Much like the Grammys, a great deal of scuttlebutt centers on what will happen during the Academy of Country Music Awards, which were held on Sunday. Some folks wonder who'll take home the entertainer of the year award. A few more try to figure how many awards Chris Stapleton, the night's most decorated nominee with eight nods, will take home once the bash ends. And more than a handful of wags assess how jokes by host Reba McEntire will register on the Corn-O-Meter.
But what was on most people's minds was what Carrie Underwood would look like onstage after a horrific accident in November resulted in a wrist injury and a slight disfigurement to her face. Although she did show her face in images back in February, she did warn fans that she might look slightly different from before.
"I definitely feel more like myself than I have in a while," she said reassuringly to her fan base.
Underwood's appearance at the awards cast all doubts aside. With no visible scars or irregularities that would have shown any traces of her fall, Underwood looked just fine. Singing her latest single "Cry Pretty," the power of her pipes connected with her audience, which gave her a standing ovation lasting a minute once the final notes of the song wafted into the rafters. After heading backstage, she was notably absent from the rest of the proceedings.
The CMAs marked the first major public appearance for Underwood, who has kept a low profile since she fell down the stairs of her front porch of her Nashville abode. Besides the broken wrist, she required facial surgery that involved up to 50 stitches. Downtime since being released from hospital was spent in Peterborough, Canada with husband and former NHL player Mike Fisher and his family.
Earlier in April, Underwood posted on social media that she had regained 90 percent of the use of her wrist, and was told by doctors that the rest of its functionality would come back over time.
It's unclear what's on Underwood's itinerary at the moment, although she does have a new album coming out soon. "Cry Pretty," which was released on Wednesday and was the first single she's issued since "Dirty Laundry" dropped in 2016, offered a hint of what's to come. Lyrically, the song abstractly touched on the emotional toll of the accident, which will likely be a topic she'll return to on material from the rest of the forthcoming release.