Country superstar and Season 4 American Idol champ Carrie Underwood debuted a new song last night, one written especially the ACM All-Star Salute To The Troops, which taped last night and airs on CBS 5/20 from 9-11p Eastern. Written by Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey, Shane McAnally and Carrie, “Keep Us Safe” is a power ballad prayer, old-fashioned and heartfelt, and a showcase for Carrie’s beautiful voice. The tune may bring to mind those early Idol coronation songs, but since inspiration was the order of the day, it fit the event. Check out video of Carrie’s performance, which earned her a standing ovation from the crowd:
(Hm, looks like the original video, which came via @NashvilleBecca posted was removed)
According to ABC News Radio reporter Hunter Kelly, “Keep Us Safe” will be available to download the night the ACM All Star Salute To The Troops special airs, with proceeds benefiting the ACM Lifting Lives fund.
The ACM All-Star Salute To The Troops will also feature a number of collaborative performances between country stars and members of the US armed services. According to recaps from HitFix, The Tennessean and Billboard, Idol alum and Dancing With The Stars champ Kellie Pickler performed “Red High Heels” with Air Force Staff Sargeant Baily Zimmerman, Idol judge Keith Urban performed “For You” with Navy sonar technician Destiny Coates, Hunter Hayes covered “Top Of the World” by the Imagine Dragons with the Coast Guard’s Katey Spira, Rascal Flatts performed “Rewind” (live, this time) with Marine Staff Sargeant Brandon Valentine, Toby Keith performed “Call A Marine” with the Marines’s Mike Corrado and Lady Antebellum performed “Compass” with Marine Corps Captain John Ed Auer and Marine Corps Captain Matt Smith.
The night’s biggest reaction went to The Band Perry’s performance of “If I Die Young” with Army Specialist Kelly A. Gregg. The Band Perry wasn’t the only act to perform a tune that addresses the loss that comes with war. Recaps report that another of the night’s big highlights with Lee Brice’s performance of ACM and CMA Song Of The Year winner “I Drive Your Truck” with Army Sargeant Christiana Ball. Luke Bryan also performed his mournful hit “Drink A Beer.” Tim McGraw and Florida-Georgia Line also performed album tracks, while Blake Shelton supported Miranda Lambert on a pre-taped (for the pretaping) version of “Over You.”
It’s easy to be cynical when country acts reach out to American troops, but there’s no denying the very real history of support country acts like Toby Keith,, Craig Morgan and of course Kellie Pickler have given US troops via the USO. This night was about saluting the troops’s service and sacrifice, and between Carrie’s new tune and most if not all of the performances, it sounds like sincerity and gratitude will be on full display when the broadcast of this show airs 5/20.