Runaway June Call Opening for Carrie Underwood a 'Huge, Monumental Moment'

Runaway June will hit the road next year to open for Carrie Underwood on her Cry Pretty Tour 360. The trio, made up of Jennifer Wayne, Naomi Cooke and Hannah Mulholland, still can't believe that the artist they've looked up to for so many years invited them to join her on tour.

"I cried," Cooke tells upon receiving the invitation. "It's a huge, monumental moment. And all of us we couldn't be more grateful. It's a really, really incredible opportunity.

"I wonder if Carrie knows how much this is changing our lives," adds Wayne. "It's crazy. I'm tearing up even thinking about it. I wonder if she even knows how much of an impact she's having on us right now. She's our idol."

Underwood's belief in their music, enough to want to spend months having them take the stage before her, is proof that Runaway June's years of hard work is paying off.

"I think everyone in our business, anyone who's touring, really anybody in this format they work so hard," Cooke acknowledges. "This is a really, really hardworking format. Everybody tours really hard; they put a lot of their heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears into their music and art. We've been working really hard on the road.

"This isn't little, this is not a little thing, but it does feel surreal," she continues. "But every little thing that we get is a win and every big thing like this feels like a catapult. My God, we need to hold on, this is going to be a crazy, crazy ride. But it does feel dreamlike, all of this does."

Runaway June spent the last two years on the road, playing their own shows as well as opening for artists like Garth Brooks, Jon Pardi, Alan Jackson and more, all while working on their upcoming new album. As exhausting as life can be for rising acts like Runaway June, they are, always, grateful to watch their dreams come true before their eyes.

"Even sometimes when we go to bus call, I'll pull up and it'll be late and we'll be tired and we just got in from a flight earlier that day and we have bus call at midnight," reflects Cooke. "I'll pull up and I'll see our crew, our little crew loading everything up and I just take that in every time. 'Wow, we have a bus and we have a crew and all these guys are in this dream with us.'

"I remember dreaming of that day, of having a bus, period, having a band, and now we have a little crew on the road," she remarks. "It's just every day, there's those moments but this has definitely been one that's been hard to sink in because it's so big."

More than the chance to introduce themselves to new people, as well as connect with their loyal fans, the threesome are looking forward to gleaning all that they can from their tour boss.

"Usually the first thing I think about is I can't wait to learn from her and watch her perform," Mulholland maintains. "But also I think off stage she's so wonderful – she's a mom, she's a wife, she is so supportive of other artists. I think she's just someone that's going to inspire us in so many different ways, not just on stage, as a person. I really, really look up to her and can't wait to get to know the person better."


Maddie & Tae will also join Underwood on tour next year. Runaway June's self-titled debut EP will be out on September 7. Find a list of all of their upcoming shows, including their Cry Pretty Tour 360 shows, at

Photo Credit: Getty images/Rick Diamond