Country star Carrie Underwood is taking over for Faith Hill to sing NBC’s Sunday Night Football theme song. The six-time Grammy winner and American Idol alum will perform “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night,” an adaptation of Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” live on September 8th at the network’s NFL season opener, when the Dallas Cowboys play the New York Giants.
“Musically, it’s our first step,” Underwood said during a press conference yesterday. “We definitely wanted to make it sound different and sound like me. Faith put her stamp on it for a long time and did such a wonderful job and it was totally Faith; she owned it. We wanted to be mindful of that and go in and change things up a little bit. So they’re actually going to be recording that here pretty soon, and then I’ll be able to go in to the studio and do what I do. And then everything after that visually, we’ll lock in. We have to get the song first. It’s the same song, same lyrics, but it’s going to be with my flair.”
Underwood added that she’ll look for some help from Hill. “The CMA Music Festival is coming up pretty soon so I’m sure I’ll get some pointers from her,” Underwood said. “She knows all the ins and outs so she can help a girl out.
“I had a long time to watch Faith be so amazing at it and bring such an energy to the event every Sunday night,” Underwood said. “So for me, to have that opportunity to follow in her footsteps and do something really cool like that, it sounded like fun. And like I said, this is something that’s been a part of our household for awhile now and to be a part of that is exciting. I can’t wait.”
That household includes NHL star Mike Fisher of the Nashville Predators. “He’s excited,” Underwood said. “He’s a sports dude. Yes, he plays hockey but he definitely loves football, as do I. He’s really excited. He’s got a lot of friends that play for different teams and I think me being a part of that with them and with a sport that he loves, I think it’ll just make it all the more better for him.”
According to “Sunday Night Football” producer Fred Gaudelli, Hill called in February and said it was time to “pass the torch” and let someone else “rock the open.” Pink performed the theme song the first season in 2006; Faith Hill has performed it every season since. Gaudelli said Underwood was the network’s first and only choice.
“I really only had one person in my sight and that was Carrie,” Gaudelli said. “Interestingly, back in 2006, when we got the package, Carrie was in my sights back then, too, and the stars didn’t align that time. But fortunately, this time they did. She’s the only person I spoke to about this.”
Underwood’s 112-date Blown Away Tour wraps on May 23rd.