Carrie Underwood Snubbed at Grammys Despite 'Denim & Rhinestones' Release

Carrie Underwood may have won just about every country music award in existence, but she does not have a strong track record at the Grammys. Her win for Best Roots Gospel Album last year was her first victory at the Grammys since 2015. Her latest album, Denim & Rhinestones, was not nominated in any of the country categories at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards, giving her fans little reason to tune in Sunday night.

Denim & Rhinestones was released on June 10, 2022, and was her first album made up of completely original songs since Cry Pretty in 2018. It was eligible for the 65th Grammys, as it was released between Oct. 1, 2021, and Sept. 30, 2022. However, the Grammys only have four country-specific categories, and they were dominated by new releases from Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, Willie Nelson, Miranda Lambert, and Luke Combs. It's tough to earn love from the Recording Academy voters when they have a chance to honor Nelson.

This year's nominees for Best Country Album are Growin' Up (Combs); Palomino (Lambert); Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville (Ashley McBryde); Humble Quest (Morris); and A Beautiful Time (Nelson). The Best Country Song nominees are "Circles Around This Yown" (Morris); "Doin' This" (Combs); "I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor's Version) (From the Vault)" (Taylor Swift and Chris Stapleton); "If I Was a Cowboy" (Lambert); "I'll Love You Till The Day I Die" (Nelson); and "'Till You Can't" (Cody Johnson).

Underwood has eight Grammy wins and 16 nominations. In 2007, she made history as just the second country artist to win Best New Artist and the first since LeAnn Rimes in 1997. She won in the since-retired Best Female Country Vocal Performance category three times, for "Jesus, Take the Wheel" (2007), "Before He Cheats" (2008). and "Last Name" (2009). In 2010, she shared Best Country Collaboration with Vocals with Randy Travis for "I Told You So." She also won Best Country Solo Performance for "Blown Away" (2013) and "Something in the Water" (2015). Her most recent victory was for Best Roots Gospel Album thanks to My Savior. It was her first nomination and win outside the country categories since she won Best New Artist.

"I love to sing, and I've always taken pride in the work I've put in on my vocals," Underwood told Rolling Stone last year. "I do want to sound good. Growing up and going to concerts or seeing my favorite artists on TV, if they didn't sound like they were supposed to sound, it was always so deflating. I'd lose respect for them. Or when I'd go to a concert and hear them drop keys, I was like, 'You can't hit the notes! Why'd you record them if you can't sing them?' That stuff is important to me."

Although Denim & Rhinestones did not click with Grammys voters, Underwood's fans loved it and it earned mostly positive reviews from critics. The album debuted at Number 10 on the Billboard 200 album chart and Number 2 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart. The singles "Ghost Story" and "Hate My Heart" also became new county hits.

Underwood also began a successful tour to promote the record, which likely would have prevented her from attending the Grammys even if she was nominated. She is performing at VyStar Veterans Memorial Stadium on Monday in Jacksonville, Florida, and at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on Tuesday. The tour ends on March 17 at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle. Jimmie Allen has been Underwood's opening act for the entire tour.

The 65th Annual Grammy Awards kick off live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET from Arena in Los Angeles. The show will also stream live on Paramount+. Comedian Trevor Noah is back as host. Beyonce is the most-nominated artist with nine.