And it might be a departure from what country fans expect from Carrie, but the rousing song is getting rave reviews just the same.
Yep, that really is a Ludacris rap in a Carrie Underwood single.
On iTunes? At 10:30 a.m. Friday, just hours after its release, “Champion” was already number 10 on the overall iTunes singles chart. It was number six on the pop singles chart.
And by Saturday morning? Try number one on iTunes — both the overall singles chart and the pop singles chart.
As for what fans are saying, here’s an early sampling from Twitter:
Kenny M / @kennaymart: “Carrie Underwood SNAPPED on her new song “The Champion”.. A BOP! And it’ll be played at every sporting event final for the rest of time. Wow.”
Courtney Mitchell / @CourtM21: “Wow! Never thought I’d hear Carrie’s voice with Ludacris, but it sounds so great! Girl can jump any genre with that voice!”
Mike DeSorbo / @mike47725919: “I just heard #TheChampion by Carrie, she can literally sing any genre, remarkable, it’s a hit IMO”
Theresa / @ny4carrie: “OMG, Carrie, it’s AMAZING! I hope you get to perform the whole song live somewhere! It will be a SMASH! Plus it’s inspiring and powerful- & we all need a little inspiration these days!”
Carrie, of course, already had strong ties to the NFL with her Sunday night kickoff song.
That led to Sunday Night Football executive producer Fred Gaudelli asking Carrie to write “The Champion” for use in this year’s Super Bowl.
This also marks Carrie’s first official release since her “Storyteller” album landed in October 2015.
Here’s the official lyric video.