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In Defense of Carrie Underwood and Her Beliefs (An Open Letter to the Guy Who Wrote an Open Letter)

On the first night of Passion 2017 and the 20th annual gathering of the event, which usually hosts around 50,000 young evangelicals in Atlanta each year, the unthinkable happened for most attendees-- a real live superstar took the stage to help Crowder lead worship. That superstar was Carrie Underwood.

Underwood showed up unannounced and wasn't even introduced as she took the stage with Crowder to sing his, "Lift Your Head Weary Sinner." She closed out the night by singing her No. 1 hit (on Country and Christian charts) "Something In The Water."

For many young believers, Passion is a pilgrimage they make each January. The goal of the conference (or movement) is "to live in such a way that their journey on earth counts for what is most important in the end. For us at Passion, that's the fame of the One who rescues and restores, and the privilege we have to amplify His name in everything we do."

Underwood, along with her husband, NHL player MIke Fisher, has never been shy about her faith, but rarely makes grand statements about anything could seem divisive in any way. Her appearance during Passion was about as grand of a statement as she could make.

Because it is 2017 and no one is allowed to just live their life, Underwood has, of course, come under fire for her appearance.



Wesley Wildmon, director of outreach of American Family Association, has penned an open letter to Louie Giglio (founder of Passion) condemning him for letting a superstar proclaim the name of Jesus to a bunch of millennials. (I'm paraphrasing here).

Wildmon was "frustrated" and saddened by Giglio's decision to let Underwood lead worship because the church she attends in Nashville supports LGBT people as full church participants.

Wildmon references a 2012 interview in which Underwood said, "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. 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."

From this interview, Wildmon claims that "Carrie Underwood encourages and supports homosexual marriage" and "The Word of God is not a preference, but principles God has spoken. God is right about marriage and Carrie Underwood is wrong."

I whole-heartedly agree with Wildmon about the Word of God, but cannot figure out why this is the fight he wants to pick.

I cannot find any statements from Underwood that claim she is full-fledged in support of gay marriage. In the 2012 interview she did say, "Above all, God wanted us to love others. It's not about setting rules, or [saying] 'everyone has to be like me'. No. We're all different. That's what makes us special. We have to love each other and get on with each other. It's not up to me to judge anybody."

She also said, "our church is gay friendly."

The thing about churches is this-- they are made up of imperfect people. Therefore, there are no perfect churches. And going to a church doesn't mean you align perfectly with its beliefs. It means you probably, mostly align with its beliefs.

On top of this, I cannot imagine that each and every artist who performed during Passion aligns fully with Wildmon's own personal beliefs. I'm very familiar with most of the artists and speakers who were there and I'm not totally on board with everything they've ever said, but they aren't wrong.

All in all, if Underwood wants to volunteer her time and show up in front of 50,000 people to proclaim her faith in God, how can you knock her for that? Why is this the battle? How many other A-list celebrities were willing to do what she did?

At the end of the day, you have to admire so many people coming together in support of something bigger than themselves. The world needs more people willing to stand up for what they believe in-- and even sing about it-- if they want.

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Brett Eldredge's Video With Sadie Robertson for "The Long Way" is Finally Here

Once you get past the age difference, Brett Eldredge and Sadie Robertson seem to make quite the couple in the new video for Brett's "The Long Way." Brett shared that the up-and-coming reality TV star turned motivational speaker and actress would be his love interest in a cute Instagram post a few weeks ago. He said it was gonna be "magic" and he isn't that far off.


The tune is all about digging into someone's past and where they came from to learn more about who they are now. Brett is a hopeless romantic, so the song isn't about anyone specific, which makes it even more timeless.

Brett and Sadie take a lap around town and a farm hand-in-hand, as he serenades her throughout the video, via the long way.

Brett did not meet anyone from "Duck Dynasty."



"The Long Way" is the second single off Brett's third album, which is self-titled.

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Kacey Musgraves and Ruston Kelly's Wedding Photos Are the Happiest, Prettiest Wedding Photos EVER


Kacey Musgraves has been saying for months, that when you know you know. And she totally knew when she met Ruston Kelly that he was the love of her life. Kacey described meeting Ruston at the Bluebird Cafe like only a songwriter could, "...Didn't know that I would hear his songs and be meeting the love of my life. Never saw him coming but sometimes life has you under its wing and you don't even realize it."

The two were married on Saturday, October 14 in a picturesque outdoor ceremony near Franklin, Tennessee.

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Dierks Bentley Rocks Neighborhood Block Party With Hit "Somewhere On A Beach"

Dierks Bentley hit the stage early this morning (Oct. 17) on"Good Morning America" to perform his hits "Black" and "Somewhere on the Beach" for a neighborhood block party in Austin, Texas.

The Texas neighborhood has hosted the block party for twelve years and received a visit from Dierks as a result of winning a "GMA" contest. This year they wanted to honor those affected by Hurricane Harvey. So they invited first responders who helped the state during the destruction from Hurricane Harvey.

As Dierks was speaking with meteorologist Ginger Zee, she asked him what it meant to see those faces in the crowd. "I've been around so many first responders this week, I've been promoting a movie, it's coming out, called 'Only The Brave,'" he began.

"These people that rush towards danger when the rest of us are running away from it. Just being around these guys and these women, I have more respect for them now than ever. In country music we really elevate our military, and rightly so. But we need to make sure we're taking care of really recognizing these hometown heroes that we have amongst us"

Dierks co-wrote the song "Hold the Light" for the film "Only The Brave," the first song he wrote and recorded for a film. The movie centers around an elite crew of firemen—The Granite Mountain Hotshots— from Prescott, Arizona who battled a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona in 2013, that claimed the lives of 19 of their members. The film stars Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Taylor Kitsch and Jennifer Connelly.

The singer took to Instagram to share his performance of "Black" saying, "early morning block party from austin on @goodmorningamerica."


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A Horse Trainer Proved Super 8 Has A Very Friendly Pet Policy

Lindsey Partridge, also known as the Canadian horse whisperer, was checking into a Kentucky motel when she heard the woman in front of her ask about a pet policy. It was normal for small pets to share a room in the Super 8, but Partridge wanted to see how far the policy would go. When she asked if the policy would cover her horse, the woman behind the desk said, "Aw, I wouldn't mind. You could do that." So Partridge went to her trailer and brought her retired thoroughbred racing horse Blizz into the lobby.

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If This Video Doesn't Get You Excited About the 51st Annual CMA Awards, Nothing Will


I know I'm not the only person that treats the CMA Awards like Christmas morning, right? Right. The 51st Annual CMA Awards will be hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood and broadcast live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Wednesday, Nov. 8 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network and it's time to start getting excited.

To get you pumped up, the CMA recently released a new Heart of Country video featuring Keith Urban, Garth Brooks and Kelsea Ballerini discussing how country music moves through them. And with the opening guitar chords of Brooks' "Thunder Rolls" playing in the background-- you'll probably watch on repeat.


Urban and Brooks are both up for CMA Entertainer of the Year, with Underwood and Ballerini vying for Female Vocalist of the Year.

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[Listen] Scotty McCreery's Deep Vocals Are on Display During Singing of National Anthem

As the Denver Broncos took on the New York Giants Sunday, Oct. 15 at Denver's Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Scotty McCreery was on hand to perform a stirring rendition of the national anthem.

Scotty, a lifelong New England Patriots fans, put his favoritism aside to belt out "The Star Spangled Banner" in front of 76,000 fans, who were in attendance. Unfortunately, even Scotty couldn't help the Broncos who were defeated by the previously winless Giants, 23-10, giving New York their first win of the season.

Another big milestone in the singers life occurred recently when Scotty proposed to his longtime girlfriend Gabi Dugal. The 23-year-old popped the question at their favorite spot— the mountains of North Carolina near Grandfather Mountain. McCreery asked Dugal to go on a hike and when he found the perfect spot at the top of the mountain, the "American Idol" winner got down on one knee, presented the ring he had helped design specifically for her, and asked Dugal to be his wife.

"I've been planning this moment for so long that it feels surreal for it to have finally happened," said McCreery of the big moment. They plan to marry in 2018.

Scotty's current single, "Five More Minutes," from his upcoming album, is on the rise at No. 31 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart.

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Shania Twain Takes On Role Of Guest Judge on "Dancing With The Stars"

Shania Twain is heading to the dance floor on "Dancing with the Stars." No, not to dance, but to be a guest judge on the reality series competition.

The theme of the show will be "Movie Night," where the remaining contestants will honor iconic dances in film history. Shania will be pulling double duty—not only taking on the role as judge, but also performing her song "Soldier," from her current album, Now, according to PEOPLE.

"Soldier" is featured in the new movie "Thank You For Your Service" about a group of U.S. soldiers who return from Iraq and face the struggle to get back to family and civilian life. "Thank You For Your Service," stars Haley Bennett, MIles Teller and Keisha Castle-Hughes.

As Shania dips her toe in the "DWTS" pool, perhaps we'll see the "Life's About To Get Good" singer take a spin in the ballroom. Shania is no stranger to styling dance moves. The 50-year-old has shown off her moves in many videos over the years including, "Any Man of Mine," "Man, I Feel Like A Woman," and the recent, "Swingin' With My Eyes Closed."

"Dancing With the Stars" airs Mondays nights on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.

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[Listen] One Country Podcast: Las Vegas, Jason Aldean, And A Way Forward

We talk about what it was like inside the country music industry in the ten days since the Las Vegas shooting. Then, Drew went to Jason Aldean's first show back and was surprised by what he found.

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The Most Personalized Children's Book Ever Lets You Put Their Name In The Title

As a church kid, I felt I had arrived when I got my first personalized Bible. It was a pocket bible with my name stamped in gold across the oxblood leather that I used until the cover fell off. A large part of that was because I realized the Bible wasn't a story about someone else, but God's story for me about Himself. That is the message of a new children's book called "Jesus Loves" that will print your child's name right on the cover and address them personally in over 40 places through stories and lessons.

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