Carrie Underwood Joins With Ludacris for 'The Champion'

Paul Drinkwater  NBC Sports
Carrie Underwood

Justin Timberlake will be headlining the halftime show at Super Bowl LII (perhaps in some sort of flannel ensemble to match his new album's purportedly country aesthetic), but it's up to Carrie Underwood to open the show.

"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. There's a champion in every single one of us!" says Carrie.

The Jim Jonsin-produced record, which was released alongside a lyric video today (Jan. 12), has been confirmed to be the opening track for Super Bowl LII.

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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. It turns out Carrie specifically asked for Ludacris to join her on the track.

Following a brief teaser during an National Football League playoffs commercial last weekend (Jan. 7), Carrie Underwood shared a new anthemic jam "The Champion", which features rap veteran Ludacris. He was like 'I want everyone to hear it!' and I had to tell him, 'You can't do that. "It's going to be one of those songs that you see cut to highlights for the next 25 years". You can't play it in the locker room.

Check out the lyric video for "The Champion" above.

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