Carrie Underwood is not done crying pretty. The country star announced on Wednesday (Apr. 18) that her sixth studio album — and debut for Capitol Records — Cry Pretty, will be released on Sept. 14. The title track and first single dropped on Apr. 11 and according to Capitol it was the most added song at country radio over the past week, topping the iTunes Top Songs charts in 12 countries and running up 1.3 million streams in the U.S. in its first two days of reporting.
“At this point in my career, I feel stronger and more creative than ever,” Underwood said in a statement announcing the album. “I think you can hear that in this new album. It’s emotional, it’s soulful, it’s real, and we also have some fun on there too. I hope everyone loves it as much as I have loved making it.”
Underwood co-wrote the moving lead single along with Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose (known collectively as The Love Junkies). The 35-year-old singer is co-producing the album with writer/producer David Garcia.
After staying out of the spotlight since a horrible fall at her home in November in which she broke her wrist and received more than 40 stitches in her face, the 35 year-old singer returned to the stage at Sunday night’s (Apr. 15) 2018 ACM Awards in Las Vegas. With silver tears painted beneath her eyes and a sparkling cocktail dress to match, Underwood belted her way through “Cry Pretty” before a rapt crowd. When she finished, she stepped back from the mic to take in the thunderous applause and receive her much-deserved standing ovation.
While Underwood hasn’t revealed more details about the album, the “Cry Pretty” single is seems like a strong preview of the emotional, soulful and real vibe she describes. “I’m sorry, but I’m just a girl/ Not usually the kind to show my heart to the world/ I’m pretty good at keeping it together/ I hold my composure, for worse or for better,” Underwood sings gently over a chugging guitar riff at the song’s outset. “You can’t pretty lie and says it’s okay/ You can’t pretty smile, and just walk/ Pretty much make your way through anything/ But you can’t cry… pretty,” she belts on the song’s explosive chorus.
Prior to the official announcement of the follow-up to 2015’s Storyteller, Underwood shared an update with fans in an open letter to her fan club website. “Physically, I’m doing pretty darn good these days!” Underwood wrote. “My wrist is almost back to normal, about 90% there…and the docs say that last 10% will come in time. And my face has been healing pretty nicely as well. I definitely feel more like myself than I have in a while.”
Along with the “silver lining” opportunity to spend quality time with husband Mike Fisher and son Isaiah, Underwood said she’s also had ample time for singing, collaborating with producers and of course, writing her sixth studio album. “The Champion” singer sounded very excited to share the “Cry Pretty” single with her fans.
“The title refers to when emotions take over and you just can’t hold them back,” Underwood wrote. “It really speaks to a lot of things that have happened in the past year and I hope when you hear it, you can relate those feelings to those times in your life. It’s emotional. It’s real. And it ROCKS!”
Watch the official Cry Pretty album trailer below.