Grammy award-winning country music singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile and wife Catherine Shepherd have been married for eight years, and they’re getting sweeter as years pass by. The couple met through their shared passion for activism and interest in philanthropic efforts. And in 2012, after a year of dating, Carlile and Shepherd tied the knot.
While Carlile really had a public life and career as a musician, the couple chose to live privately alongside their two daughters, Evangeline and Elijah, in rural Washington state. But from time to time, they still let fans get a peek through their lovely (and sugary) Instagram posts.
So, let’s go back from the moment they first met and relive one of the sweetest love stories.
First Chapter: Sparks Flew at Paul McCartney’s charity project
Brandi Carlile is definitely one of the most celebrated women in the music industry. She won several Grammys and was even the most nominated female artist at the 61st Grammy Awards in 2019 (which just goes to say that Brandi Carlile songs are a must-listen). Recently, she also became a part of the progressive all-female quartet called the Highwomen alongside Amanda Shires, Maren Morris, and Natalie Hemby, who are giving women in the industry a voice.
But her fight towards inequalities through music has long started before Highwomen. Carlile had been openly gay since 2002, and she is definitely a proud LGBTQ+ activist who inspired a lot of people. And this was something that connected her with British actress Catherine Shepherd.
At the time, Shepherd was spearheading The Beatles singer Paul McCartney’s charity works. And upon hearing Carlile’s own initiative called Fight the Fear campaign, which provides self-defense training to women who are in abusive situations, Shepherd reached out if she could donate any of Paul McCartney’s memorabilia to help the singer’s campaign.
Sparks flew right there and then, and everything just fell into place after that. They talked for about a year after that, and according to Carlile, the whole time, she thought she was talking to somebody who was 65. But she added that it was really an interesting way to fall in love.
The two officially met when Shepherd, who was based in the UK then, came to New York City on a project for McCartney. And the rest of their love story was history.
The couple exchanged vows in September 2012, just three months after the announcement of their engagement in Boston, Massachusetts. In an interview with Carlile, she confessed that it was a crazy feeling filling out the paperwork because it felt like she was breaking the law and that someone would come in and tell them that they can’t have it. Shepherd’s parents were there to witness their union.
Who is Brandi Carlile’s wife, Catherine Shepherd?
Catherine Shepherd was born in 1975 in Hammersmith, London, England to actor Jack Shepherd. She attended James Allen’s Girls’ School, where she earned an honorary ballet senior. And just like her father, she also pursued a career in acting.
She began her career as an extra, but she soon grew to be a prominent actress in the British TV circuit and has also been credited as a screenwriter and director. She is best known for her roles in ‘Dog Face,’ ‘Sally4Ever,’ and ‘Paddington.’ But aside from those, she is also known for her philanthropic efforts, coordinating Paul McCartney’s charity projects for 10 years. But after getting married to Carlile, she now works at her wife’s foundation – Looking Out Foundation, as one of the top executives.
Shepherd is also a talented singer and guitarist and has been a great inspiration to her wife, Carlile. The couple has not yet performed on stage, but they did appear on red carpets together.
Second Chapter: Building a Family
After the two got married, they already knew that they wanted kids. The couple used IVF to conceive their first daughter Evangeline Ruth. Carlile’s eggs were harvested, and her childhood friend David donated the sperm, and the fertilized egg was then carried by Shepherd since it would be difficult for Carlile to be pregnant given her packed work schedule.
According to Carlile, she struggled with the fact that she was not the one to carry Evangeline. But she made peace knowing that what they were doing was pioneer work, and there was no template yet for two mothers on a birth certificate. She also accepted the fact that this leap to parenthood was already complicated on its own.
The couple welcomed their first daughter on June 15, 2014. And then, three years later, they tried for another child through IUI (since Shepherd struggled with IVF hormones). And on March 18, 2018, they welcomed their second daughter Elijah.
Brandi Carlile and wife Catherine Shepherd are now raising their two daughters in a secluded compound close to their families in rural Washington state. And through the past year, the family had been busy fishing, catching Dungeness crab and grilling them on their boat, and just camping. Carlile had been on the road for the last 20 years, and she felt that this was the perfect time to make up for those years.
Brandi Carlile, Catherine Shepherd