Brooke Eden and Brandi Carlile joined Proud Radio with Hunter Kelly on Apple Music Country to talk about their experiences as LGBTQ women in music and more. Eden also detailed her long friendship with fellow artist Mickey Guyton and cited her as one of the reasons she felt comfortable to speak up as an artist. Eden and Guyton originally met while auditioning for American Idol.
“I met Mickey when I was 18,” said Eden. “We were standing in line to try out for American Idol in the middle of the Atlanta heat of the summer. My mom was standing next to me. [My mom] was like, ‘Dang girl, that hair is bad.’ And Mickey overheard us talking about having a bad hair day. And Mickey came up to me and was like, ‘Hey girl, I know you don’t know me, but I heard you talking about your hair and I have a straightener in my backpack. I will plug it in and straighten your hair for you.’ And I just thought, what a cool chick.”
The two moved forward into the Hollywood week at Idol, which allowed them to get to know one another more. They then met up again in Nashville and continued their friendship. Eden has since come out and introduced her partner, Hilary, to the world. She says Guyton was someone who encouraged her to speak her truth just as Guyton shared hers with songs such as “Black Like Me” and “What Are You Gonna Tell Her.”
“She came over about a year ago, it was right before the pandemic and Hilary was gone for the weekend and she was like, ‘Girl, I’m coming over and I’m making you homemade chocolate chip cookies,’” Eden said of Guyton. “And I was like, ‘That sounds incredible,’ such a sweetheart. And that night she played ‘Black Like Me’ and ‘What Are You Gonna Tell Her.’ Of course, I’m just sitting there speechless, like ‘Mickey, you’re finally saying all the things that you’ve been feeling for so long,’ and we’ve been friends for a long time and Mickey’s like, ‘I as a black woman need to speak up and you as a queer woman need to speak up.’”
“For so long, we’ve been silenced,” Eden continued. “And I feel like that night, she felt like she needed to encourage me to be myself and because she was so empowered to be herself and wanting to empower me to be me.”
Soon after that, Eden her partner decided to shed the “advice” given to them by prior members of Eden’s team who suggested they keep their relationship private, and they introduced themselves as a couple publicly. While former members of Eden’s team were not so supportive of her, she says her record label, BBR Music Group, is completely supportive, as is the country music community.
“My record label got bought out by BMG a few years ago. And with that change, we had all this new leadership and these leaders were coming from very progressive cities like New York and LA, and their internal conversation at the label was ‘We love Brooke and we support her as a queer woman, as a queer artist, and we want that to be a part of her story, because that is who she is,’” Eden said.
“The support and love that we’ve received has just been beautiful,” she added. “And I’m just so happy with where not only our genre is going, but also just where the world is going. We just don’t have the energy anymore to hate people loving each other.”
Brandi Carlile was also included in the interview and talks about experiencing rejection as a young person and her upcoming audiobook, Broken Horses.