Carrie Underwood Talks Brad Paisley Duet
“I’m so dang happy,” says the singer.
Brad by Jim Shea/Schmidt Relations
Carrie Underwood joins Brad Paisley on his latest single, “Remind Me,” and the blond superstar says the song’s romantic lyrics underwent numerous revisions—even as she and Brad recorded the song in a Nashville studio.
“Let me tell you something about Brad Paisley,” she said jokingly during a Q&A session at Billboard’s Country Music Summit in Nashville on June 6. “We work really well together and we have a great relationship. He’s one of my best friends in this industry and is such a great guy. We wanted to do a song together, but we’re not just going to go sing ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ because we both know it and we need to sing something together.” The singer says “Remind Me,” the tale of a couple who want to reconnect with each other after years of being together, was worth the wait and revisions.
With Carrie being on tour late last year and Brad working on his current album, This Is Country Music, the two superstars’ schedules didn’t work out for several months. As Brad continued to tinker with his album, his drive for excellence meant the release date kept getting pushed back—a blessing in disguise that allowed “Remind Me” to be created. “Brad is not on time for anything,” said Carrie, “I’ve learned this in co-hosting and things like that. He’s such a great guy, but he’s on Paisley time. I always say ‘Waitin’ On a Woman’—yeah, right, it’s waiting on Brad,” she said jokingly.
Brad called Carrie in Los Angeles in February with the idea, and at the time, all Brad had was an idea—the song had no lyrics. It took a demo tape with singer Sheryl Crow for Carrie to commit to the project. “His son had a playdate with Sheryl Crow’s son and [Brad] asked her—totally puts her on the spot, I’m sure—but he asks [Sheryl] to sing the female part,” explained Carrie, “so I have this work tape demo of Sheryl Crow singing my part, there are still no real words—it’s mumbling and a few words here and there. Still, I thought there was something to the song.”
As it turns out, Carrie’s husband, Mike Fisher, got traded to the Nashville Predators the next day, so Carrie flew back to Nashville and went to the recording studio. “It worked out pretty well. I flew back and [went to the recording studio] and they were still changing lines. Songwriters were coming up the stairs with new lines as we were recording. It was the most disorganized thing I’ve ever been a part of,” Carrie said with a laugh. “It was actually really cool. I’ve never done anything like that before. Even when I got the [tapes] of both of our voices, [Brad’s lyrics] were different than the words that were there when I was there. I was so excited about the song once the words were finally established,” she said. “I was so dang happy . . . that I got to make this thing with him.”
Of the song’s unorthodox creation, Carrie said, “It kept it in the moment. Sometimes when you listen to a song over and over again, by the time you [record the song], it’s not the same and you lose some of your luster for it. When it’s new and excited like that, you don’t know what’s going to happen next. You’re on your toes.”
Carrie went on to expand on her professional partnership with Brad. "I feel like Brad’s ‘my guy.’ In no way am I comparing either of us to any of these people, but you always think of like Loretta and Conway, Garth and Trisha. Everybody’s kind of got their people. Brooks & Dunn and Reba, they kind of go together. I’d get jealous if he started working with some other female. He’s just my match and I respect him so much.”
The pairing seems to work in everyday life, too, as Carrie and husband Mike Fisher have made friends with Brad and wife Kimberly. "They are good friends on a personal level, too. He’s so much fun to be around. They are great for us to be around, me and my husband, because they have such a great relationship. They both do different things [music and acting], and they are wonderful people.”