Country News

Carrie Underwood looks up to great vocalists, but says it’s “deflating” when singers can’t hit their notes

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ABC/Connie Chornuk

If you’ve been to a stop on Carrie Underwood’s Denim & Rhinestones Tour, you’ll notice that the trek features one dazzling cover performance of Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle.”

That’s a tough song to sing, and Carrie tells Rolling Stone Country that part of her love for the rock band came from growing up idolizing Axl Rose’s vocal prowess.

“The way I learned to sing was I would pick really hard vocalists to try to emulate, and his voice always mesmerized me,” she explains.

Now in her current set list, it’s Carrie who’s doing the mesmerizing — and she’s gotten to turn her former singing idol into a collaborator, recently inviting Axl to duet with her at Stagecoach, then joining the full band at a Guns N’ Roses show in London.

Axl is an example of a singer whose live presence stands up to his recorded work, and Carrie appreciates that. She admits she’s disappointed when she sees an artist whose live set doesn’t hold up to their records.

“Growing up and going to concerts or seeing my favorite artists on TV, if they didn’t sound like they were supposed to sound, it was always so deflating,” she continues. “I’d lose respect for them. Or when I’d go to a concert and hear them drop keys, I was like, ‘You can’t hit the notes! Why’d you record them if you can’t sing them?’”

She adds, “That stuff is important to me.”

Carrie’s Denim & Rhinestones Tour will continue through next March.

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