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A look at Carrie Underwood’s not-so-secret metal past

Many rockist skeptics may have been surprised or even irked when Carrie Underwood was recruited to open for several recent dates on Guns N’ Roses’ summer tour. But the American Idol winner and country superstar proved all doubters and haters wrong with her special rock-leaning setlist — which she curated with advice from GNR frontman Axl Rose himself — that included crowd-pleasing, Bic-flicking covers of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll,” Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” and Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation.” Most thrillingly, there was even a rendition of Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades” that cranked all of her “Before He Cheats”-esque fury up to 11.

Wow. Just imagine how much more exciting Carrie’s American Idol season would have been 18 years ago if there’d been a Motörhead Night!

All kidding aside, anyone who assumed that Underwood would not be able to pull off a rock ‘n’ roll support slot in front of thousands of Gen X headbangers has not been paying attention to her career for, well, the last 18 years. This rocket queen has always been an old-school metalhead. And while the “Jesus, Take the Wheel” singer probably won’t be covering, say, Deicide, Morbid Angel, Satyricon, or Brujeria any time soon, she has officially been welcomed to the hard rock jungle by GNR’s peers and fans, due to her obvious, earnest enthusiasm for the genre.