LOS ANGELES Country singer Carrie Underwood will sing the opening theme to NBC's "Sunday Night Football" program, one of the United States' most-watched TV shows, when the new season kicks off in September, the network said on Tuesday.
Grammy-winner Underwood will take the reins from fellow country singer Faith Hill, who had sung the theme "Waiting All Day for Sunday Night" before each telecast since 2007. Underwood's performance will be prerecorded.
"I'm very excited," Underwood, 30, said in a conference call. "I think it's a perfect fit and I am such a sports fan and football fan, and we love Sunday nights around my household, so for me to be a part of it is something really special."
Underwood, who shot to recognition by winning the TV singing competition "American Idol" in 2005, is married to Canadian ice hockey player Mike Fisher and sang the national anthem at the 2010 Super Bowl.
A prominent musical introduction is a staple of U.S. prime time football broadcasts after Hank Williams Jr. reworked his song "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming over Tonight" as the theme for the "Monday Night Football" program in 1989.
"Sunday Night Football" begins its weekly run on September 8 with a game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.
NBC is part of Comcast Corp.
(Reporting by Eric Kelsey, editing by Jill Serjeant and Cynthia Osterman)