Remember When Carrie Underwood Released ‘Jesus, Take the Wheel?’

On October 3, 2005, Carrie Underwood released “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” a song that would go on to change her…


Lauren Jo Black

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October 3, 2021

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Carrie Underwood; Photo via YouTube

On October 3, 2005, Carrie Underwood released “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” a song that would go on to change her life and career forever.

Released as her official first country radio single from her debut album, Some Hearts, “Jesus, Take the Wheel” tells the emotional story of a woman who turns to Jesus for help when her car hits black ice while driving on the highway. The woman was already having a tough year and was going “way too fast” when her car skidded on the ice. She threw her hands into the air and prayed for the safety of herself and her child.

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After spending an impressive six weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, “Jesus, Take the Wheel” went on to win several awards, including Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song at the Grammy Awards. Additionally, the heartfelt track was named Single of the Year at the 2005 Academy of Country Music Awards and the music video won two CMT Music Awards.

“Jesus, Take the Wheel” was co-written by Brett James, Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson.

James shared the story behind the song with The Boot and revealed that it all began like a “typical day at the office.” 

“We wrote it at Hillary’s house. We were trying to think of ideas, and Gordie walked in and said, ‘I have this title, and I don’t know what to do with it: ‘When Jesus Takes the Wheel.’” he recalled. 

James went on to share that “Hillary and I both laughed. I thought it was kind of silly, to be honest with you; I thought, “What in the world does that mean?”

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After talking about it for a while, they started to write and everything fell into place. 

“We really had no idea who was going to record the song,” he revealed. “When Carrie recorded it, it was one of those magical things when you get the right artist and the right song. This happened to be one of those songs.”

Click above to re-live Carrie Underwood’s earliest chart-topping hit.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.