Southbound (Carrie Underwood song)

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Carrie Underwood – Southbound (Official Single Cover).png
Single by Carrie Underwood
from the album Cry Pretty
ReleasedApril 29, 2019 (2019-04-29)
LabelCapitol Nashville
  • Carrie Underwood
  • David Garcia
Carrie Underwood singles chronology
"Love Wins"

"Southbound" is a song co-written and recorded by American singer Carrie Underwood, and released as the third single from her sixth studio album, Cry Pretty.[1] The single had an official release day of April 29, 2019. The song was written by Underwood, David Garcia and Josh Miller.

Writing and composition[edit]

“Southbound” was written by Underwood, co-producer David Garcia and Josh Miller. Underwood said of the writing process, "I was like, 'This sounds like fun, I think. We can do something fun with this.' But then you realize how tricky for some reason it is to be a woman and write kind of a drinking party boat song. You wouldn’t think it would be any different, but for some reason, I feel like a guy could get away with saying this line that we just threw out there, but I can’t for some reason."[2] When talking about particular characters in the song, she added, "I used Katie in the song as an example. So, Katie, we wanted to make her have a little too much fun, but for every line we came out with, it was like, 'Well, we don’t want it to be sad.' We still had to make Katie have a little respect but wanted to just get it out there that some people were having too much fun. It surprisingly took us a while to write it but by the end of it, it was like, 'Well, this is a lot of fun,'" she added. "I feel like everybody kind of gravitated towards that one when we were all done with it."[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Entertainment Weekly gave the song favorable reception in their review of the album, writing, "One of Cry Pretty's strangest surprises is a Florida Georgia Line-style party song called 'Southbound' that finds her singing about tan lines and 'redneck margaritas.' It's probably the most casual Underwood's ever been, and, sung by a male artist, it would have felt almost impossibly unoriginal. Recorded by a woman who doesn’t exactly make pontoon day drinking a part of her personal brand, it's pleasingly contrarian: perhaps it's Underwood trying to reclaim a style of music that's been co-opted and ridden high on the charts by the genre's leading men."[4] Sounds Like Nashville similarly praised the song, highlighting it's "propulsive rhythm, sunny guitar riffs and breezy organ accents", also noting that it was "the first time in recent years that the Oklahoma native has offered up such a carefree track, and its good-time lyrics are all about pontoon-boat weekends, two-for-one redneck margaritas, tan lines and cheap sunglasses."[5]

Consequence of Sound gave a less favorable review of the song in their review of the album, writing that it was "a bit of fluffy party music high on southern pride."[6]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, "Southbound" reached number 11 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and number 3 on the Country Airplay chart, [7] becoming Underwood's 28th top 10 hit on that chart.[8] It debuted at number 96 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at number 65.

In Canada, "Southbound" peaked at number one on Billboard Canada Country chart, becoming her first single to top the chart since "Dirty Laundry" in 2016.

As of October 2019, it has sold 86,000 copies in the United States.[9]

Music video[edit]

The official music video for the song debuted on Underwood's YouTube channel on June 8, 2019.[10] The video was filmed on Cinco de Mayo and features some of Underwood's friends and family, including her husband, Mike Fisher, and their son, Isaiah. Directed by Jeff Venable, it features behind-the-scenes footage of Underwood's 2019 Cry Pretty Tour 360, intercut with Underwood, her husband, and family and friends having a big celebration at a dock on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas.[11]

Live performances[edit]

Underwood gave the first live performance of the song at the 54th Academy of Country Music awards on April 7, 2019.[12] She performed the song again on the American Idol finale on May 19, 2019. Underwood also used the song to open the Cry Pretty Tour 360.[13] Underwood also performed it on the 2019 CMT Music Awards at The Parthenon on June 5, 2019 in Nashville.[14] She included the song in her set at Glastonbury Festival in June 2019.[15]


Chart (2019) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[16] 18
Canada Country (Billboard)[17] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[18] 64
US Country Airplay (Billboard)[7] 3
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[19] 11


  1. ^ "Carrie Underwood Officially Releases 'Southbound' as Next Single". Country Music. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  2. ^ "Carrie Underwood Admits She Didn't Think She Could Get Away With New Song About Partying & Drinking". The Inquisitr. April 27, 2019. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  3. ^ "Carrie Underwood on 'Southbound': It's 'Tricky' to Write a Drinking Song as a Woman". Country Music. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  4. ^ "Carrie Underwood lays (some) cards on the table with Cry Pretty: EW review". Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  5. ^ Parton, Chris. "Carrie Underwood Lets Loose for Feel-Good 'Southbound' Single". Sounds Like Nashville. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  6. ^ "Album Review: Carrie Underwood Balances Comfort and Risk-Taking on Cry Pretty". Consequence of Sound. September 16, 2018. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Carrie Underwood Chart History (Country Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  8. ^ "Luke Combs' 'Beer Never Broke My Heart' Gives Him Six Pack Of Country Airplay No. 1s". Billboard.
  9. ^ Bjorke, Matt (October 8, 2019). "Top 30 Country Digital Singles Chart: October 7, 2019". RoughStock. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  10. ^ Hermanson, Wendy. "Carrie Underwood Offers Sneak Peek at 'Southbound' Video". Taste of Country.
  11. ^ Ragusa, Tammy (May 6, 2019). "Carrie Underwood Celebrates Cinco de Mayo With Water Toys and Margaritas on the Lake". One Country.
  12. ^ Donovan, Blair (April 8, 2019). "Every Amazing Performance You Missed From the 2019 ACM Awards". Country Living. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  13. ^ "Carrie Underwood 'Cry Pretty Tour': Opening Night Set List/Videos". Kicks 99. May 2, 2019.
  14. ^ "Carrie Underwood Plays 'Southbound' for Huge Parthenon Crowd at 2019 CMT Music Awards". Billboard.
  15. ^ "Glastonbury Blown Away by Carrie Underwood and her Energising, Rocking, Sensational Set". June 29, 2019.
  16. ^ " – Carrie Underwood – Southbound" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  17. ^ "Carrie Underwood Chart History (Canada Country)". Billboard. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  18. ^ "Carrie Underwood Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  19. ^ "Carrie Underwood Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 24, 2019.