Growing up poor in Washington state, singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile learned about harmony and rhythm while performing as a backup singer for a friend's dad, who worked as an Elvis impersonator.
"It was pretty interesting education to be on the backside of the stage looking at audience faces," Carlile says. "I learned the things that they react to, how a smile is contagious. ... And I remembered thinking, standing back there in my poodle skirt going, 'Actually, I want to be that dude.' "