Carrie Underwood Reflects on Relationship With Late Gospel Singer Deborah McCrary in Touching Post

by Lauren Boisvert

Carrie Underwood recently shared words of remembrance and support for the late Deborah McCrary and her family via social media. McCrary passed on June 1 at age 67, according to her family.

“I want to take a moment to honor Deborah McCrary…I was blessed to have worked with her on so many occasions,” Underwood wrote on Instagram. “She was always kind … always professional … the anchor in whatever it was we were singing. I know she will be missed by so, so many … Prayers for Deborah’s family and friends. See you again someday.”

Deborah McCrary was part of the gospel group The McCrary Sisters with her three sisters, Ann, Regina, and Alfreda. Deborah was the second oldest sister of the four, and was a nurse before becoming a professional gospel singer. The McCrary Sisters worked solo and with artists across a wide range of genres. Along with Carrie Underwood, they sang with other stars like Maren Morris, Allison Russell, Margo Price, Chris Stapleton, Gregg Allman, and Sheryl Crow, among others.

The group has long been associated with Americana, R&B, blues, and gospel music, and are members of the Americana Honors & Awards house band. For Carrie Underwood, they provided backing vocals on her song “Choctaw County Affair” from the album Storyteller. The group’s father was also prominent in the Americana and gospel scene, alongside being a hometown preacher. Reverend Sam McCrary was a founding member of the Fairfield Four before he passed in 1991. The group is best known for their work on the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack.

Carrie Underwood Remembers Deborah McCrary After Her Death, Plus How McCrary Turned to Faith After 2013 Stroke

In 2013, Deborah McCrary suffered a stroke, which could have severely impacted her musical career. But, just six months after recovering, she was on stage with her sisters again. She recalled the experience in conversation with the Grand Ole Opry, saying, “When I had my stroke, I remembered that God does things for a reason. That’s where I was supposed to be, with my sisters by my side. I thank God for my sisters because they’ve helped me in a lot of ways, and that whole experience gave me a deeper understanding of just how much I love being with them.”

The sisters have always been about love and supporting each other, especially in their music. As Regina McCrary said to the Opry at the time, “If there’s a song that has a message that’s about loving and supporting and caring and reaching out, I’m in. Any song that has a message about love and happiness and joy and peace, you’ve got me. That goes not only for the four sisters, but for our whole family. We love singing songs that will inspire and encourage and help motivate people to find their way and get to the light. That’s what this is all about.”