When Carrie Underwood last released new music we had a different president, everyone loved Matt Lauer and at least two of country music's biggest stars were virtually unknown to non-mainstream audiences.

Bro-country was a thing when Underwood dropped Storyteller in October 2015 — although the objectifying country trend was on the back half of a rollercoaster ride through our radios. American Idol drew big ratings ... on Fox. We laughed and cheered over songs that resulted in a man's death and celebrated with even more aggression if guns were involved. Now, in the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy and so many other massacres, it's hard to imagine getting the same kind of enjoyment out of violence on the air (even if the guy did deserve it!)

So much has changed between new Carrie Underwood albums. The singer announced her first single on UMG Nashville will be "Cry Pretty," a rocker that's expected to come with a full-length album later in 2018. Country music's premiere female vocalist had amassed quite a heavy body count in recent years — it'll be interesting to see how or if this trend will continue on her future projects!

The radio sounds much different in 2018. There are seemingly as many pop females on the country airplay chart as solo country females, and the lines between genres are bending and twisting like two mating snakes in a hayfield. Artists like Chris Stapleton keep it country, and relative to new Underwood music, he's a newcomer. The soulful singer's coming out party at the CMA Awards didn't happen until several weeks after Storyteller dropped.

That's right, we didn't know who Stapleton or Maren Morris were the last time Underwood dropped new music!

As for Underwood? She changed record labels, found a full-time hobby as the lead Nashville Predators cheerleader, suffered devastating injuries to her face after a fall at her house and made several business decisions that have many experts wondering if she'll do more to target pop audiences with this new project. The future is unknown.

Learn how we got here during this week's episode of This List and then subscribe so you never miss upcoming country music thought-starters on the genre's largest media YouTube channel.

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