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.
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?”
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.