Many rock skeptics may have been surprised or even annoyed when Carrie Underwood was recruited to open for several recent dates on Guns N’ Roses’ summer tour. But the american idol winner and country superstar proved all the doubters and haters wrong with her special rock-inclined setlist—which she put together with advice from GNR frontman Axl Rose herself—which included crowd-pleasing, Bic-flicking covers of Led Zeppelins’ Rock and Roll ‘, Pat Benatar’s ‘Hit Me with Your Best Shot,’ Joan Jett’s ‘Bad Reputation,’ and, most excitingly, a rendition of Motörhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ that cranked all of her ‘Before He Cheats’-esque rage to 11.
Wow. Just now to suggest how much more exciting is Carrie’s american idol season would have been 18 years ago if there had been a Motörhead Night!
All jokes aside, anyone who assumed Underwood wouldn’t be able to pull off a rock ‘n’ roll support slot for thousands of Gen X headbangers has been paying no attention to her career over the last 18 years . This rocket queen has always been an old-school metalhead. And while the ‘Jesus, Take the Wheel’ singer probably won’t be doing a cover of the likes of Deicide, Morbid Angel, Satyricon or Brujeria any time soon, she’s been officially welcomed into the hard rock jungle by GNR’s peers and fans, due to her obvious, genuine enthusiasm for the genre.
So now the big burning question is… where is carrie underwood’s rock album? If country queen Dolly Parton can put out an all-star rock ‘n’ roll record, then this country princess certainly can. Maybe all we need is just a little patience, because it seems inevitable at this point.
In the meantime, let’s take a look back at Underwood’s improbable but amazing rock and roll journey.
Despite Simon Cowell’s confident prediction in the audition room that Underwood would not win alone American Idol Season 4, though selling more records than any other winner in the show’s history, Underwood himself didn’t seem so convinced. The young, green singer always seemed completely terrified on screen and displayed very little charisma (Underwood himself has admitted this), and many viewers thought it would be a real rocker, eventual runner-up Bo Bice, who would triumph in the final . But in the top 11 week of Season 4, Underwood suddenly came into her own and channeled her inner Ann Wilson to sing Heart’s power ballad for unrequited love (while rocking some very ’80s-appropriate big hair). To this day, her “Alone” is considered one of the greatest Idol performances of all time. “Throughout this whole competition I’ve been kind of a ‘country singer’ and I wanted to take a risk and come out of my shell a little bit, so I thought I’d sing an ’80s rock song,” Underwood shared. host Ryan Seacrest at the time. This was the first sign that Underwood had the potential to become America’s next superstar… and maybe even a rock star one day.
A year after Cowell’s aforementioned prophecy was spectacularly fulfilled, the newly crowned Idol embarked on her first headlining tour – covering another ’80s prom song, this time by future tour mate Axl Rose. “I am and always will be a country girl at heart, but it’s fun to just rock out a bit,” she explained on stage at the Azalea Festival, adding that she “grew up listening to all kinds of music” — including apparently the GN’R lies album.
‘I remember you’, 2007
Underwood’s first truly viral hard rock performance was one of them the greatest power ballads of the Headbangers ball era, in which she even managed to master all those tricky power notes of Sebastian Bach. “I saw the cover of Carrie Underwood on YouTube. It’s fantastic. … She hits every scream, all that ending heavy metal stuff. She’s destroying it,” former Skid Row frontman Bach told Yahoo Entertainment in 2017. Skid Row bassist Rachel Bolan also approved, describing Underwood’s cover as “pretty f***in’ cool.”
“November Rain”, 2008
Underwood again indulged her hunger for Guns N’ Roses reconstruction during her performance carnival ride tour, closing most of her shows with GNR’s over-the-top wedding epic — with a bit of “Paradise City” thrown in for extra raw energy.
‘Home Sweet Home’, 2009
When ‘goodbye songs’ were still a thing american idol, which played each week during each eliminated contestant’s video pack, Underwood was tapped to record Mötley Crüe’s arena anthem for Season 8 – fittingly a season dominated by two of the greatest rockers of all time, Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta. She also performed Crüe’s song on the season finale, the same night Lambert did a famous duet with both KISS and Queen. She seemed to feel right at home and focused on her wowindeed.
‘Paradise City’, 2013
Sharing a bill with Brad Paisley, Jake Owen, Lee Greenwood and the Band Perry at the 2013 CMA Festival, Underwood only had time for four songs, but she made sure one of them was the perennial Guns N’ Roses favorite. The sold-out crowd at Nashville’s LP Field no doubt appreciated her commitment to the piece, complete with fringed bandana headscarf and hip-twisting, Axl-esque snake dance.
Joan Jett medley, 2019
In 2013, Underwood reworked Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You” as the Sunday Night Football theme “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night.” But she’d clearly been waiting all her life for a duet with the queen of noise herself, judging by how excited she seemed when the two joined forces at the CMA Fest. There, Jett and Underwood rocked not only on the original “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” but also on “Crimson and Clover,” “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and “Bad Reputation.” This summer, Underwood revisited the last rocker girl song on her dates in support of GNR.
Underwood’s surprise I Prevail fandom, 2021
By this point, Underwood’s rock reputation had solidified, but she still stuck to MTV-friendly balladry and classic rock in her own career. That’s why she went viral on TikTok when asked about her workout playlist during a CBS Sunday morning interview: Not only did she confess that she mostly listens to “metal or super hard rock music” at the gym, but specifically mentioned them Trauma, from Michigan post-hardcore band I Prevail, as “one I keep repeating when I’m working out.” While Underwood, who promoted her Christian/Gospel album My saviour sheepishly warned her more conservative fans at the time that the I Prevail record contained “a lot of non-kid-friendly words” (“That’s important to note – don’t buy My saviour and then go buy Trauma and say, ‘Carrie Underwood told me to do that!’”), her love for the NSFW group was genuine.
Underwood later met I Prevail backstage in a “full-circle moment,” and the metal love fest continued in 2022, when I Prevail posted a tweet thanking fans for 56 million streams for their third album, Real powerand Underwood replied on the wire:I think I was a good number of them!” Fans of both Strange Bedfellow artists have been clamoring for a collaboration ever since.
The Stagecoach Festival, 2022
An even more complete moment occurred last year at the great Southern California desert party of country music. Underwood had reportedly tried to convince Axl Rose to be on stage with her years, and this sweet childhood wish finally came true during her headlining set on Saturday, when the reclusive red-headed rock star made a surprise appearance. Underwood called it “the best night of my life” and profusely thanked Rose for “making this lifelong dream come true.”
But her rock and roll dream was far from over. Later that year, Underwood made her own surprise appearance at the Guns N’ Roses concert in London, and in March 2023, Axl rejoined Carrie on stage at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles for “Welcome to the Jungle” – which whetted the appetite of the public. to speak, for their summer 2023 tour dates.
“Mommy, I’m Coming Home”, 2023
Underwood initially recorded Ozzy Osbourne’s No more tears cried during an Apple Music session in 2022, but she went viral again when she performed it The Howard Stern Show last May. “I was so excited that you chose this song; I love Ozzy!” Stern stumbled over to her at the time. Underwood then confessed with a chuckle that her own mother was “very much against me listening to Ozzy” when she was “a teenager discovering my own musical tastes.” … But I was also like, ‘I feel like you look at some of these lyrics, because it’s not all darkness. There are a lot of love songs and things that are much more melodic and sweet.'” Underwood also proudly revealed that Sharon Osbourne, rock’s ultimate stage mom, had given her personal blessing to Underwood to cover Ozzy’s song.
Underwood’s surprising Jose Mangin fandom, 2023
Mangin is one of hard rock’s biggest personalities as the host of “Liquid Metal” on SiriusXM’s Octane channel – but even he fanboyed hard when he heard that Underwood'[knows] who the hell am I” and listens to his podcast, visibly getting goosebumps in his Instagram comment post. “I like it when he dives a little deeper into metal,” said Underwood, expressing her appreciation for the way Mangin regularly champions newer artists. Mangin told her, “I’m very thankful that you are flying the metallic flag,” and excitedly accepted her invitation to be a guest DJ on her SiriusXM branded channel, Carrie’s Country, saying, “It would be an honor for me to come on and infiltrate your fans and their ear holes with a bunch of cool, positive, loving heavy metal vibes.
Hopefully Underwood will one day make her rock record – Denim and rhinestones & Learn could be the working title – hopefully with the help of Axl, Sebastian, Joan, Tommy Lee and of course those I Prevail guys. José Mangin would definitely put the album in high rotation on Octane. Watch this space.
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