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Carrie Underwood Joins With Ludacris for ‘The Champion’ [Listen]

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Carrie Underwood reaches well outside of her country music comfort zone for her new song, “The Champion.” The country superstar collaborated with rapper Ludacris on the song, which was released online Friday (Jan. 12).

The pulsing track definitely emphasizes Underwood’s pop influences, featuring atmospheric keyboards and light electronic percussion in the verse as she begins, “I’ll be the last one standing / Two hands in the air, I’m a champion / You’ll be looking up at me when it’s over / I live for the battle, I’m a soldier.”

That gives way to a high-energy chorus as Underwood sings, “I am invincible, unbreakable / Unstoppable, unshakeable / They knock me down, I get up again / I am the champion, you’re gonna know my name / You can’t hurt me now, I can’t feel the pain / I was made for this, I was born to win / I am the champion.”

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Ludacris’ contribution to “The Champion” starts at 2:10 in the track, when he comes in with a rap break that adds a very different flavor to Underwood’s song before handing it back to her to wrap up with another powerful chorus.

Sunday Night Football Executive Producer Fred Gaudelli asked Underwood to write the song for the upcoming Super Bowl LII, and fans got an early listen to a snippet of the track during the NFL wild card game between the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams on Jan. 6. She worked with songwriters Brett James, Chris DeStefano and Ludacris on the track, which was produced by Jim Jonsin.

“When we were writing ‘The Champion,’ our main focus was to celebrate athletes at the top of their game, but we also wanted the song to resonate with people in their everyday lives,” Underwood says in a press release. “We hope the lyrics will inspire people to push themselves beyond their limits to conquer anything they are trying to accomplish or overcome. There’s a champion in every single one of us!”

Underwood will open NBC’s Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4 with a video for “The Champion” that she filmed last year. She began singing the intro for Sunday Night Football in 2013, taking over for Faith Hill.

NBC Sports will also incorporate “The Champion” into its coverage of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

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