A little less than a month ago, Carrie Underwood released her third studio album, titled Cry Pretty. And fans of the longtime country music star know it's perhaps her most personal record to date. Since she'll be performing songs from the album at Tuesday's American Music Awards, it seemed fitting that Carrie Underwood's comments from the AMAs red carpet mostly centered on the new album, as well as what it was like for her to create such an intimate collection of art and then share it with the world.
Suffice to say, those who've listened to Cry Pretty — in pretty much any capacity — won't be surprised to learn that, per Underwood's pre-AMA interview, creating the album was definitely no easy feat. That's probably true for a whole roster of reasons, including but certainly not limited to the fact that Cry Pretty grapples with some exceedingly emotional themes, from personal injury to substance abuse.
And while it seems safe to assume Underwood's fans are grateful for her powerful record (see: her nomination for Favorite Female Country Artist at this year's award show), it also seems important to remember the personal difficulty that often accompanies an artist's willingness to be vulnerable with their art in this particular way. During the Tuesday evening's star-studded red carpet event, Underwood echoed that idea, saying,
"It's hard to put yourself out there like that. You're just going into a writing session, like, letting your feelings out. And you just hope people get it."
Judging by the overwhelmingly positive response to her new album (by listeners and critics alike), it sounds like Underwood doesn't need to worry too much about folks not "getting it" when it comes to her music. In part, that's probably because — and those who've watched Underwood sing live, or even just in a music video, almost certainly know this to be true — of the very tangible emotion she brings to the table whenever she's performing.
So, how does she do it? On the AMAs red carpet, one of the hosts asked if there's anyone in particular Underwood "sings to" when she's performing tracks that deal with personal, emotionally-wrought elements. Like many of the ones off Cry Pretty. Responding to that question, the singer referenced the song "Spinning Bottles," which appears on the new album. Before replying in the affirmative (Underwood said she "definitely" has someone in mind every time she's performing the track), she told the hosts,
"When we wrote the song "Spinning Bottles," we each had people in our heads that we've seen go through this or family members or friends that we've seen deal with addiction."
As anyone who's heard the song could easily corroborate, that very real emotion definitely resonates. Perhaps it'll even earn Underwood her thirteenth AMA win at Tuesday night's award show. But, after listening to her comments on the red carpet, it sounds like Underwood is less concerned with winning — she's won twelve already, after all — and more concerned with supporting her fellow nominees. (Miranda Lambert and Maren Morris, respectively.) Speaking to the hosts about how she felt going into the award show, Underwood sang her co-nominees' praises. "You know what? I'm in amazing company," she said, before adding,
"I feel like we're up there representing country music and the women of country music. And that is an honor in itself."
Here's to wishing Underwood all the luck in the world at this evening's award show. And whether or not she wins, here's to her courage, vulnerability, and extraordinary ability to incite serious tears with her music.
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