Carrie Underwood took the stage yesterday at the American Country Music Awards to perform her song "Cry Pretty," the first solo song she's released since suffering a traumatic fall last year. This was Underwood's first time performing in front of an audience since the accident, too. Underwood previously confided in her fans that she would look "different" after recovering, and, despite releasing the song "Champion" with Ludacris, has managed to keep a low-profile for the past five months.
At the ACMs, Underwood kept it simple. She stood alone onstage — just her and a pink mic — and sang her song, a country rock ballad about the perils of trying to hide your trauma. She wore glitter "tears" on her face that later seemed to be real tears. Before the show, as if to prove she's ready to reemerge, Underwood shared a close-up selfie from backstage.
In November of 2017, Underwood suffered a fall that was first presented to the public as relatively insignificant. Initial reports listed Underwood's only injury as a broken wrist. She later revealed in a letter to her fans that the damage was more extensive. She needed 40 stitches on her face, she said, and would be reclusive while she recovered.
"In addition to breaking my wrist, I somehow managed to injure my face as well. I'll spare you the gruesome details, but when I came out of surgery the night of my fall, the doctor told [my husband] Mike that he had put between 40 and 50 stitches in. Now, here we are 7 weeks later and, even though I've had the best people helping me, I'm still healing and not quite looking the same," she wrote. In March, she released "Champion," an anthem of self-confidence and, in April, she revealed that she was recording new music in the studio. Her emotional performance at the ACMs marks a new era of Underwood: She's raw, vulnerable, and ready to belt it out.