Carrie Underwood wins the unofficial award for toughest band at Wednesday’s (Nov. 2) CMA Awards.
When it was her turn to sing “Dirty Laundry,” she brought a laundry list of female names onstage with her. They are rising trio Runaway June, drummer Elizabeth Chan, singers Lindi Ortega and Rachel Loy; and guitar slingers Lindsay Ell and Orianthi.
“We just really wanted to have just a lot of women onstage, gorgeous, strong, talented, amazing women because I feel like our country format could use some more,” she said in the backstage pressroom. “I called up some friends and asked if they might come and be part of it. It was just amazing to have beautiful and talented strong women doing what they do.”
It’s safe to say Underwood had the most collaborations that night. She shared the stage with legends in the night’s powerful opening number. Then in their opening monologue, she and Brad Paisley ripped on the election in a hilarious version of Randy Travis’ “Forever and Ever, Amen,” and they serenaded Peyton Manning with their own spin on the melody from the Nationwide Insurance commercials. Later in the evening, she joined Reba McEntire, Martin McBride, Kacey Musgraves and Jennifer Nettles.
“It’s all the rise of country music,” she said. “There are so many different artists that are influenced by different people that are contributing to that. So, I mean, having more people who don’t necessarily listen to country music tune in, that just shows how great the music is.”