Carlile was on hand Sunday night to help honor Grant at the Kennedy Center Honors.
While speaking to ET's Deidre Behar, Carlile, who paid tribute to Grant on stage, not only gushed over the "Baby, Baby" singer, she also thanked Grant for the support she showed her after coming out in 2002.
"I approach it with a lot of humility and gratitude for what she's done for me in my life, as a faith-based person as well, to have the kind of life affirmation that I've gotten from her," Carlile, who performed with her country music super group, The Highwomen, said ahead of the epic tribute. "I think personally and publicly, as a queer person, that's been really big and important in my growth. "
"Personally, her catalog is so interwoven into my childhood," she continued. "I listen to Amy Grant all the time with my Aunt Laurie, who is like my mom's best friend. Spend all my time with her. We knew every lyric."
Calling Grant's music a "big part" of her childhood, Carlile revealed that Grant was one of her biggest supporters, inviting her on her television show and more recently, amplifying her voice and the voices of other queer artists on social media.
"It was this really big part of my childhood, and I always saw Amy and knew Amy as a faith-based singer, as a Christian singer specifically. Growing up, coming out of the closet, Amy was one of the first people to reach out to me, invite me on her television show in my early twenties," Carlile whose been married to wife, Catherine Shepherd, since 2012, recalled. "And then just recently, you know, on social media has been really supportive of me and other queer artists specifically. I know she's taking some heat for it. I know it hasn't been easy, and I admire her so much for that."
"She's an inspiration. Her speech last night was absolutely beautiful. I'll never forget it. It was incredible. She talked about it. She talked about herself as a length of garden hose, and she said she wakes up every morning feeling like a garden hose. Functional, not more, not less, but knowing that she is going to shower on the world, whatever she puts the other end of that hose in," She shared.
"And it was such an amazing analogy. You know, so if you get into the trash, if you get into a dark place, that's what you're going to shower on the world as a person with a platform," Carlile continued.
The Kennedy Center Honors air Dec. 28 on CBS.