NBC’s Sunday Night Football is going to have a new look for the 2019 season as country music star Carrie Underwood will bring in rock star Joan Jett for an all-new show opener. Underwood and Jett will perform a new rendition of “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night,” which was the first song for Sunday Night Football in 2006. This move was made on the heels of Underwood and NBC being hit a lawsuit concerning the song they used last season.
“I have always been a huge fan of Joan’s, and I’m thrilled that she’s joining us for the Sunday Night Football open,” Underwood said in a press release. “What better way to pay homage to the original SNF opening song than by getting to play with her on prime time’s biggest stage?”
Fred Gaudell, the executive producer for Sunday Night Football, said this was all Underwood’s idea.
“When Carrie brought us this idea, we immediately embraced it as a terrific way to evolve the performance, while also celebrating the song we used in our first 10 seasons of SNF,” Gaudelli said. “We were excited when Joan agreed to join us, and we can’t wait to debut the finished product.”
A sneak preview of the SNF show open will air this Sunday during halftime of the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers game on NBC. It was also announced the opener was filmed inside an NFL stadium for the first time in 14 years. The crew filmed the opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium which is the home of the Atlanta Falcons.
Last year, Underwood performed the song “Game On” for SNF and that led to singer Heidi Merrill and three other songwriters suing Underwood and NBC for plagiarizing. Merill also has a song called “Game On” and she claims that Underwood stole the song from her.
"This is a blatant attempt by a celebrity singer to rip off other artists' work, and it won't be tolerated," Merrill's attorney, Sam P. Israel, said in a statement to CNN. "It's indefensible to steal music created by hard-working songwriters and then broadcast that theft on national television."
Underwood is a seven-time Grammy winner and she has sold 64 million records worldwide. Jett is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee who is known for hits such as “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” and “I Hate Myself for Loving You.”