How Carrie Underwood and Axl Rose Became Friends

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood is one of the most successful people to come out of American Idol. Over the last two decades, she has won hearts and ears with complex ballads about inner strength, crushing heartache, and great love.

With her powerful, enveloping voice, Underwood has one of the most captivating stage presences in pop music. She has won countless Billboard, Grammy, and American Music Awards to attest to this.
At the Stagecoach Festival, the “Cowboy Casanova” singer had a huge surprise in store for her audience: Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose would be joining her onstage to perform two of the band’s greatest hits.

Carrie Underwood and Axl Rose met in Vegas
Longtime Underwood fans are familiar with the singer’s love of Guns N’ Roses, having watched her perform their songs and heard her talk about how much she would want to work with them. The “Before He Cheats” singer told E! Online in 2015, “I’ve covered enough Guns N’ Roses stuff, and it was people like Axl that taught me how to sing.”

Underwood appeared on NBC’s The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon in 2020 to promote her fitness book. During her appearance, she spoke about traveling to Las Vegas to see Guns N’ Roses for the first time and described the experience as one of the best nights of her life.
Underwood revealed to Fallon that she had met Guns N’ Roses frontman Rose backstage after the band’s performance. The “Blown Away” singer remarked that even though it is challenging to meet your heroes, Rose was super friendly, and they even had a conversation. She went on to remark that she and Rose were “best friends.”

Stagecoach Festival Day 2 came to a rousing close with an Underwood performance. The main stage was packed with fans who wanted to see the “Cowboy Casanova” singer perform. The fans had no idea Underwood had a wild card up her sleeve—a collaboration with Axl Rose.

After the “Denim & Rhinestones” singer and her band played the first verse and chorus of Sweet Child O’ Mine, she introduced Rose to the crowd, who threw it back to the 1980s with a stunning performance. And right after the set, the band tore into another Appetite for Destruction classic, Paradise City.

Underwood shared snapshots of the iconic Stagecoach performance on Instagram with the caption, “Best. Night. Of. My. Life!!! I am still freaking out!!! Thank you, Axl, for making this lifelong dream come true!!!”

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Underwood was asked how she convinced Rose to perform as her special guest at the Stagecoach country music festival. The singer said that growing up, to hone her vocal skills, she listened to a lot of Rose’s music and tried to imitate his style.

When Underwood found out that she’d be headlining the Stagecoach festival, she wrote Rose an email detailing how much he meant to her and inviting him to play with her at the festival. And that was all it took for Underwood to get Rose “out of hiding” to perform on what she called the greatest night of her life.