“American Idol” season four winner Carrie Underwood returned home to the rebooted version of the reality singing competition that launched her iconic career on May 13 to deliver a stunning performance of her new single, “Cry Pretty.” Before she hit the stage to sing her emotional new track and her Billboard Hot Country Songs Top 10 hit “See You Again,” Underwood mentored Season 16’s Top 5 “Idol” contenders at Nashville’s world-renowned singer-songwriters’ venue, the Bluebird Café. A fun montage showed Top 5 finalists Gabby Barrett, Cade Foehner, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Maddie Poppe and Michael J. Woodard soaking up the country superstar’s sage advice. (See the clip below).
This season’s crop of talented “American Idol” contestants were understandably a little star struck by their encounter with Underwood, whose massively successful music career born out of her own “Idol” win arguably bears an element of a fairytale dream-come-true. Hutchinson gushed, “I kinda had a heart attack meeting her” and the general consensus among the hopefuls was that she’s “amazing,” “so nice,” and “pretty.”
Underwood’s list of music honors includes seven Grammy Award wins, 10 Billboard Music Awards, 14 ACM Awards, 8 CMA Awards, and a Guinness World Record. She’s received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is a member of country music’s legendary Grand Ole Opry. She won her most recent ACM Award for Vocal Event of the Year for her fun and romantic duet single with her friend and former "Idol" judge, Keith Urban. Her staggering achievements offer one of the best and brightest examples of how a platform like “American Idol” can give an otherwise unknown, talented singer-songwriter a chance at forging a successful music career.
The Top 5 “American Idol” finalists performed “See You Again” with her in the special Underwood-Mother’s Day-themed “Idol” show-opening number. They each performed one of Underwood’s songs during the episode and the country superstar delivered a dazzling performance of her raw and emotional song “Cry Pretty.” (Watch her performance above). “Cry Pretty” is the title track of Underwood’s upcoming sixth studio album, which is slated for a Sept. 14 release. Stay tuned to AXS for Carrie Underwood news and updates.