Somehow, some way, it has been 13 years since Carrie Underwood blessed us with one of the best breakup/revenge songs, “Before He Cheats.”
It was official in August of 2006 when the song was released, but it was already gaining moment for months thanks to streaming. The song became Underwood’s 3rd number one single.
By the end of the year, the song was losing traction on the country charts, but in early 2007, thanks to multiple Grammy wins, pop stations started to take notice. By May it had peaked at number 8 on the Hot 100 chart. It would go on to spend 64 weeks on the charts, the 3rd longest stretch of any song of the 2000’s. Along the way the song picked up the People’s Choice Award for ‘Favorite Country Song’ and a CMT Award for ‘Video of the Year.’
Those are just the top of the iceberg for the accolades the song would attain. At the 50th Annual Grammy Awards, Carrie took home an award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, and the writers of the song (Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear) took home the Grammy for Best Country Song. “Before He Cheats” also was named the single of the year in 2007 at the Country Music Association Awards.
The music video escalated the song to another level. It debuted at #1 on the GAC video charts. It swept the CMT Awards, wining Video of the Year, Female Video of the Year, and Director of the Year. It was the first time a female had ever won Video of the Year.
What made the song such an enormous success? Relatability? Perhaps it was how Carrie was able to shed some of her American Idol image and sing a riskier song? Whatever it was, the song catapulted Underwood from country success, to world wide success. The song at one point was the best selling country song, and is Underwood’s most successful song to date, certified at 5x Platinum. 50 years from now this will be the song that defined the decade of the 2000’s of country music.