweeney Provoked
"Wheels On The House" Ray Scott Ray Scott
"Bad Car" Terri Clark Some Songs
"I Cheated On You"
"Drunk Americans" Toby Keith 35 MPH Town
2015 "She Got Drunk Last Night" Reba McEntire Love Somebody
"Late to the Party" Kacey Musgraves Pageant Material
"This Town"
2016 "Liar Liar" Aubrie Sellers New City Blues
"Pawn Shop" Shelley Skidmore Shelley Skidmore
"White Picket Fences"
"Chaser" Jennifer Nettles Playing with Fire
"Drunk in Heels"
"Playing with Fire"
"Salvation Works"
"Starting Over"
"Unlove You"
"Christmas Makes Me Cry" Kacey Musgraves A Very Kacey Christmas
2017 "Pray to Jesus" The Oak Ridge Boys 17th Avenue Revival
"Bad Girl Phase" Sunny Sweeney Provoked
2019 "Tammy Wynette Kind of Pain" Reba McEntire Stronger Than the Truth
2020 "Red Wine & Blue" Hailey Whitters The Dream
"Ten Year Town"
"Sparrow" Ashley McBryde Never Will
"Voodoo Doll"
2021 "Dear Miss Loretta" Carly Pearce featuring Patty Loveless 29: Written in Stone
2022 "Brenda Put Your Bra On" Ashley McBryde Lindeville
"Dandelion Diner"
"The Girl in the Picture"
"If These Dogs Could Talk"
"Play Ball"
"Ronnie's Pawn Shop"
"The Missed Connection Section of the Lindeville Gazette"
"Gospel Night at the Strip Club"
"Forkem Family Funeral Home"
"Bonfire at Tina's"


Studio albums[edit]

Brandy Clark studio album releases and sales performance
Title Details Peak chart positions Sales
US Country
US Heat
US Indie
US Folk
UK Country
12 Stories
  • Release date: October 22, 2013
  • Label: Slate Creek Records
  • Format: CD, digital download
23 163 2 22 10
Big Day in a Small Town
  • Release date: June 10, 2016
  • Label: Warner Records
  • Format: CD, digital download
8 82 5 3
Your Life Is a Record
  • Release date: March 6, 2020
  • Label: Warner Records
  • Format: CD, digital download
46 10 2
Brandy Clark
  • Release date: May 19, 2023
  • Label: Warner Records
  • Format: CD, digital download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Live albums[edit]

Brandy Clark live album releases and sales performance
Title Details
Live from Los Angeles[35]
  • Release date: April 2017
  • Label: Warner Bros. Records


Brandy Clark single releases and sales performance
Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country Airplay
2013 "Stripes"[17] 12 Stories
2016 "Girl Next Door" 39 Big Day in a Small Town
"Love Can Go to Hell"[36]
2020 "Who You Thought I Was" Your Life Is a Record
"Same Devil"
(featuring Brandi Carlile
Your Life Is a Record (Deluxe Edition)
"Like Mine"[37]
2023 "Buried" Brandy Clark
"Dear Insecurity"
(featuring Brandi Carlile)
"My Favourite Christmas" / "I'll Be Home for Christmas"[38] Non-albums single
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Other charted songs[edit]

Brandy Clark charting songs
Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country Digital
2015 "Hold My Hand" 49 12 Stories

Music videos[edit]

Brandy Clark music video details
Year Video Director
2013 "Stripes"[40] Becky Fluke
2014 "Get High"[41]
"His Hands" (with Jennifer Nettles)[42] Shaun Silva/Valarie Allyn Bienas
2016 "Girl Next Door"[43] Traci Goudie
2023 "Dear Insecurity" (featuring Brandi Carlile) Trey Fanjoy

Awards and nominations[edit]

Brandy Clark award nominations
Year Organization Award Work Result Ref
2013 47th Country Music Association Awards Song of the Year "Mama's Broken Heart" Nominated [44]
56th Grammy Awards Best Country Song Nominated [45]
2014 49th Academy of Country Music Awards Song of the Year Nominated [46]
48th Country Music Association Awards Song of the Year "Follow Your Arrow" Won [44]
New Artist of the Year Herself Nominated
2015 57th Grammy Awards Best Country Album 12 Stories Nominated [45]
Best New Artist Herself Nominated
2016 58th Grammy Awards Best Country Song "Hold My Hand" Nominated
2017 59th Grammy Awards Best Country Solo Performance "Love Can Go to Hell" Nominated [47]
Best Country Album Big Day in a Small Town Nominated
52nd Academy of Country Music Awards New Female Vocalist of the Year Herself Nominated [48]
2021 63rd Grammy Awards Best Country Album Your Life Is a Record Nominated [45]
Best Country Solo Performance "Who You Thought I Was" Nominated
32nd GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Music Artist Herself Nominated [49]
2023 Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Music Shucked Won [50]
Outstanding Lyrics Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Awards Outstanding New Score Nominated [51]
76th Tony Awards Best Original Score Nominated [52]
2024 66th Grammy Awards Best Musical Theater Album Nominated
Best Country Solo Performance "Buried" Nominated
Best Country Song Nominated
Best Americana Performance "Dear Insecurity" Won
Best American Roots Song Nominated
Best Americana Album Brandy Clark Nominated


  1. ^ Brandy Clark (October 22, 2013). "Brandy Clark | Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  2. ^ Brandy Clark Bio. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  3. ^ Nicholson, Jessica (May 23, 2023). "Brandy Clark Mines Her Own Stories on Brandi Carlile-Produced, Eponymous Album: 'There's a Whole Palette of Colors Here'". Billboard. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  4. ^ a b CMT Edge Article[permanent dead link] (June 7, 2013). Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  5. ^ (March 7, 2013). Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  6. ^ The Song Survives Article. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  7. ^ GAC News Archived October 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine (May 16, 2013). Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c CMT Press Release Archived October 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine (January 14, 2013). Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  9. ^ 2013 CMA Awards Nominations Announced Archived October 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine (September 10, 2013). Retrieved October 24, 2013.
  10. ^ American Country Awards 2013 Archived November 1, 2013, at the Wayback Machine (October 31, 2013). Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  11. ^ Brandy Clark Chart History Archived July 1, 2014, at the Wayback Machine (October 29, 2013). Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  12. ^ Hudak, Joseph (January 7, 2014). Country Weekly. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  13. ^ Hudak, Joseph (March 22, 2016). "Brandy Clark Sets Release Date for New Album 'Big Day in a Small Town'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Brandy Clark Album & Song Chart History – Country Airplay". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  15. ^ "Brandy Clark Returns With "Who You Thought I Was"". CMT. January 10, 2020. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  16. ^ Willman, Chris (November 10, 2023). "2024 Grammys Nominations Full List: SZA Leads With 9 Noms, Phoebe Bridgers Follows With 7". Variety. Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  17. ^ a b "Stripes" (Single Review) (July 10, 2013). Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  18. ^ Engine 145 Album Review Archived December 24, 2013, at the Wayback Machine (July 16, 2013). Retrieved July 22, 2013
  19. ^ Cream of the Crop – Twang Nation Top Americana and Roots Music Picks of 2013 (November 30, 2013).
  20. ^ Powers, Ann (December 16, 2013). "Ann Powers' Top 10 Albums And Songs Of 2013". NPR. National Public Radio. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  21. ^ Clark, Randy (August 3, 2017). "Brandy Clark's 'Live From Los Angeles' album is smart to the core". Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  22. ^ Cantwell, David (March 6, 2020). "No One Is Writing Better Country Songs than Brandy Clark Is". Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  23. ^ Cantwell, David (March 6, 2020). "No One Is Writing Better Country Songs than Brandy Clark Is". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  24. ^ McKenna, Brittney (2023). "Brandy Clark is playing for keeps this time". NPR. p. 1. Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  25. ^ Chris Richards (November 5, 2013). "Brandy Clark's debut album is a stunner. But will anybody hear it?". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  26. ^ "Writing credits for Brandy Clark". AllMusic. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  27. ^ "Brandy Clark – Chart history – Country Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  28. ^ "Brandy Clark – Chart history – Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  29. ^ "Brandy Clark – Chart history – Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  30. ^ "Brandy Clark – Chart history – Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  31. ^ "Brandy Clark – Chart history – Folk Albums". Billboard. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  32. ^ "Country Artist Albums Top 20 – 7th Dec 2013". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  33. ^ Bjorke, Matt (February 19, 2015). "Country Album Chart Report For February 19, 2015". Roughstock.
  34. ^ Bjorke, Matt (August 21, 2016). "Country Albums Sales Chart: August 22, 2016". Roughstock.
  35. ^ "Brandy Clark's 'Live From Los Angeles' album is smart to the core". Los Angeles Times. August 3, 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  36. ^ "Love Can Go to Hell". Discogs. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  37. ^ Brandy Clark [@TheBrandyClark] (September 29, 2020). "My new song, "Like Mine", will be available everywhere this Friday Oct. 2nd! And if you haven't yet, set a reminder to tune in to my live stream concert from @3rdandLindsley on Thursday at 6:30pm CT!! Happy Tuesday ❤️ Pre save here" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  38. ^ Lieberg, Lorie (October 27, 2023). "Listen: Brandy Clark Reflects on Lost Love In Heartfelt New Track "My Favorite Christmas"". American Songwriter. Retrieved November 10, 2023.
  39. ^ "Brandy Clark Album & Song Chart History – Country Digital Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on December 2, 2016. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  40. ^ "Music Video : Stripes : Brandy Clark". CMT. Archived from the original on October 28, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  41. ^ "Brandy Clark Keeps Things Chill With Get High! Watch The Laid Back Music Video HERE!". March 27, 2014. Archived from the original on April 17, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  42. ^ "CMT : Videos : Jennifer Nettles : His Hands (Live)". Country Music Television. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  43. ^ "CMT : Videos : Brandy Clark : Girl Next Door". Country Music Television. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  44. ^ a b "Search results for Brandy Clark". CMA Awards. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  45. ^ a b c "Search results for Brandy Clark". Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  46. ^ ACM Press Release (January 29, 2014). Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  47. ^ "Grammy Awards 2017: See the Full Winners List". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  48. ^ Stefano, Angela (February 16, 2017). "2017 ACM Awards Nominees — Full List". The Boot. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  49. ^ "The Nominees for the 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards". January 28, 2021.
  50. ^ Rosky, Nicole. "SHUCKED, SOME LIKE IT HOT Lead Nominations for 2023 Drama Desk Awards". Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  51. ^ ""New York, New York," "Some Like It Hot," "Shucked" lead 2023 Outer Critics Circle nominations". Broadway News. April 26, 2023. Retrieved April 26, 2023.
  52. ^ Sherman, Rachel; Cohn, Gabe (May 2, 2023). "Tony Awards Nominations 2023: The Complete List". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 2, 2023.

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