When you first heard about Carrie Underwood’s unfortunate fall and her need for hospitalization in November of 2017, it was hard not to feel bad for the country star regardless of how you felt about her music. Releasing the song “Cry Pretty” as part of the personal revelations about the injury made the story especially poignant. But as time went on with all of the overhyped face reveals and endless tabloid media stories on the matter, the whole thing began to feel opportunistic, if not downright exploitative of the unfortunate situation Carrie Underwood suffered.
Then came the release of Carrie Underwood tour dates for 2019, way ahead of when such things would normally be revealed, and coinciding with the announcement that she was pregnant. At that point you began to sense a pattern of personal details paralleling the news of music matters as a strategy to market her new record.
Now the big news over the same weekend Carrie released the new album Cry Pretty is that she experienced three miscarriages recently. Obviously this was a difficult experience for Underwood and her husband, and your heart can only go out to her as you imagine the grief she felt trying to add a fourth member to her young family. Beyond any music issues, the health and well-being of artists should always be a priority.
But at this point, utilizing Carrie Underwood’s personal matters to promote her music has become ridiculous and incredibly transparent, to the point of insulting the intelligence of the country music public. If you can’t see what’s going on here, you’re either not paying attention, or are so swept up in Carrie Underwood fandom, your perspective is without objectivity. Even then, elements of Carrie Underwood’s notoriously loyal fanbase are beginning to become fatigued by all of the tragic Carrie Underwood news, and its coinciding with important markers on her album release calendar. Revealing three miscarriages is probably something more fit for a late career biography as opposed to a way to bolster album sales.
Of course this is nothing new. Celebrities have been piggybacking personal information to important entertainment news to promote their careers for decades. We’ve just rarely see it employed with such a heavy hand, especially in country music. And you almost can’t blame Carrie Underwood and her team for choosing this route. With mainstream country radio offering little support to women, often they have to resort to other avenues of promotion to connect with an audience. And since country music media has devolved into nothing more than celebrity gossip mining and lifestyle reporting with the occasional foray into political rancor exploitation, riding Carrie Underwood’s personal tragedies for public attention is probably not a bad promotional strategy.
Still, it’s fair to question if it’s any of our business how many miscarriages Carrie Underwood has experienced, not to mention how hard it might be for Carrie Underwood herself to reveal such things just to keep her name in the news. Instead, the focus should be on the music, how this is the first record Carrie Underwood has co-produced, and why her label chose to pull promotion from her lead single two weeks before the album release, which is pretty unheard of from a major country artist, even if the song was scoring low.
The whole stretegy just smacks of desperation, while were witnessing the tabling off of yet another star in country music prematurely. Many artists reveal details of their personal lives to help create appeal and intrigue beyond their music. But we’ve never seen an artist go so hard in this direction as we’re seeing from the Carrie Underwood team.
– – – – – – – – –
Saving Country Music review Carrie Underwood’s new album is forthcoming.