Carrie Underwood was bowled over by the outpouring of love sent her way at the ACMs on Sunday.
“There’s just been a lot that’s gone on in life over the past year. It’s always really nerve-racking introducing new music. The song came out just a couple of days before the ACMs, so I was super nervous and it was like I felt like I had never been on a stage before,” she told iHeartRadio’s Bobby Bones in a new interview on Thursday. “All of a sudden it’s like, you’re looking out at the audience and it’s crazy.”
Underwood, 35, was given a standing ovation at the end of her powerful performance of new single “Cry Pretty” — but the attention made her immediately uncomfortable.
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“I get super weirded out by clapping!” said the singer, who’s now recovered from a scary fall last November outside of her home. “When I’m performing it’s like, I’m in the song. Then, as soon as the song’s over, it’s like I’m Carrie again and I just want to kind of get off the stage.”
“I know that sounds weird. But it kept going. And I’m like, ‘Where’s the walls?’ Like, looking above me, like, ‘Aren’t those walls supposed to come down? Why isn’t somebody … Is there something wrong? Is somebody not pressing a button that they need to press?’” she recalled. “I’m trying to back off the stage! But, I mean, it was definitely overwhelming. I just didn’t know what to do with myself because I was just stuck out there!”
“Emotional was just the undertones, overtones, everything in between for my whole night,” she told Storme Warren on SiriusXM’s The Highway channel Thursday morning in Nashville. “There’s been a lot that’s gone on over the past year of my life and being able to make music throughout it and write … it was just a good sigh of relief stepping out onto the stage. I was super nervous introducing new stuff. It’s the beginning of this next chapter in my life — and you want people to like the song!”
Moments after her performance, Underwood and Keith Urban returned to the stage to accept the award for vocal event of the year for their duet “The Fighter.”
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“You just knocked it out of the park,” Urban told his collaborator.
“Thank you for having me,” Underwood told Urban through tears. “I’m still shaking right now. Thank you.”
The American Idol alum also detailed her accident for the first time to Bones, explaining that it happened when she was taking her dogs out for a walk.
“I just — I tripped,” said Underwood, whose face required more than 40 stitches. “There was one step, and I didn’t let go of the leashes! Priorities! So that’s why my left hand’s fine. But I went to catch myself and I just missed a step.”