Country artists interpreting pop and classic-rock songs is nothing new. Jason Aldean has regularly covered Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” in concert, and just last night on the iHeartRadio Music Festival broadcast, Zac Brown Band played Queen’s opus “Bohemian Rhapsody.” But few can sing those radio staples quite like Carrie Underwood. This past weekend in New York City, the CMA Awards co-host wrapped her voice around R.E.M.‘s seminal sad song “Everybody Hurts” at a special poverty benefit.
Underwood did her best Michael Stipe onstage during the Global Citizen Festival, a multi-art concert featuring Jay Z, Beyonce and No Doubt held Saturday in Central Park. A 1993 single from R.E.M.’s Automatic for the People album, “Everybody Hurts” was transformed into a contemporary country showstopper in the hands of the singer, who announced earlier this month that she and her NHL husband Mike Fisher are expecting her first child.
This Monday also saw the release of Underwood’s latest single, “Something in the Water.” A new track on her upcoming Greatest Hits: Decade #1 compilation, the song is an empowering anthem with hints of the spirituality that defined Underwood’s Number One “Jesus, Take the Wheel.”
The defunct R.E.M., meanwhile, are set to release the six-disc DVD box set REMTV on November 24th. Documenting some of their most iconic television appearances on MTV and elsewhere, the set features both of R.E.M.’s Unplugged appearances. (No word on whether they’ll reunite to return Underwood’s favor by recording “Cowboy Casanova.”)