Carrie Underwood to Return to 'American Idol' as Guest Mentor

Carrie Underwood is returning to the show that made her famous. The country music superstar will return to American Idol on Sunday, May 13, to serve as a guest mentor.

The Top 5 contestants: Gabby Barrett, Cade Foehner, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Maddie Poppe and Michael J. Woodard will each sing an Underwood song, after receiving a surprise mentoring session with Underwood during a surprise trip to Nashville. The singer will also perform her latest single, "Cry Pretty," after showing a clip of the video during the May 6 episode of Idol.

Underwood wrote "Cry Pretty" with Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose (who together make up the Love Junkies), the title track from her upcoming new album, out September 14.

“Hillary came in with the title and a few lines and we all just loved it,” Underwood recalls. “I mean we’re all women in different places in our lives and kind of have all lived different lives and from different places, but we all love music and we all love sharing our heart in our music. Off we went.

"I left that day so excited and feeling so good about and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, as an artist and also as a producer," she continues. "So, it’s come a long way since the day we wrote it, but it’s something I’m very proud of.”

Cry Pretty marks the first time Underwood is serving as co-producer of the album, sharing the duties with David Garcia.

"I’ve been so lucky with all of my other projects just been surrounded by people that very much wanted my opinion creatively in every aspect and they’ve listened to what I wanted, because at the end of the day it’s my name, it’s my music," explains the singer. "So, I’ve been very lucky, and it just seemed to be the next step to kind of take even more ownership over my music and my art and be a producer on the album."

"[Garcia is] an incredible songwriter and producer, and I’ve learned so much through working with him," she continues. "So, it’s been a wonderful process and it’s given me something, another step creatively to take that I’m very proud of.”

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American Idol airs on Sunday nights at 8:00 PM ET on ABC. Download "Cry Pretty" on iTunes.

Photo Credit: Instagram/carrieunderwood