Carrie Underwood, who performed a terrific homecoming show Wednesday night at Tulsa’s BOK Center, tops the country airplay charts this week with her latest hit, “Just a Dream,” according a news release.
The Oklahoma native announced Wednesday night during the show that the song had become her latest No. 1 hit.
From the BOK Center stage, Underwood said after she won “American Idol” in 2005, she listened to many songs when selecting the ones to record for her albums. In the process, she identified two songs that she knew right away that she had to record: “Jesus Take the Wheel” and “Just a Dream.”
The song, and the powerful music video, tells the story of a woman who loses her solider fiance to war.
In a phone interview last week, Underwood told me that filming that video was an emotionally wrenching experience.
“Yeah, it was pretty depressing,” she said with a little laugh. ”That whole crew that we did the video with, we’ve worked together quite a bit and they’re so much fun. And I had to have a talk with everybody at the beginning of the shoot, and it’s like ‘OK, I have to be really sad, and you guys can’t be fun because that’s not fair.’ I can’t go from like laughing to crying.
“And the director Roman White, he did such a great job, but I just know him being so goofy that even when he was trying to talk to me very seriously and be very somber, that was almost funnier than him actually being funny. But it was a bummer of a day pretty much.”
She also told me she has received a lot of feedback from people who have been touched by the heartbreaking ballad.
“We get e-mail sent to various people that I work with and they always get passed on to me, just about people who can relate to the song. Or I’ve actually got like dedication requests for me to dedicate the song to somebody, a family that’s in the audience that’s lost somebody. Those are always really tough.
“That’s when you really start thinking about everything, while you’re singing this song it’s kind of like this is reality for some people. For me, it’s just I’m telling a story, but for these people they’ve lived it.”
The fourth consecutive No. 1 from the Checotah native’s “Carnival Ride” album, “Just a Dream” marks her ninth single to top a key sales or airplay chart, according to the release. That’s an amazing accomplishment, since Underwood has released only two albums.
“I am just so honored,” she said in the release. “All of the support that I’ve had throughout all my singles is just incredible. And I’m just very appreciative.”
To date, the “Carnival Ride” album has also launched the smash singles “So Small,” “All-American Girl,” and “Last Name,” all co-written by Underwood.
“Just a Dream,” written by Steve McEwan, Hillary Lindsey, and Gordie Sampson, is a song that Underwood said in the release “such a beautiful story, and I feel like those are the songs that are really meaningful,” where a lyric can help listeners to “see things in a different way, or it can make them feel better about a situation that they’re in, or they can empathize with it, or they can listen to it, and the song tells exactly what they went through.
“Those songs, when they get so close, when so many people like them and hear them, and it makes an impact on their life, those are the ones that are really important.”
The only “American Idol” winner ever to achieve nine No. 1 hits, Underwood’s collection of chart-toppers began with the instant success of her post-”American Idol” single, “Inside Your Heaven,” which debuted atop Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in the summer of 2005. It was the first of five No. 1s to top the BDS or Mediabase charts from her seven time-platinum debut, “Some Hearts,” with the others including the Grammy-winning “Jesus, Take the Wheel” and “Before He Cheats,” as well as “Don’t Forget to Remember Me” and “Wasted.”
During last night’s show, the humble star said, “My goal with the first album was to sell enough that they would let me make a second one.”
“And they let me make a second one,” she said with a wide grin. “And my goal with the second one was to sell enough that they would let me make a third one and guess what.”
She said she would start working on her third CD soon.
Check out the music video for “Just a Dream,” from Sony’s myplay.