Carrie Underwood will open NBC’s Super Bowl LII on February 4th with a video filmed last year for her anthemic song, “The Champion,” released globally today. Underwood, who has been the face and voice of NBC’s Sunday Night Football show open for the last five seasons, co-wrote “The Champion” last year with fellow songwriters Brett James, Chris DeStefano, and Christopher Bridges PKA Ludacris, who Underwood asked to collaborate on the event song produced by Jim Jonsin. NBC Sports will also incorporate “The Champion” into its coverage of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
“When we met with Carrie last year to discuss the Super Bowl open, we each brought ideas. Carrie presented first. After she spoke, we looked at each other and said ‘That’s the one,’” said Fred Gaudelli, Executive Producer of NBC Sunday Night Football and the network’s Super Bowl LII presentation. “Later on, our Olympics producers listened to ‘The Champion’ and decided that it would be a perfect complement for our Winter Games coverage. We are excited to highlight ‘The Champion’ in two events on the global stage in February.”
“When we were writing ‘The Champion,’ our main focus was to celebrate athletes at the top of their game, but we also wanted the song to resonate with people in their everyday lives,” explains Carrie Underwood. “We hope the lyrics will inspire people to push themselves beyond their limits to conquer anything they are trying to accomplish or overcome. There’s a champion in every single one of us!”
Ludacris says, “It was a pleasure to collaborate with Carrie for this inspirational song.”
The lyric video is available now (and below), as well as the playlist for “The Champion.”
Carrie is currently in the studio working on her next album which will be released on Capitol Records Nashville.
About Carrie Underwood:
Carrie Underwood emerged from the promise of her 2005 American Idol win to become a true multi-format, multi-media superstar, spanning achievements in music, television, and film. A seven-time GRAMMY® Award winner, she has amassed over 100 major honors, sold 64 million records worldwide, and recorded 26 #1 singles, 13 of which she co-wrote, with a catalog of songs that have been streamed more than 2.6 billion times worldwide. The first female artist to be twice named the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year, Underwood was recognized by Pollstar as the top female country touring artist for each of her headlining tours in 2008, 2010, 2012, and for 2016’s “The Storyteller Tour – Stories in the Round.” Carrie also topped Billboard’s Top 25 Tours of 2016 as the leading female country artist and was the leading female artist on Country Aircheck’s top country radio performers list for her success in both 2015 and 2016. All five studio albums, Some Hearts, Carnival Ride, Play On, Blown Away, and Storyteller – are certified Platinum or multi-Platinum, and each an American Music Awards winner as Favorite Country Album – and tallied an incredible 40 weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. The RIAA’s highest certified country album artist to debut this century, Underwood also holds the distinction of the highest album certification of any country artist to emerge since 2000 with the 8x Multi-Platinum success of her 2005 debut, Some Hearts. She is the all-time Top Country Artist (male or female) on RIAA’s Digital Single Ranking, also placing her among the Top 5 females in the history of RIAA’s Digital Single Program across all genres. In December of 2014, she released her Platinum-certified Greatest Hits: Decade #1, which produced two new #1 hits co-written by Underwood, including the RIAA-Platinum, GRAMMY-winning “Something in the Water.” The Grand Ole Opry member demonstrated her creative diversity in 2013 starring as Maria von Trapp in NBC’s three-hour holiday blockbuster, the Emmy®-winning The Sound of Music Live!, whose airings attracted 44 million viewers. Her latest chart-topping platinum fifth studio album, Storyteller, produced four #1 hits. Last November Underwood co-hosted the CMA Awards for the tenth consecutive year, and she’s currently in her fifth season as the voice of primetime television’s #1 program, Sunday Night Football.
Chris “Ludacris” Bridges has sold more than 25 million albums domestically, thanks to the blockbuster success of such singles as “Stand Up,” “Get Back,” “Southern Hospitality,” “Number One Spot,” “Money Maker” and “My Chick Bad.”
With an unrivaled match of lyrical acumen, wit, and imagery, Bridges has solidified himself as one of music’s premier entertainers. Although he’s best known for his infectious tunes, Bridges has shown that he’s equally adept at writing powerful songs with serious subject matter, including runaways, with the song “Runaway Love.” Bridges’ versatility and artistic complexity also enabled him to make a seamless transition to acting.
Most recently, Bridges starred in the highly anticipated The Fate of the Furious, which broke records at the box office, becoming the highest grossing film opening worldwide. His other feature film credits include Universal Pictures’ Fast 7, Fast & Furious 6, Fast Five, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Garry Marshall’s ensemble comedy New Year’s Eve; and Ivan Reitman’s romantic comedy, No Strings Attached, opposite Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. His acclaimed performances in film, (Crash, Hustle & Flow), and television, (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), have Hollywood and critics alike buzzing about his increasingly impressive screen resume.
A consummate businessman, Bridges is enjoying success outside of entertainment. His latest venture includes opening his long anticipated new restaurant “Chicken-n-Beer” at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport. In addition, he is dipping his hands in tech space by partnering up with apps such as “Roadie” an on-the-way delivery service.
Currently, Bridges is both the host and executive producer of MTV’s revived Fear Factor, and is currently working on an album for release at the end of the year. Bridge’s philanthropic efforts rival his entertainment accomplishments; he started The Ludacris Foundation in 2001 which focuses on helping youth help themselves. TLF has devoted more than 15,000 hours of service to youth across the nation.
Carrie Underwood (The Champion) OC: …for as well. :40
“We were asked to come up with something special for the Super Bowl. We knew we wanted the open to be as grand as the Super Bowl is, so I was really excited that NBC and Sunday Night Football kind of gave us control to be creative and go in and see what we could do. We spent a couple of days – we being me, Brett James and Chris DeStefano who I’ve written with both of those guys quite a bit – we went in and just gave it our all trying to figure out what would best set up something as amazing as the Super Bowl. After we turned it in, they loved it so much [that] we were told, ‘The Olympics are gonna want this!’ So, that was just more incredible news because it certainly fits everything that the Super Bowl stands for as well.”
Carrie Underwood (Ludacris) OC: …a whole new level. 1:10
“Ludacris came into the picture when we were writing this song ‘The Champion,’ we left a space in it for a potential guest appearance, a potential feature. And we went ‘round and ‘round about who do we approach, who do we ask, and in my mind, the style of the song with somebody that had his own thing, had a kind of legend status. I wanted something big. I wanted an artist that matched the song, and Ludacris, everything about him just seemed to scream ‘Champion’ to me, and he was just so great. And so we sent him everything and he put his part on it, and when we got it back, I thought, ‘Holy Cow! This took it to a whole new level.’ So, I think he was just that piece of the puzzle that was missing, and from the second that I heard it, I was like that was exactly the perfect person to be a part of this. Like I could never imagine anybody else being a part of this, and he just, again, took it to another level.”