Carrie Underwood No. 1 Hits: History of Her Chart-Topping Tracks

by Jacklyn Krol
carrie-underwood-no-1-hits-history-chart-topping-tracks

Carrie Underwood is no stranger to No. 1 singles for good reason. Discover all of her chart-topping hits, below.

The First Carrie Underwood No. 1: “Inside Your Heaven”

Underwood’s first No. 1 single was not long after her big American Idol win. It debuted at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart. Overall, it spent twelve weeks on the chart.  The track was written by Andreas Carlsson, Pelle Nylén, Savan Kotecha for Underwood and fellow American Idol alum and runner-up, Bo Bice.

  • Album: None
  • Year: 2005
  • RIAA: Gold
  • Standout lyric: “Take me to the place you cry from / Where the storm blows your way / I wanna be earth that holds you / Every bit of air you’re breathin’ in”

“Jesus Take The Wheel”

“Jesus Take The Wheel” is one of Underwood’s classic hits. It reached No. 1 on both the U.S. Country and Country Airplay charts along with Canada. Brett James, Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson wrote the song that has the narrator surrendering to Jesus when faced with a life and death emergency. This wasn’t the first time and won’t be the last in her career to feature her Christian faith.

  • Album: Some Hearts
  • Year: 2005
  • RIAA: 3x Platinum
  • Awards: Grammys Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance, ACM Single of the Year, CMT Breakthrough Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year

“Before He Cheats”

“Before He Cheats” is a crossover anthem that tells the story of a potentially unfaithful husband. The tune was written by Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear. The best part about this song is the fact that Underwood hadn’t released it as a single until country and pop radio stations began to give it unsolicited airplay.

  • Album: Some Hearts
  • Year: 2006
  • RIAA: 6x Platinum
  • Standout lyric: “I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive / Carved my name into his leather seats / I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights / I slashed a hole in all four tires”
  • Awards: Grammys Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance, CMT Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year, ACM Music Video of the Year, CMA Single of the Year, People’s Choice Awards Favorite Country Song

“Wasted”

Marv Green, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey created “Wasted.” This marked Underwood’s fourth consecutive No. 1 hit. The song deals with alcoholism and addiction while maintaining soaring vocals. She got to return to the American Idol stage to perform her single in a full-circle moment.

  • Album: Some Hearts
  • Year: 2007
  • RIAA: Platinum
  • Standout lyric: “I don’t wanna spend my life jaded / Waiting to wake up one day and find / That I let all these years go by / Wasted”

“So Small”

“So Small” puts life in perspective. Frequent collaborators Hillary Lindsey and Luke Laird wrote the song with Underwood.

“‘So Small is a feeling song on how people invest so much of their time and energy into things that aren’t really important, and you don’t really realize that until it’s too late,” Underwood told AOL. “We’re all guilty of it, as I know I am, of just letting silly things get in the way. The smallest thing can almost ruin my day, and at some point, I realize, ‘Good gracious, Carrie! What are you doing?’ I have a great life, and we need to remember the things that are truly important.”

  • Album: Carnival Ride
  • Year: 2007
  • RIAA: Platinum
  • Standout lyric: “‘Cause sometimes that mountain you’ve been climbing / Is just a grain of sand / And what you’ve been out there searching for forever / Is in your hands”
  • Awards: CMT Female Video of the Year nomination

“All-American Girl”

 Ashley Gorley and Kelley Lovelace teamed up with Underwood to write “All-American Girl.” The song is a sweet story of a father hoping for a son and falling head over heels in love with his baby daughter.

Underwood was sick when she went into the songwriting session but persevered. “We thought we needed to write something uptempo, since we already had a ballad/mid-tempo song finished,” Gorley explained to AOL. “We’ve got this one thing that could be uptempo called ‘All-American Girl.’ She laughed and said, ‘It’s not about me, is it?’ We said, ‘No, it’s about this husband and wife, and the husband always wanted a boy, but he ended up with a girl.’ She said, ‘Great, sounds like my dad!'”

  • Album: Carnival Ride
  • Year: 2008
  • RIAA: 2x Platinum
  • Standout lyric: “And now he’s wrapped around her finger / She’s the center of his whole world / And his heart belongs to that sweet little beautiful, wonderful, perfect all-American girl”
  • Awards: CMT Online Most-Streamed Country Song of the Year

“Last Name”

Could you imagine waking up in Las Vegas married to a man whose last name you don’t know? Underwood has never drunkenly met or married a man to forget his name, but still related to the song in a way.

During the We’re All For The Hall benefit, Underwood told the story of the song. “Before I met my beautiful, wonderful, perfect hockey husband [Mike Fisher], I had met this guy,” she shared. “I got together with Hillary Lindsey and Luke Laird to write, and we were goofing around like we always do. I was telling them about this guy I met. They asked who he was, and I said, ‘Y’all! I don’t even know his last name!’ We hadn’t even dated or anything and it didn’t turn out the way this song did, but I said, ‘We need to turn this mess into a song!’ And this is it.”

  • Album: Carnival Ride
  • Year: 2008
  • RIAA: Platinum
  • Standout lyric: “Today, I woke up, thinkin’ ’bout Elvis, somewhere in Vegas I’m not sure / How I got here, or how this ring on my left hand just appeared”
  • Awards: Grammy Best Female Country Vocal Performance, People’s Choice Awards Country Song of the Year

“Just A Dream”

Gordie Sampson, Steven McEwan and Hillary Lindsey wrote the heartbreaking tale of a wife coming to terms with the death of her soldier husband. According to Sirius XM via Song Facts, this was the first song that she chose for her album. The song also charted on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart.

  • Album: Carnival Ride
  • Year: 2008
  • RIAA: 2x Platinum
  • Standout lyric: “Baby, why’d you leave me, why’d you have to go / I was counting on forever, now I’ll never know”
  • Awards: Grammys Best Female Country Vocal Performance nomination

“Cowboy Casanova”

Underwood worked with Mike Elizondo and Brett James to create “Cowboy Casanova.” “I think to every woman, this song would be telling a story about someone they know or met or has tried to pick them up in a bar,” she told CMT via Song Facts. “There’s definitely guys in my past, even if it was a friend’s boyfriend or something.”

  • Album: Play On
  • Year: 2009
  • RIAA: 3x Platinum
  • Standout lyric: “He looks like a cool drink of water / But he’s candy-coated misery / He’s the devil in disguise / A snake with blue eyes”
  • Awards: CMT Video of the Year

“Temporary Home”

Zac Maloy, Luke Laird, and Underwood teamed up for the heart-wrenching ballad “Temporary Home.” Underwood’s husband, Mike Fischer suggested that she write a song called “Temporary Home.” The couple was reading Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life when the idea came about.

“It just hit me like a ton of bricks, just a flood of words and stories,” she told The Boot. “And all of a sudden, I thought of a little boy in a foster situation, and he knows where he’s going, and the place where he is isn’t where he should be, but he’ll get there someday. So in the meantime, he’s just walking through this space.”

  • Album: Play On
  • Year: 2009
  • RIAA: Platinum
  • Standout lyric: “This is my temporary home / It’s not where I belong / Windows in rooms that I’m passin’ through / This is just a stop, on the way to where I’m going”
  • Awards: CMT Performance of the Year

“Undo It”

Underwood collaborated with Kara DioGuardi, Marti Frederiksen and Luke Laird for “Undo It.” The song itself came about almost by accident. “The guys had their guitars, and they were playing something kind of bluesy, and Kara’s got such a great R&B sense about her. And I started “na, na, na”-ing to whatever they were playing,” Underwood recalled to The Boot. “And they were like, ‘What if that was the hook?’ I said, ‘Aw, I don’t know?’ And before you knew it, we had ‘uh, uh, uh, uh, uh-undo it.‘”

  • Album: Play On
  • Year: 2010
  • RIAA: 2x Platinum
  • Standout lyric: “You had my heart, now I want it back / I’m starting to see everything you lack / Boy, you blew it, you put me through it”
  • Awards: CMA Triple Play Award, BMI Songwriter of the Year

“Remind Me” With Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley co-wrote “Remind Me” with Kelley Lovelace and Chris DuBois. Paisley was inspired by different artists and genres for the creation of this duet. “People like Eminem, Kanye [West], Jay-Z and people will do stuff that incorporates a female singing some lyrics, where they sing this part that’s sort of from the woman’s perspective,” Paisley told KTCO 98.9 via The Boot. “That’s an untapped thing that we need to try a little more of in this format … an actual duet written to be that, that doesn’t work any other way.”

  • Album: This Is Country Music (Brad Paisley)
  • Year: 2011
  • RIAA: 2x Platinum
  • Standout lyric: “Now we keep saying that we’re OK / But I don’t want to settle for good not great / I miss the way that it felt back then / I wanna feel that way again”
  • Awards: CMT Collaborative Video of the Year

“Good Girl”

Everyone can relate to a “Good Girl” getting mixed up with a “no good’ guy. Chris DeStefano, Ashley Gorley and Underwood created the song. “I was out [in L.A.] working on projects with Chris,” Gorley told Taste of Country. “Carrie happened to be out there, and Carrie’s management team had an idea for the three of us to all get together to write. I had written with Carrie and Chris several times separately, but never together. We all thought it would be a great combination, and turns out we were right!”

  • Album: Blown Away
  • Year: 2012
  • RIAA: 3x Platinum
  • Standout lyric: “His lips are dripping honey / But he’ll sting you like a bee / So lock up all your loving / Go and throw away the key”
  • Awards: CMT Video of the Year

“Blown Away”

Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear wrote Underwood’s title track. Tompkins told Taste of Country that he began the song with a string portion. “It sounded dark and it sounded like it was going somewhere and something was going to happen,” he said. “This song has that kick-drum going through the whole song, where it sounds like it’s somebody’s heart beating really fast.” He compared the songwriting process to “Before He Cheats” but darker.

  • Album: Blown Away
  • Year: 2012
  • RIAA: 3x Platinum
  • Standout lyric: “Dry lightning cracks across the skies / Those storm clouds gather in her eyes”
  • Awards: CMT Video of the Year, Grammy Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song

“Something in the Water”: Carrie Underwood Christian Hit

Underwood co-wrote “Something in the Water” alongside her frequent collaborators Chris DeStefano and Brett James. The song was a hybrid smash and reached No. 1 on both Billboard’s Hot Country Songs and Hot Christian Songs charts.

  • Album: Greatest Hits: Decade No. 1
  • Year: 2014
  • RIAA: 2x Platinum
  • Standout lyric: “I was all out of hope, and all out of fight / Couldn’t fight back my tears so I fell on my knees / Sayin’ God if you’re there come and rescue me”
  • Awards: Grammy Best Country Solo Performance, Billboard Music Awards Top Christian Song, CMT Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year

“Somethin’ Bad” With Miranda Lambert

Underwood teamed up with Miranda Lambert for this girl-power anthem. The single marked the first two solo females to reach the chart in two decades. Chris DeStefano, Brett James, and Priscilla Renea wrote the song that was originally intended for a couple. They later reworked the song after Lambert mentioned that she wanted to ask Underwood to be on the song.

  • Album: Platinum (Miranda Lambert)
  • Year: 2014
  • RIAA: 2x Platinum
  • Standout lyric: “I got a real good feelin’ somethin’ bad is ’bout to happen / Drinks keep comin’, though my head back laughin’ / Wake up in the mornin’, don’t know what happened / Oh, somethin’ bad”
  • Awards: CMT Collaborative Video of the Year

“Heartbeat”

The song was a new romantic take for Underwood. The song was written by Underwood, Ashley Gorley, and Zach Crowell, who also produced the single. Sam Hunt sang backing vocals on the song. Hunt and Underwood sang a duet mashup of “Heartbeat” and “Take Your Time” at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.

  • Album: Storyteller
  • Year: 2015
  • RIAA: Platinum
  • Standout lyric: “And tonight I wanna drive so far we’ll only find static on the radio / And we can’t see those city lights and I love the way you look in a firefly glow / Saying everything without making a sound”

“Church Bells”

“Church Bells” tells the story of a girl named Jenny who married a rich man who turned out to be an alcoholic abuser. She slips poison into his drink and kills him.  Zach Crowell, Brett James, and Hillary Lindsey wrote the impressive story. Underwood broke the record for most No. 1’s on the Billboard Country Airplay chart with fifteen at the time.

  • Album: Storyteller
  • Year: 2016
  • RIAA: 2x Platinum
  • Standout lyric: “Jenny grew up wild, like a blackfoot daisy / Out in the shack with a blue tick hound / Broke as hell, but blessed with beauty / The kind that a rich man can’t turn down”
  • Awards: CMT Female Video of the Year

“Forever Country” Feature

Perhaps the most star-studded song of all time featuring Carrie Underwood and “Artists of Then, Now & Forever” which featured thirty artists. The song was a mashup of three classics including “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “On The Road Again,” and “I Will Always Love You.”

The song debuted No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, the third in history. Proceeds of the song benefitted music education through the CMA Foundation.

  • Album: None
  • Year: 2016
  • RIAA: Gold
  • Standout lyric: “Almost heaven, West Virginia / Blue ridge mountain, Shenandoah river / Life is old there, older than the trees”
  • Awards: ACM Video of the Year

“Southbound”

Carrie Underwood co-wrote “Southbound” alongside David Garcia and Josh Miller. She performed the single at the Academy of Country Music Awards, American Idol, and the CMT Music Awards at Nashville’s The Parthenon. The song is a pop-country crossover smash that details a day a kickback day at the lake.

  • Album: Cry Pretty
  • Year: 2019
  • RIAA: Gold
  • Standout lyric: Yeah the fish ain’t biting ’cause the party’s on / The old men are thinking ’bout going home / But those redneck margaritas are two for one at that old marina, yeah

Most Recent Carrie Underwood No. 1: “Hallelujah” Featuring John Legend

Did you know that Underwood now has a No. 1 Christian single? Her collaboration with John Legend for her Christmas album reached the coveted spot. The song was written by Legend and Josh Gad, who sent Underwood the song for her album.

  • Album: My Gift
  • Year: 2020
  • Standout lyric: “And we whisper all the sweet sounds only we can hear / On the coldest evening in this December / I hold you in the heat of the glowing embers”
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