5 of Carrie Underwood’s Best Rock Performances

Carrie Underwood is a country superstar, but it could be argued that she was a rock star in a past life. Underwood’s musical roots growing up in Oklahoma were in large part shaped by her older sisters, who introduced her to rock music at a young age. In addition to absorbing songs by country greats like Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Martina McBride and many others, Underwood was also blasting Guns N’ Roses, Queen, the Rolling Stones and other rock gods.

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Throughout her career, Underwood has weaved rock and roll into her sound, from her winning debut on American Idol to her most recent tour. Check out some of Underwood’s best rock covers below.

1. “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses

Underwood proved she could rock when she covered one of Guns N’ Roses’ other signature tracks, “Paradise City” at 2013 CMA Fest. She made the song her own and sang it with ease. In typical Underwood fashion, she lit up the stage with her fiery voice on the unexpected, yet well-done cover.

2. “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses

The country singer hasn’t been shy about her love for Guns N’ Roses. In fact, she’s covered the classic rock band numerous times throughout her career, including on her 2022 Denim & Rhinestones Tour. Underwood opened her two-song encore with a cover of one of the band’s classic hits, “Welcome to the Jungle.” The song allowed her powerhouse voice to fly wild and free, with Underwood hitting all the right notes.

3. “Fix You” by Coldplay

Colplay’s “Fix You” is one of the rare examples of a tender-hearted rock song. Written by the British rock band in honor of frontman Chris Martin’s then-wife Gwyneth Paltrow’s father who had recently passed away, “Fix You” is one of the band’s signature hits. Underwood did it justice when she covered “Fix You” during a 2012 episode of VH1 Unplugged, offering a stunning rendition that captures the plaintive spirit of the song.

[RELATED: Carrie Underwood’s Best Live Moments]

4. “Alone”

Underwood first performed this cover of Heart’s classic “Alone” on American Idol in 2005. The performance prompted judge Simon Cowell to say, “I will make a prediction not only will you win this show, you will sell more records than any other previous Idol winner.”

Underwood has offered up many noteworthy covers of the song since then, including the time she got to perform it live with Heart. Here, she trades vocals with lead singer Ann Wilson on the power ballad that allows both of their voices to shine. Underwood proves the sheer power of her voice as she goes from an understated delivery to belting out a glass-shattering note.

5. Joan Jett medley at CMA Fest

Underwood is a mainstay at CMA Fest every summer. In 2019, she brought in some rock and roll star power when she invited Joan Jett to perform a medley of some of her biggest hits. Underwood held her own alongside Jett on hits like “I Hate Myself For Loving You,” “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” and “Bad Reputation.” Underwood doesn’t let her voice fly as high as it normally does, often letting Jett take the lead. But it still makes for one of her best rock star moments.

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Carrie Underwood

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