Carrie Underwood has become one of country music’s most successful singers.
From award shows to albums, Underwood has shown her singing talents again and again. Now Carrie has even captured the ultimate prize: A residency at Las Vegas!
But Underwood didn’t immediately step on the ladder to success. And as we discuss below, one song in particular changed, well, EVERYTHING for Carrie. Plus: watch the video!
Carrie Underwood: Life Prior To ‘Before He Cheats’
The Secret History of Country Music podcast recently released a show titled: “Carrie Underwood’s Big, Bold Decision.”
And what the podcast will help country music fans realize: The country music songstress’ life prior to taking on her landmark song, “Before He Cheats,” was dramatically different.
Remember when Carrie first stepped on the “American Idol” stage? The wide-eyed beauty had never gone on a plane. She worried about her pets when she was in Hollywood, and noticeably feared that “always mean” judge Simon Cowell.
Even when Underwood won “American Idol,” she maintained her image of a sweet, naive Midwestern girl. But as she chose her debut album songs, Carrie Underwood heard the tune that changed, well, everything.
‘Before He Cheats’ Bombshell: Song Was NOT Intended For Carrie Underwood
Today, country music fans associate Carrie Underwood with that dramatic song, “Before He Cheats.” But the songwriters, Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear, told the Tennessean that they wrote the song originally for a different country music star!
“It didn’t start off as a song for Carrie,” revealed Chris. “It basically started off as a song for Gretchen Wilson.”
Tompkins began typing the “edgy” lyrics, then called his friend Josh. As the two penned the lyrics and melody, they realized that “Before He Cheats” would become something significant.
But even the songwriters didn’t know just HOW significant!
Meanwhile, Carrie made a dramatic decision. Rather than keep her songs consistently sweet and innocent, Underwood wanted to take on “Before He Cheats.”
Chris Tompkins was the first songwriter to learn that Underwood wanted to record his song. But Josh didn’t even know about her American Idol win.
“I was like, “Dude, that’s great! I don’t know who Carrie Underwood is, but that’s awesome!” He schooled me very quickly in American Idol and the fact that she had just won,” recalled Josh.
And while he remained dubious, Chris made a wise prediction about Carrie’s album and the future of their song.
“That album is going to be HUGE!” predicted the “Before He Cheats” songwriter.
Carrie Underwood Made An Instant And Bold Decision [Video]
What’s particularly fascinating about Carrie at the early stage of her life: She instantly knew that she wanted to record “Before He Cheats.”
Josh recalled learning that Underwood actually heard the song for the first time during her American Idol tour.
“It was in the back of the plane as they were getting ready to fly from one location of that tour, to the next. Somebody on the label had come up, played her the demo,” shared the songwriter.
Carrie listened to the song only once before immediately declaring, “I’m cutting that song.”
And she didn’t hesitate.
“There was no discussion of putting it on hold or just letting us know they would sit with it. It was just one listen and knowing she would record it,” added Josh.
Watch the magic that resulted for yourself in the video below!