Carrie Underwood took the ACM Awards to church on Sunday night, performing a medley of songs from her new gospel album, My Savior, with special guest CeCe Winans. On stage at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Underwood began the performance solo, giving an acapella rendition of "Amazing Grace."
After her band began to play, Underwood moved on to "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," singing the first verse and chorus of the hymn before introducing "the legendary CeCe Winans," who joined her on stage to finish out the song. Next was "The Old Rugged Cross," which brought a gospel choir out to sing with Underwood and Winans as the background behind the performers changed to an image of stained glass windows. After Winans left the stage, Underwood concluded the medley with a ceiling-shattering rendition of "How Great Thou Art" with the choir.
Winans appears on "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" on My Savior and recently performed the song with Underwood during the Oklahoma native's Easter Sunday livestream concert at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, giving Underwood her ninth consecutive album to debut in the top spot on the chart, a record for any country artist. My Savior also arrived at No. 1 on Billboard's all-genre 200 chart and the Top Christian Albums chart.
Speaking to GRAMMY.com, Underwood called her latest album "legacy music." "Legacy music is how I like to think of it," she said. "I love all the songs and all the albums that I have ever made and I have a special connection with each one. But I feel like this is the real stuff, the heart stuff, the soul stuff."
"I've been singing my whole life, even before I knew that this [was] going to be what I do," she added of the times she feels most connected to her faith. "I'm a bird. I sing. It's what I do. When I sing songs like this, I definitely feel connected. With the Christmas album [My Gift], too. I loved getting to be in the studio and sing in more intimate settings, because when there [are] people in front of you, you're worried about, 'What do they see? What do they hear? Are they happy? Do they like it?' You want to put on a good show. But in the studio there's nobody else there, it's just me and God in the room, and I get to just sing to Jesus."