The Game-Changing Message Carrie Underwood Had for Ty Herndon

Was His Mountain Just a Grain of Sand After All?

The music business has not always been kind to Ty Herndon.

He’d made his 1995 debut in a massive way, with an immediate hit right out of the gate, “What Mattered Most.” The hits kept coming, with eight top 20 songs in just four years. Herndon kept on making music — really, really solid songs — but country radio didn’t give him much love.

That’s how the story ended for so many artists who rose to fame in the late 90s. But fortunately for diehard Herndon fans, Carrie Underwood had a message for Herndon right when he needed it most: after he’d left Nashville and was thinking about a pretty drastic career pivot.

“After I moved back home from Los Angeles to Nashville, I had not made a record for almost a decade,” Herndon recalled. “I was having a tough time deciding whether or not I wanted to stay in a business that I loved so much.

“I was in my truck on my way to a real estate class when I heard Carrie Underwood sing a song that changed the game for me.”

That song that came on the radio was Underwood’s 2007 hit “So Small.”

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