Carrie Underwood Recorded “I Hope You Dance” When She Was Only 14

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The History Behind “I Hope You Dance” By Lee Ann Womack

With over two million digital copies sold, Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance” remains as beloved as it was upon its release in 1999. On top of being a #1 hit, “I Hope You Dance” won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song.

Today, country fans regard “I Hope You Dance” as Womack’s signature song.

Photo of Lee Ann Womack in her music video for "I Hope You Dance"
Lee Ann Womack / YouTube


Since Womack sang “I Hope You Dance” beautifully, few have dared to cover it. But “I Hope You Dance” has been a go-to track for country artists competing on singing shows.

Emily Ann Roberts, the runner-up of Season Nine of The Voice, performed the song on the show. Lauren Alaina, the runner-up of Season Ten of American Idol, also performed the song while competing on that show.

As it turns out, Alaina isn’t the only Idol contestant to ever cover “I Hope You Dance.” Carrie Underwood, who won the show’s fourth season, also sang it many years ago.

Carrie Underwood Recorded An Album Of Songs As A Teen, And That Album Was Lost For Years

However, Underwood didn’t perform “I Hope You Dance” during her time on Idol. In fact, she recorded the song years before.


Underwood started singing at a young age. Underwood landed spots as a featured performer at events near her hometown as a child and teen. Eventually, a fellow local helped get her to Nashville so she could audition for Capitol Records.

The company experienced a shift in management right in the middle of arranging Underwood’s recording contract. As a result, her contract was never finished.

Before that, Underwood completed an album containing covers of popular country songs. The material from that album, titled Broken Wings, went forgotten for years…until clips of the covers started to surface online.

Hear Young Carrie Underwood’s Version Of “I Hope You Dance”

Thankfully, her recording of “I Hope You Dance” made its way back into the light. As expected, Underwood sounds like an angel while singing the song.

Go ahead and listen to Underwood’s recording. Then, we want you to guess exactly how old she was then. 

Got your guess? Now it’s time for the answer…Underwood was only 14 when she recorded “I Hope You Dance.” Just goes to show that she’s a natural-born talent!