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Carrie Underwood’s 11 Greatest Eighties Covers

From Guns N’ Roses classics to Bryan Adams’ nostalgic anthem

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood has covered a number of Eighties hits in her career, including songs by Guns N' Roses and INXS.

Burak Cingi/Redferns

Carrie Underwood was a teenage metalhead. Hair metal, that is. Growing up in small-town Oklahoma, the future country titan developed a love for singers like Sebastian Bach and Axl Rose, whose elastic voices left a permanent impression. “It was people like [Rose] who taught me how to sing,” she said last year, tipping her hat to an artist whose songs she’s been covering since 2006. Here, we round up 11 of Underwood’s best Eighties covers, from Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home” and INXS’ “Never Tear Us Apart” to nearly half of Guns N’ Roses’ greatest hits.

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“November Rain” (Guns N’ Roses)

Sandwiched between “So Small” and “Before He Cheats,” this Use Your Illusion power ballad helped bring most of Underwood’s shows to a close during 2008, a year largely spent on the road in support of Carnival Ride. With an acoustic guitar taking the place of Axl Rose’s upright piano, Underwood keeps the arrangement sparse until the final two minutes, where she and her band kick into a snippet of “Paradise City.”

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“Voices Carry” (‘Til Tuesday)

While headlining the Delaware State Fair in July 2008, Underwood — who, with just two albums under her belt, was still a bit hard-pressed to fill long sets with nothing but her own music — turned to a young Aimee Mann for help. Her version of 'Til Tuesday's "Voices Carry" feels like a big-budget Hollywood remake of an indie film, with Underwood extending the high notes in the chorus by several seconds.

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“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (Stevie Nicks)

Underwood was still promoting Carnival Ride when she joined Keith Urban for a cross-country tour in early 2008. Although technically the opening act, she returned to the stage every night during the middle of Urban's set, joining the headliner for a performance of the Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty duet "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around." The pair will hit the road together later this year, too, wrapping up 2016 with a tour of Australian venues.

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“Paradise City” (Guns N’ Roses)

With a snake dance that would make Axl proud — and a spot-on whistle shriek during the song’s intro — Underwood sank her teeth into “Paradise City” during a short, four-tune set at the 2013 CMA Festival. It was one of her biggest crowds of the year, with Underwood playing to a sold-out audience inside the Tennessee Titans’ hometown stadium.

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