The 2019 CMA Awards ceremony was one for the books, with Carrie Underwood helming the show with help from her two musical role models, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton. Underwood, who had hosted the show for 11 years before that, admits she is still emotional about the historic night, when women were, finally, front and center.
"I wanted that show for women," Underwood told Parade. "This is a time in country music where we are told no constantly, and it's not because there aren't incredible, talented women with amazing songs. I don't know what it is, but I scratch my head on this daily. I got to stand up there with Dolly and Reba and represent women in this genre throughout the decades. I was beyond proud and still emotional about it, and I didn't know where to go from there. It was like, mic drop."
Underwood announced after the 2019 CMA Awards that she would no longer host the ceremony, choosing to pass that responsibility on to someone else. But she is still a huge supporter of women and female artists, which she vows she will keep doing.
"I love strong women," Underwood noted. "In a lot of my songs, the woman has to be pushed to her limit. She fights back and overcomes. And I love that. Hopefully nobody has lived out many of my songs, and while I don't advocate for violence or destruction of property, we all have our own situations where we're just done—and we have the ability and the strength and the power to fight back."
Underwood had to draw on her own strength when making her latest album, Cry Pretty, which she wrote while recovering from the emotional and physical toll of three miscarriages.0comments
"The entire time I was making Cry Pretty, I was going through all of that," Underwood recounted. "For a year and a half plus, that was my world, and it felt like some secret I wasn't supposed to talk about. But that's what you do as a songwriter, you open your heart in the form of music and you talk about it. The response that I've received from women, it's helpful to know that you're not alone. That they've experienced the same things you have."
Photo Credit: Getty / Taylor Hill