Country music star Carrie Underwood took her talents to London last night, selling out the Royal Albert Hall in just 90 minutes. But she also found herself in hot water in the U.S. for comments she made to a British newspaper in support of gay marriage.
Underwood, who won American Idol in 2005, went to Britain to whet its appetite for country music. Her new album, “Blown Away,” is her first UK release. It spent five weeks on top of the U.S. country music charts.
“I don’t really know why country music isn’t popular in the U.K.,” she told The Sun, “but I’m hoping to change that. Country music is all about people, it’s about how you live, it’s not about pimped out limos and bling bling. It’s about life and people that you know and stories you can relate to. That’s what I love about it.”
But there’s a bigger issue brewing around the singer’s London trip. On June 9th, the singer told Britain’s Independent that she supported gay marriage. “As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love, and want to marry,” she said. “I can’t imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love.”
Remember the Dixie Chicks
As Underwood might have remembered, what happens in London doesn’t stay in London. The Dixie Chicks became pariahs after criticizing ex-President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq at a London concert in 2003. For Underwood, the backlash in America has been intense.
Writing on the popular conservative website WorldNetDaily, Joseph Farah attacked Underwood. “Here’s the bottom line: You can’t be a follower of Jesus and condone what He Himself describes as sin,” writes Farah. “Neither can you truly love others by purposely not confronting their sin — and allowing them to be comfortable with their sin.”
In an interview with the Associated Press Friday, Underwood seemed to backtrack from her comments slightly: “I was asked a difficult question in the last five minutes of an interview and I answered it the best way I knew how, and after that I do what I do and I love making music and I generally try to stay out of any kind of controversy.”
On the other hand, country music is all about people facing their troubles. Maybe Underwood, singer of “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” will get some good material from this episode.