If you’re going to sing like a rock star then you might as well do it on a stage that accentuates your every single motion. And Carrie Underwood has never had a problem in that department. The performance by Carrie Underwood; country music superstar, and voice of Sunday Night Football, was indeed a spectacular event. It was hosted by Microsoft inspire Partner Celebration, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. on July 12th

One big reason was the stage, allowing Underwood to prowl and strut to her high heels’ content. Also giving eager fans a show they would remember for days to come. But such a stage won’t get you far if you don’t know how to work it; 11 years after winning American Idol, Underwood still has that oomph. In an era of country music loaded with young female talent –the likes of Maren Morris, Kacey Musgrave, Kelsea Ballerini – Underwood alone remains, with the voice and ambition to go full pop star, unleashing the full force of her vocal arsenal and crooning like a woman ready to take the wheel back from Jesus!

After rising from center stage, compact and composed as a tiny blond cake topper, Underwood unleashed her Oklahoma county-fair voice on a string of driving singles – a mash-up of Last Name and Something in the water. It was an opening run designed to overpower your senses, to keep you on your feet, and it worked beautifully.

More than once, the set felt like the creation of a veteran arena rock act like U2. The ambitious stage and lighting had a lot to do with that, but so did the aggressive performance of her band, especially guitarist Ed Eason, chiming out epic, and propulsive riffs on Blown Away, Clock Don’t Stop, and Smoke Break and Something in the Water.

Microsoft Inspire is not all business: the conference is also host to multiple ancillary events. Inspire is not only where thousands of partners from around the globe meet to get business done, it’s also where people from around the world congregate to celebrate Microsoft partners, all their innovations and their successes. Partner conference is the event that sets the tempo for everything that happens throughout the year. There are people from nearly 140 countries and that’s a pretty stunning number to say the least.

Last year, the celebration was in a spectacular fashion with a live performance by Gwen Stefani. And this year they thought to bring another huge name to the stage for the biggest partner celebration yet. Ladies and Gentlemen Carrie Underwood AKA Queen of Country-Pop.


A seven-time GRAMMY Award winner, she has collected over 100 major honors, sold 64 million records worldwide, and recorded 25 #1 singles. 13 of which she co-wrote, with a catalog of songs that have been a streaming figure of over 2.6 billion times worldwide.

In addition to a great performance, there was a plenty of food, fun, and opportunities to make new connections. A night of celebration in honor of successes, innovations and collaborations. An event where world meets to transform business and shape the world at the behest of innovation and technology.