I am so grateful for friends and acquaintances who alert me to women and songs I had either not known, or just never considered. One such woman is Carrie Underwood. I certainly followed her on American Idol’s 2005 season. She was so good, even curmudgeonly judge Simon Cowell accurately predicted she would win and outsell all other winners and he did it when there were still eleven contestants in the race. Carrie was born in 1983 in Muskogee, and raised in Checotah, Oklahoma. Though she sang at her church, the First Free Will Baptist Church, and also for local events, she didn’t pursue singing after high school. Instead, she went to Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in mass communications. But before she graduated, the singing bug got her again and she auditioned for American Idol in St. Louis, MO. When she went on, she handily won every week. After winning the competition, she went on to a stellar singing career. Rolling Stone recognized her as the female vocalist of her generation in any genre. She is the only solo country artist this century to have a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and the only country artist to debut at number one on the Hot 100. She had the most number one hits on the Billboard Hot Country songs chart, with 14 songs. Her debut album, Some Hearts, was number one and earned 14 platinum records. Her subsequent albums have followed with similar success. Among her many honors, she has seven Grammys.
This week, my church baptized a number of people, so Carrie’s song is timely. “Something In the Water” was released in 2014 as the lead single in her album, Greatest Hits: Decade #1. In February 2015, the song won her Grammy number seven for best country solo performance. Carrie wrote the song with Chris DeStefano and Brett James. James reported that when he arrived for a writing session at her cabin, she and DeStafano already had a track ready. Underwood suggested “Something in the Water” as a title, and they wrote the song about someone whose life changes from dead-end into strength and joy after baptism. The music video of the song premiered in November 2014 during the annual CMA Awards. The song was well reviewed in many media outlets. Rolling Stone called it a spiritual heartstring-tugger. As with so many of her songs, this one reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs. Her award winning video can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH9kYn4L8TI