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Sara Bareilles: This "Brave" Bruin Got Her Start at Spring Sing


By Jesy Odio '15

Published Jan 22, 2014 8:00 AM

The '03 grad performed at this year's Grammys, where she was a double nominee. She's also writing a book and a musical.


Photo courtesy of Epic®

Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles ’03 was getting ready to perform at a NASCAR event in Las Vegas when she got a call from her manager that sent her running around in her hotel room. The nominations for the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards had just been released, and the up-beat, peppy Bareilles had scored a nod in two categories. She was up for Album of the Year for her latest album, “The Blessed Unrest," and for Best Pop Solo Performance for her empowering hit single "Brave".

Although “Brave” had been in Billboard’s Hot 100 for more than 30 weeks, the GRAMMY nominations came as a big surprise to Bareilles.

On the big night she didn't bring home any awards, but her star was definitely shining. She performed there for the first time, with four-time GRAMMY winner and 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year, Carole King. She tweeted throughout the event and posted Instagram photos.

Since Bareilles graduated from UCLA, she has released three major-label albums, toured with fellow Bruins in Maroon 5, and even joined the NBC a cappella competition, The Sing-Off, as a celebrity judge for its third season.


Photo courtesy of Epic®

“I just started playing shows and it makes sense to keep doing it until something else comes along that makes me feel differently,” says Bareilles. “Whether or not I am a performer forever doesn’t change the fact that music will always be in my life.”

The first time she performed solo in front of a large audience was at UCLA's 2002 Spring Sing. She won Best Solo two years in a row as an undergrad.

“Honestly, I thank UCLA for providing me with such a strong support system of fans and fellow musicians,” she says.

What’s in the stars for Sara Bareilles in 2014? Apparently, more writing. According to, Bareilles has joined the New York theater scene as she works on the music and lyrics for the musical adaptation of the 2007 indie film, “Waitress.” And if that weren’t enough, this year she will also release a collection of essays in which she discloses all about her behind-the-scenes life as a pop-star performer. The book will contain excerpts from her personal journal and a plethora of photos she has chosen to share with her fans. Keep your eye on Sara! We can say, "We knew her when..."