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“Good Girl” + “Bad Reputation”: How Carrie Underwood bonded with rocker Joan Jett for CMA Fest special

ABC/Mark Levine

Sunday on ABC’s yearly CMA Fest special, Carrie Underwood teams up with what some might consider an unlikely companion: rocker Joan Jett.

But it turns out the American Idol winner is a huge fan of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s music. And Carrie’s admiration only intensified once she realized “how much of a trailblazer she was for…women in music in general.”

“I’m a fan on every level,” Carrie explains of Jett, “like personally, professionally, musically, and [I’m] honored that she has heard my name before, and agreed to come sing with me.”

In talking with her, Underwood was struck by how much Jett wanted to impress the country audience.

“You can tell that she really wants to do a great job in this crowd,” Carrie said backstage before their performance. “It’s not like nervousness, it’s just wanting to do well. And she’s like, ‘You know, because I know this isn’t my world, and I just hope that they like know the songs.’”

Carrie assured her she had nothing to worry about: “I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me? Of course they know the songs! I know it’s not your audience, but it is, because they’re like me, they’ve heard your songs. They’re gonna know every word to every song.’”

Carrie was also excited to show Joan how wonderful the country fans are.

“It’s gonna be, I think, so much fun for me to get to like show off our people to her,” Carrie said beforehand, “you know, and show off our crowd and how amazing they’re gonna be to her.”

Tune in at 8 p.m. ET Sunday on ABC to see Carrie and Joan do a medley of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts hits like “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” “Bad Reputation,” and “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

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