Carrie Underwood's 12 Most Dynamic Awards Show Performances
The country star's Vegas tribute at the CMAs is far from the only one.
Whether she's belting the highest note or strutting her stuff in her sassiest pair of stilettos, Carrie Underwood has more than proven that she knows how to rule a stage. The country music superstar -- who first rocked her way into our hearts in 2005 when she snatched the American Idol crown -- has performed at dozens of awards shows since her emergence on the country music circuit over a decade ago.
At this year's CMAs on Wednesday night (Nov. 8), which she hosted alongside longtime friend Brad Paisley (for the 10th consecutive time), Underwood performed a moving tribute for the show's "In Memoriam" segment. However, this one was extra heartbreaking: Along with honoring the country music figures lost in the last year, the moving moment honored the victims of the mass shooting at Route 91 Harvest country music festival -- and now it's all those who watched Underwood's performance can talk about.
Following Underwood's latest dynamic awards show moment, we've put together some of the country superstar's most entertaining, most unexpected and most moving awards show performances. Every time she takes the stage is special, but these performances set her apart as one of the most talented and versatile country singers on the scene today.
2006 Grammys: "Desperado"
In her first awards show tribute performance since her Idol victory, Underwood took the Grammy stage in 2006 to honor Don Henley of the Eagles with a classically Carrie rendition of their well-known hit "Desperado." Her ability to nail notes on both ends of her register were a quick reminder of why she won the Idol title.
2006 ACMs: "Jesus Take the Wheel"
Underwood has been open about her Christian faith throughout her entire career, so it's no surprise that one of her breakout hits was titled "Jesus, Take the Wheel." In this captivating performance at the 2006 ACMs, Underwood's vocal talents and her faith were proudly on display.
2009 ACMs: "I Told You So"
It seems as though Underwood has grown up before our eyes, growing into the woman we now know from the young Oklahoma debutante we first met a decade ago. Wearing a flowing deep red gown and performing her rendition of Randy Travis's 1988 single "I Told You So" -- which she performed during a return to Idol, with Travis himself -- Underwood showed everyone that she was maturing into one of country music's biggest starlets.
2009 AMAs: "Cowboy Casanova"
Many times female country singers are pigeonholed into fitting one "female country singer" mold, and discouraged from straying from that style. Not Carrie Underwood, though: she's been known to rock out a few times...
2011 ACMs: "Undo It/Walk This Way" (With Steven Tyler)
...Most notably in this performance with legendary Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler for their biggest hit, "Walk This Way." Sporting a glittery girl rocker getup, Underwood opens with her 2009 single "Undo It" before being joined by Tyler, who sings along with her before they launch into "Walk This Way."
2013 Grammys: "Blown Away/Two Black Cadillacs"
For her performance at the 2013 Grammys, Underwood wears what seems to be a simple flowing white dress. As she transitions from "Blown Away" to "Two Black Cadillacs," different designs and colors are projected onto her dress, rendering her body into a human screen.
2013 CMT Awards: "See You Again"
With a freshly cut wavy blonde bob, Underwood took the 2013 CMTs to church by performing her heartfelt song with a choir of robed backup singers.
2013 CMAs: "Blown Away Medley"
Underwood once again performed a medley of "Blown Away" and "Two Black Cadillacs" at the 2013 CMAs; the difference is, she's ditched the regal white gown for a short navy romper -- and an edgier attitude, to boot.
2014 BBMAs: "Something Bad" (With Miranda Lambert)
At the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, Underwood teamed up with fellow country blonde Miranda Lambert to perform their duet, "Something Bad." Seeing two girls rock out the way they did brings to mind the '80s sister rocker duo Heart.
2014 CMAs: "Something In the Water"
Country singers aren't exactly always known for having the most robust pipes. Underwood distinguishes herself from lots of other country singers with her vocal acrobatics that characterize performances like "Something In the Water" at the 2014 CMAs. She nails every single high note, giving many singers who are known for belting a run for their money.
2016 ACMs: "Church Bells"
Underwood rarely (if ever) plays any instruments on stage, so it was especially interesting to see her whack some big silver drums during her performance of "Church Bells" at the 2016 ACMs. It seems as though her rockstar spirit is always present, manifesting itself in different ways in a number of different performances.
2017 CMAs: "Softly and Tenderly"
In her tribute to those lost in the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas -- one of the country's biggest country festivals -- Underwood stunned the entire CMAs audience (and everyone else watching) with her rendition of the Christian hymn "Softly and Tenderly." Underwood struggles to make it through the song, getting choked up and teary midway through her performance. Her vocal power through a heart-wrenching performance is a testament to Underwood's talent and fortitude as a performer.