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Carrie Underwood Brings Down the House With a Hymn

Carrie Underwood gave a knockout performance of "How Great Thou Art" for a television special honoring female singers of country music. Read more about her show-stopping performance.

Carrie Underwood sings they hymn.
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Carrie Underwood sings they hymn.
Source: Getty Images

A Knockout Performance

The CBS Television Network aired a highly anticipated event on Friday evening, April 22, 2011. Billed as "the concert of the year," Girls' Night Out: Superstar Women of Country honored eight exceptional female singers -- from country music legends to today's brightest stars.

The Good Friday television special, taped at the annual Academy of Country Music Awards (CMA) earlier in the month, paid tribute to The Judds, Miranda Lambert, Loretta Lynn, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood. The program recognized these talented women for their professional achievements and contributions to their music genre.

All of the country music superstars, glammed up and gorgeous for the CMA awards, gave powerful performances. But, it was Carrie Underwood's duet with Vince Gill that brought down the house. It was truly a showstopping moment.

After watching Gill perform her hit song "Jesus, Take the Wheel," Underwood took the stage for her knockout performance. Accompanied by Gill on the guitar, Underwood sang a beautiful rendition of the gospel standard "How Great Thou Art." The musicians performed the classic song to an audience of peers, who gave them a standing ovation.

Vince Gill joined Underwood for the duet.
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Vince Gill joined Underwood for the duet.
Source: Associated Press

A Viral Sensation

The Underwood-Gill rendition of "How Great Thou Art" was the most talked-about performance of the night, and their duet created a viral sensation. A video posted on YouTube received more than a million views on Easter weekend alone, and three million views within a week of its debut.

The duet visibly moved the audience, as the video shows. It also moved Internet viewers, who were free with their praise and compliments. In fact, the video drew more than a dozen pages of comments that were sprinkled with words like "beautiful," "stunning," "goosebumps" and "wow!"

One viewer wrote, "Just amazing...I can't stop playing the song." Another person wrote, "What a great delivery of the greatest message ever." Someone called the duet "an incredible performance. Destined to be a classic." And another wrote, "Not a country music fan here, but I can't deny real talent. This, folks, is real talent!"

Did you see the Carrie Underwood performance of "How Great Thou Art?" In case you missed it, here is the video. Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

About the Hymn

"How Great Thou Art" is a well-known Christian hymn based on a Swedish poem by Carl Boberg. The words were inspired by a gripping storm that soon subsided into a peaceful calm.

Stuart K. Hine, a British missionary, translated the poem into English. He added two additional verses to the hymn, but it retains the melody of a Swedish folk song.

Cliff Barrows and George Beverly Shea popularlized the song during the Billy Graham evangelistic crusdades of the 1950s. The hymn soon became their signature song.

"How Great Thou Art" is one of the best-loved hymns of all time, second only to "Amazing Grace."

An Inspirational Song

"How Great Thou Art"

Verse 1: O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder / Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made / I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder / Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee / How great Thou art, How great Thou art / Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee / How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Verse 2: When through the woods, and forest glades I wander / And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees / When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur / And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Verse 3: And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing / Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in / That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing / He bled and died to take away my sin.

Verse 4: When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation / And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart / Then I shall bow, in humble adoration / And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

Carl Boberg, 1886

Carrie Underwood in "Soul Surfer."
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Carrie Underwood in "Soul Surfer."
Source: Soul Surfer, The Movie

An Inspirational Movie

In addition to her inspiring rendition of "How Great Thou Art," Underwood gave an inspiring performance in the 2011 movie Soul Surfer. The sports action drama is based on the life of Bethany Hamilton, a professional surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack in 2003.

Underwood portrays Sarah Hill, the youth leader who helped Hamilton heal from her life-changing injury. Her role is a small but important one.

"When I read the script, I definitely wanted to be involved in such an inspirational story," said Underwood. "Just to be a part of telling that was enough for me."

Your Turn

What is your favorite hymn? Leave a comment below and join the conversation. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your social networks.

Reference Sources

American Idol. (n.d.) Carrie Underwood. American Idol Archive. Retrieved April 26, 2011.

Underwood, Carrie. (April 21, 2011) "Photo: 'Girls Night Out' Sneak Peek with Vince Gill." Carrie Underwood: The Official Website. Retrieved April 26, 2011.

Jennifer Nettles, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Martina McBride and Carrie Underwood.
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Jennifer Nettles, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Martina McBride and Carrie Underwood.
Source: Associated Press

© 2011 Annette R. Smith Last updated on October 12, 2013

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Comments 2 comments

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 3 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

When I hear these incredible talented people sing worship songs, I always pray they are reminded that God gave them the gift. Imagine the blessings they can give to the world if all those voices turned to God and sang for His kingdom.

Thanks to you for a great Hub. It was good to read and reflect upon this.


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 3 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Hub Author

Hi, Hyphenbird! Thanks for reading my hub and sharing your impressions on the subject. Your comment is thoughtful and thought-provoking. And prayer-provoking! Thank you for the encouragement.

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