Ten Prime Carrie Underwood Hits

"Jesus, Take the Wheel," "Before He Cheats," "Undo It" Among Most Popular Songs

Carrie Underwood keeps all of us on our toes at CMT.com. From the moment she won American Idol in 2005, her singing career has hit the fast track with prestigious awards, multi-platinum albums, TV specials, magazine covers and a Grand Ole Opry invitation. It’s not just a dream — this glamorous newlywed is officially everywhere. CMT.com staff members Stephanie Pendergrass, Chris Parton, Calvin Gilbert, Craig Shelburne and Whitney Self hopped off the carnival ride just long enough to gather 10 prime songs from the all-American girl. Play on.

“Cowboy Casanova” — “Whoa, here she comes …” Whenever I hear “Cowboy Casanova” I always think it’s the female answer to Hall & Oates’ 1982 hit, “Maneater.” On a mission to protect the fairer sex, she issues a warning you can’t help but sing along to, all the while finding the perfect balance of country and rock. Following the release of heartfelt singles “I Told You So” and “Just a Dream,” it’s refreshing to see this superstar shifting to her edgy side. — SP

“Before He Cheats” — Simply put, “Before He Cheats” showed fans that Underwood could be much more than America’s sweetheart. She’s got a feisty side a mile wide, too. And one that’s so irresistible that girls and guys both love its attitude. Getting men to enjoy a song about an angry flame shredding a truck is an achievement on its own, but this song’s crossover popularity catapulted her to phenomenon status. And the world may never know how many vehicles were (deservedly) destroyed as a result. — CP

“Don’t Forget to Remember Me” — Leaving home to live on your own is a landmark moment in anyone’s life, even when you’ve got strong support from a loving family. In fact, in many ways, it’s probably a much more emotional experience when it finally sinks in that you’ll no longer be able to see your loved ones on a daily basis. “Don’t Forget to Remember Me” manages to convey bittersweet emotions without becoming saccharine. — CG

“I Told You So”Randy Travis and I agree that his traditional country ballad suits her voice beautifully. Even though it was a No. 1 hit for Travis in 1988, the song had become overshadowed by his other classics, but now there’s no way either of them can play a show without singing it. I’d like to hear this at the Opry, no matter which entertainer is on stage. Preferably together, though. — CS

“Jesus, Take the Wheel” — Regardless of your religious beliefs, we all experience times we feel like our lives are spinning out of control. That feeling can last for a split second or indefinitely. Songwriters Brett James, Gordie Sampson and Hillary Lindsey fashioned the lyrics around a car careening on a treacherous road, creating a universal metaphor. Sure, another singer might have recorded the song and maybe scored a hit, but Underwood’s performance is absolutely perfect. — CG

“Last Name” — Everyone knows this song as the one where she gets married on accident (Oops!), but her soaring voice should be the focal point. Combined with a playful and imaginative plot, her vocals keep you hanging on every word as she connects the dots on a night of alcohol-fueled debauchery. When the hook finally sinks in toward the end, the note she hits seems like it could break glass. But then, I might sound the same way if I learned that what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. — CP

“So Small” — Life is filled with difficulties everyone must experience and eventually move past. This is how life lessons are created and, as she sings, become a “grain of sand” in time. Tribulations may be a part of life. But luckily, so is love. There’s not a person out there, young or old, who can’t relate to these lyrics. — WS

“Temporary Home” — At first I considered this song too sappy, but when I heard her perform it live, the enthusiastic audience reaction made me reconsider. Too often, sentimental ballads like this can clobber you over the head with vocal theatrics and preachy lyrics, but Underwood wisely lets these stories unfold without telling you what to believe. Still, I believe she nails this one. — CS

“Undo It” — Almost like a follow-up to “Before He Cheats” or “Cowboy Casanova,” she’s wicked mad and seeking vengeance. In this spicy song, Underwood breaks all the rules as she refuses to let another man make her cry or steal her happy. Amen, sister. — WS

“Wasted” — The ambitious melody is the first thing that grabbed me. If you ever try to sing along, you’ll quickly realize that it takes an incredible singer to pull it off. (“Wake up one day and fiiiiind…”) As a long-term thinker, the undaunted lyrics resonate with me, too. And by the way, she wasted no time becoming a country star, did she? — CS