Carrie Underwood has been a force in country music ever since she earned her crown on American Idol in 2005. Since then, she’s had a seemingly endless stream of hits that have earned her a loyal fan base and worldwide recognition. With a career full of success, it’s hard to choose just a few Underwood songs to highlight, but we tried to narrow them down to her Top 10.
“Jesus, Take The Wheel” — From Some Hearts
Fresh off winning season four of American Idol, Underwood released what would become an iconic song for her, and one that would be loved by both country fans and fans of all musical genres. “Jesus, Take The Wheel” is a faith-based song from Underwood’s first album, Some Hearts. Written by Brett James, Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson, the song tells the story of a woman who miraculously survives a car crash after praying for Jesus watch over her. The song clearly resonated with fans, as it became Underwood’s first number one song, spending six weeks at the top. It also crossed over to the Hot Christian Songs and Adult Contemporary charts, and ranked at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Before He Cheats” — From Some Hearts
When it came time to release her fifth official single, Underwood brought the sass. She released the now-famous “Before He Cheats,” a song from the perspective of a woman who caught her man cheating and is out for revenge. The lyrics about ruining her ex-man’s “pretty little souped up four-wheel drive,” and the video of her doing just that, are sure to go down in country music history. Not only did the song show fans a different side of Carrie, but it also became her second number one and a massive worldwide hit.
“Wasted” — From Some Hearts
For the fifth official single from her Some Hearts album, Carrie Underwood released “Wasted.” The tune, written by Marv Green, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey, is a story song about woman getting out of a bad relationship and a man dealing with alcoholism. The song followed her earlier hits by dominating radio play, spending three weeks atop the country charts. The song also saw Underwood saying goodbye to her debut album, as it was the last single from the project.
“All American Girl” — From Carnival Ride
Carrie Underwood seems to embody the quintessential “All-American Girl,” so it’s only fitting that she would have a song to go along with it. However, the second single from her Carnival Ride album isn’t about her being an All-American girl, but is a story about a man who wanted his future child to be a boy, but ends up with a “beautiful, wonderful, perfect all-American girl.” The song then shifts forward to that all-American girl growing up and starting her own family. The song, released in 2008, continued Underwood’s trend of story songs and became her fourth consecutive number one.
“Last Name” — From Carnival Ride
“Last Name” was Underwood’s third single from her sophomore album, and like “Before He Cheats,” it showed Underwood’s diverse musical style. The song was a departure from positive songs like “All-American Girl” and “Jesus, Take The Wheel,” and instead, told a humorous story about a woman who had a little too much to drink, woke up the next morning married to a man she didn’t know, and therefore, didn’t know her own last name. The song became her fifth consecutive Billboard number one — a feat that hadn’t been achieved by a solo female artist since 1989.
“Cowboy Casanova” — From Play On
Carrie Underwood kicked off her third album, Play On, with the showstopper, “Cowboy Casanova,” a song warning women about a man who shouldn’t be trusted. The song became the fastest-rising single of Underwood’s career at the time. The song was nominated for the ACM Award for Song of the Year. It also won a CMT Award and the CMA Triple-Play Songwriter Award.
“Undo It” — From Play On
Underwood continued her stream of hits with “Undo It,” her third single from Play On. Written by Underwood, Kara DioGuardi, Marti Frederiksen, and Luke Laird, this arena-worthy tune has Underwood singing about a break-up and wishing she could “undo” the relationship. At this point in her career, Underwood is a bonafide performer, and the music video for “Undo It” confirms that notion with shots of her entertaining an arena full of fans. The song, like her others, did exceedingly well on the charts, and became one of the biggest hits of her career.
“Good Girl” — From Blown Away
Underwood kicked off the Blown Away album cycle in 2012 with the lead single, “Good Girl,” another uptempo tune that showcases Underwood’s powerful vocals. This song finds Underwood singing to a “good girl” who has fallen in love with the wrong man. Underwood tries to convince the woman of the man’s true colors in the chorus, with lyrics, “Why, why you gotta be so blind? / Won’t you open up your eyes? / It’s just a matter of time ‘till you find he’s not good, girl, no good for you.” This song joined her long list of hits by hitting the number one spot on the charts.
“Two Black Cadillacs” — From Blown Away
For her third single from her Blown Away album, Underwood leaned on the visual storytelling song format that she does so well. “Two Black Cadillacs” tells the story of two women who found out their man wasn’t being entirely faithful, so they decided to get rid of him together. The song has an air of mystery to it, as it starts off by painting the picture of two black Cadillacs pulling up to a funeral, and two women grieving — one was his wife and the other was the “woman who loved him at night.” However, as the song continues, the listener soon realizes that the two women were, in fact, responsible for the man’s death. The song missed the number one spot, but still remains one of Underwood’s most classic songs.
“Cry Pretty” — From Cry Pretty
Carrie Underwood’s 2018 single “Cry Pretty” was the first song she released since her fall in 2017, which resulted in more than 40 stitches in her face and a broken wrist. The song is one of Underwood’s most vulnerable, as she sings about how she can’t always “cry pretty” or wear a smiling face all the time. Underwood performed the song at the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards in 2018, which was her first public appearance since the accident. A standing ovation followed the performance.
“Love Wins” — From Cry Pretty
Underwood followed “Cry Pretty” with another emotional tune, “Love Wins.” The song touches on the divisiveness of the world today and calls for people to come together and simply love one another. In the soaring chorus, Underwood sings, “I, I believe you and I are sisters and brothers / And I, I believe we’re meant to be here for each other / And we’ll never fall if we walk hand in hand / Put a world that seems broken together again / Yeah I, I believe in the end love wins.” While this song didn’t hit the number one spot, it received positive critical reviews and sent a strong message of unity.