Carrie Underwood made her first public appearance on Sunday at the ACM Awards since her injury in November caused her to get 40 stitches on her face.
Underwood earned a massive ovation from fans at the MGM Grand and watching along at home as she performed her new single "Cry Pretty." And while she appeared poised and confident while onstage, a source close to the Nashville singer told PEOPLE on Monday that she was incredibly fearful of people noticing her scars.
"She ended up skipping the red carpet because she didn't want to be bombarded with questions about the accident," the insider said. "It's the most shaken anyone has ever seen her ... this whole ordeal. She was terrified of people seeing the scars."
The source added, "Her hair and makeup team must've been under so much pressure."
Underwood had been playing it safe for several months after the accident, hiding the half of her face that had the stitches in multiple Instagram photos and videos up until early April.
"There is also another part of the story that I haven't been ready to talk about since I have still been living it and there has been much uncertainty as to how things will end up," the 35-year-old wrote in a January fan club letter, according to Entertainment Tonight. "It's crazy how a freak random accident can change your life."
Underwood told fans back on Thursday she couldn't wait to get back on stage and perform.
"I am super excited to perform 'Cry Pretty' on the ACMs," Underwood said. "I'll definitely admit that I'm a little bit nervous too, just because it's something that we've been working on and it's kinda like that week, it's gonna be like, 'Here's the single. Here it is. I hope you like it. Now I'm gonna perform it a few days later.'
"I just really hope — I know fans seem to be really excited because we've been kind of hinting at things to come, and I just want to go out there and just lay it all out there, and hopefully just set up the rest of the album and I just hope people are into it."
The single was written by Underwood alongside Hilary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose. Underwood previously described the song as raw and emotional.
"The title refers to when emotions take over and you just can't hold them back. 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!" Underwood said.