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Carrie Underwood's face: A guide to an enduring mystery

By: Emily Yahr The Washington Post
April 14, 2018 Updated: April 14, 2018 at 10:01 am
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FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, file photo, Carrie Underwood performs "Softly and Tenderly" during an In Memoriam tribute at the 51st annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. Underwood teamed up with Ludacris to co-write a new song "The Champion," which will be the opening video for the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 airing on NBC. The song, which was also written by country songwriters Brett James and Chris DeStefano, was released Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

On Sunday night at the Academy of Country Music Awards, country star Carrie Underwood will appear on television. Normally, this would not be a huge deal, as Underwood has been in the spotlight since she won "American Idol" in 2005.

However, this time Underwood is poised to steal the show - because in January she revealed that she "might look a bit different" after a "gruesome" injury she suffered last fall. This is the first time she will be featured in public since the accident.

Ever since that January announcement, Underwood's face has become a source of intense fascination, with countless news stories every time she posts an Instagram photo. So if you're curious why this has garnered so much attention, here's a guide and timeline to the Carrie Underwood mystery of 2018.

Nov. 11, 2017: Underwood's publicist releases a statement saying the star took a "hard fall" on the stairs outside her Nashville home on Friday night: "While there were no life-threatening injuries, she was taken to the hospital to be treated. She sustained multiple injuries including a broken wrist and some cuts and abrasions from the fall."

Nov. 12: Underwood sends her first tweet since the accident. "Thanks so much for all the well wishes everybody ... I'll be alright ... might just take some time ... glad I've got the best hubby in the world to take care of me," she wrote, referring to her husband of more than seven years, hockey player Mike Fisher.

Nov. 20: Underwood wins favorite female country artist at the American Music Awards, and writes an Instagram message saying she can't attend but is honored to receive the prize.

Dec. 27: After weeks under the radar, Underwood promotes a scarf from her clothing line, CALIA by Carrie, with a photo in which most of her face is covered.

Jan. 1, 2018: Underwood sends a letter to her fan club that reveals some upsetting news: Her injuries from the fall were much more serious than initially reported. "There is also another part of the story that I haven't been ready to talk about, since I have still been living it and there has been much uncertainty as to how things will end up," she writes in a post that quickly made its way around the internet. "It's crazy how a freak random accident can change your life."

Underwood explains that along with a broken wrist, she injured her face. "I'll spare you the gruesome details, but when I came out of surgery the night of my fall, the doctor told Mike that he had put between 40-50 stitches in," she writes. "Now here we are 7 weeks later and, even though I've had the best people helping me, I'm still healing and not looking quite the same."

Feb. 10: Underwood publishes the first picture of herself since the fall, with her adorable toddler son, Isaiah. This will start a tradition of Underwood posting partial pictures of her face, and people of the internet zooming in to see if they can tell what happened.

April 8: Underwood makes it official: She'll drop a new single April 11. So she must be performing it at the Academy of Country Music Awards on April 15? Since that's one of the genre's biggest events and she's up for two awards?

April 9: Indeed! The ACM Awards announces Underwood will perform Sunday.

April 10: Underwood reveals the single is titled "Cry Pretty." She also pens another letter to fans, saying, "First off, physically, I'm doing pretty darn good these days!"

That's all so far - until Sunday, when Underwood finally will make a public appearance. And thanks to the speculation, it's a guarantee she will have all the attention.

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