From her incredible run on the fourth season of American Idol to winning armfuls of awards and selling tens of millions of records, Carrie Underwood’s trajectory in country music has been the definition of meteoric.
Now firmly settled into her role as the reigning queen of country-pop, Underwood has experienced a great deal of crossover success, charming fans of both genres. She’s also been a heavy-hitter in the world of inspirational music, with covers of religious favorites like “How Great Thou Art” and “Amazing Grace.”
From her record-shattering debut album to cult-favorite murder ballads and inspirational anthems, these 21 songs are essential for the perfect Carrie Underwood playlist.
“Jesus Take The Wheel”
The first single from Carrie Underwood’s 2005 debut Some Hearts, “Jesus Take The Wheel” is still one of her most beloved tracks. The hopeful song of faith resonated with fans across multiple genres, as evidenced by its success on Billboard’s adult contemporary and Christian music charts.
“Before He Cheats”
An anthem for scorned women everywhere, “Before He Cheats” is the ultimate revenge track. Yet another crossover success for Underwood, the song has since been certified platinum more than six times.
Marking Carrie Underwood’s 15th number one single in 2015, “Church Bells” is both a stunning vocal performance and a killer entry in country music’s long lineage of murder ballads involving women who decide to off their abusive husbands.
A deeply personal song that came after Underwood suffered three miscarriages, “Cry Pretty” is relatable for anyone who’s ever felt like they had to put on a brave face during tough times. It’s also one of Underwood’s best vocal performances.
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