“The Champion” by Carrie Underwood (ft. Ludacris)
Perhaps the easiest way to classify “The Champion” is as an encouragement anthem, similar in sentiment to, say R. Kelly’s “The World Greatest” or Queen’s “We Are the Champions“. The lyrics are clearly, to some degree, based on a sports’ motif. After all, the word “champion” is one which, officially speaking, is mostly applied to the world of organized athletics.
But the lyrics are also ambiguous enough that they can be applied to other endeavors, as intended. Indeed Carrie Underwood’s definition of a champion, as relayed, most simply would be someone who refuses to quit at a challenging endeavor.
Meanwhile, it is actually Ludacris who really drives the notion home that this piece is meant to encourage listeners also. Being a gifted lyricist, he goes on to present a formula towards becoming a “champion” based on each letter found in the word. And his ultimate point, as with that of Underwood’s, is that it is internal fortitude which goes on to produce such an individual.
Carrie Underwood and Ludacris
Carrie Underwood’s come up can most notably be traced back to winning the fourth season of American Idol in 2005. As such stories tend to go, upon this success she promptly transitioned into the music industry proper. And without us being too wordy, Carrie currently holds the distinction of being the most-successful singer, out of many, to have ever participated on American Idol.
Ludacris is a turn-of-the-century rapper whose musical heyday was during the early aughts, where his first four studio albums all achieved multi-platinum status. However, to be totally honest, he is perhaps better known to the world at large as “Tej Parker”, a recurring character from the uber-popular Fast and Furious movie franchise.
This track, being released on 12 January 2018, is the first collaboration between the two vocalists. It went on to be featured on “Cry Pretty”, the LP Carrie Underwood dropped later that year.
“The Champion” proved to be a moderate hit considering the artists at hand. The song was certified platinum stateside. It also broke the top 20 of Billboard’s Canada Digital Songs chart.
The music video was directed by one Jimmy Lynch,. It earned Underwood the Female Video of the Year trophy via the 2018 CMT Music Awards.
The first live performance of this song took place at the Radio Disney Music Awards of 2018. During that live performance, the West Los Angeles Children’s Choir provided backup for Underwood and Ludacris.
This song was written specifically for Super Bowl LII, which was held in February of 2018. During the event, the aforementioned music video aired, resulting in an instant uptick in sales for the song as well as boast in the general popularity of the tune.
NBC, which aired Super Bowl LVII, also proceeded to use the song during their coverage of the Winter Olympics later in 2018.
“The Champion” was written by Carrie and the following:
- Chris DeStefano
- Brett James
And the producer is Jim Jonsin, who actually specializes in rap music.
The “Cry Petty” Album
On September 14 of 2014, “Cry Pretty” was released as Carrie’s sixth studio album. It was launched through Capitol Nashville.
The album became the American singer’s fourth No.1 album as it debuted atop the Billboard 200.
“Cry Pretty” was also a massive hit in several parts of the world. For examples, in countries such as Canada, Netherlands and Australia, it peaked at No.1.
In 2018, it sold a little over 400,000 copies in the United States, making it the 7th best-selling album of the year in that country. In October of 2018 and February of 2020, the RIAA certified the album Gold and Platinum respectively. It also got a platinum certification in Canada.
As a means of promoting the album, Carrie embarked on her sixth concert tour, “The Cry Pretty Tour 360”.