Carrie Underwood was made an official Grand Ole Opry member in 2008, after a surprise invitation from Randy Travis, and earlier this month, she returned to the venerable stage for a performance during the Opry’s 90th Birthday Celebration. Backed by her band, Underwood played acoustic rhythm guitar as she sang current single “Smoke Break,” which she co-wrote with Hillary Lindsey and Chris DeStefano.
“This really truly is the best family in the world to be a part of. I am blessed beyond measure to get to stand on this stage and just be a part of a living history,” Underwood said prior to her performance. “I am so grateful for the Grand Ole Opry and just all of its members and all of the people who have graced its stage over the 90 years that it’s been here.”
With her Storyteller album release just days away, the health-conscious singer, who doesn’t smoke, might still be looking forward to a metaphorical “smoke break” — also known as a little downtime. On top of the album’s release comes a heavy schedule of promotional appearances on TV and elsewhere, culminating in her duties as co-host of next month’s CMA Awards with Brad Paisley.
“Smoke Break,” the first track released from the seven-time Grammy winner’s Storyteller, topped Billboard‘s Country Digital Songs chart and is currently Top Five on the country singles chart. She has since revealed additional tracks from what will be her fifth studio LP, including the edgy rocker “Renegade Runaway” and the sweet, album-closing “What I Never Knew I Always Wanted,” which Underwood penned (with Brett James and Hillary Lindsey) in honor of husband Mike Fisher and the couple’s son, Isaiah.
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Storyteller will be released on Friday, October 23rd.