Carrie Underwood has released her first solo radio single since 2016's "Dirty Laundry." "Cry Pretty" arrived Wednesday morning after a week of build-up from the country star, who teased photos from the studio and posted a lengthy note to her fan club.
Underwood co-wrote the song with Hillary Lindsey, Liz Rose and Lori McKenna. "The title refers to when emotions take over and you just can't hold them back," Underwood said in her letter to fans. "It really speaks to a lot of things that have happened in the past year and I hope when you hear it, you can relate those feelings to those times in your life. It's emotional. It's real. And it ROCKS!"
The galvanic ballad is about perseverance and vulnerability. "Falling apart is as human as it gets," Underwood sings with gravitas. "You can't hide it, can't fight what the truth is/ You can pretty lie and say it's okay/ You can pretty smile and just walk away/ Pretty much make your way through anything/ But you can't cry pretty."
The singer, who suffered a serious fall at home in November that required surgery to her wrist and more than 40 stitches to her face, will give the live debut of "Cry Pretty" during Sunday's ACM Awards, where she's nominated in two categories. In her post to her fan club, Underwood said a new album is on the way and revealed that planning for a tour is in the works.
Underwood's last new music was January's "The Champion," an anthem written for the Super Bowl that featured guest vocals from Ludacris.