Carrie Underwood, Joan Jett teaming up for original 'Sunday Night Football' opener this season

Ryan Young
Yahoo Sports Contributor
NBC will revert back to its original "Sunday Night Football" opener amid a lawsuit filed over last year's theme song. (Andrew Wendowski/AP)

NBC is reverting back to its original “Sunday Night Football” opening hit this fall, though Carrie Underwood will have a bit of help with the classic song this time around.

Underwood will be joined by Joan Jett and her band, the Blackhearts, on “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night” this season, the network revealed on Tuesday.

The original song debuted when “Sunday Night Football” moved to NBC in 2006, and was based off Jett’s 1998 song, “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” It was first performed by Pink that season before Faith Hill took over for the next six years. Underwood then picked it up in 2013.

“I have always been a huge fan of Joan’s, and I’m thrilled that she’s joining us for the Sunday Night Football open,” Underwood said, via NBC. “What better way to pay homage to the original SNF opening song than by getting to play with her on primetime’s biggest stage?”

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NBC went away from the song in 2016, switching to “Oh, Sunday Night” — which played for two seasons. Last year Underwood performed “Game On” ahead of the broadcast, which prompted a lawsuit against her, the network and the NFL. Singer Heidi Merrill filed a federal lawsuit in June alleging that Underwood’s song is “substantially — even strikingly — similar, if not identical” to a song she posted to YouTube in 2017 with the same title, according to the Washington Post.

She said she even pitched the song to one of Underwood’s producers as a possible song for the show in 2017, though was told they were passing on it. “Game On” then debuted as the “Sunday Night Football” opener in 2018.

That lawsuit is still ongoing.

The network will debut a “sneak preview” of the “Sunday Night Football” show at halftime on Sunday night during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ preseason game against the Tennessee Titans. The song was performed inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta this summer, too, marking the first time the network has actually filmed it inside a stadium.

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“Sunday Night Football” will officially kick off on Sept. 8 when the Steelers head to Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Patriots.

“When Carrie brought us this idea, we immediately embraced it as a terrific way to evolve the performance, while also celebrating the song we used in our first 10 seasons of SNF,” NBC executive producer Fred Gaudelli said, via NBC. “We were excited when Joan agreed to join us, and we can’t wait to debut the finished product.”

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