220px-Carrie Underwood- Before He Cheats
"Before He Cheats" is a song written by Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear and the third wide-release single from Carrie Underwood's debut album, Some Hearts. It was the fifth release from the album overall. It was named the 2007 Single of the Year by the Country Music Association. It is Underwood's most successful single as of
"Before He Cheats"
Single by Carrie Underwood
from the album Some Hearts
Released August 19, 2006
Format Digital download
Recorded FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL
Genre Country, country rock
Length 3:19 (Album Version)
Label Arista
Writer(s) Josh Kear

Chris Tompkins[1]

Producer Mark Bright
Certification 3× Platinum (RIAA)Platinum (CRIA)
Carrie Underwood singles chronology
"Don't Forget to Remember Me"(2006) "Before He Cheats"(2006) "Wasted"(2007)
Some Hearts track listing
"Lessons Learned"


"Before He Cheats"


"Starts with Goodbye"


Music video
"Before He Cheats" at

August, 2011, with sales of 3,314,000 digital downloads,[2] making it the fourth best-selling country song of all time behind Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now", with 5.21 million, Taylor Swift's "Love Story", with more than 5 million and Swift's "You Belong with Me", with 3.6 million. It is the second most sold single from an American Idol contestant (behind "No Air" by season 6 winner Jordin Sparks with 4 million),[3] and the fourth longest-charting single in the history of the Hot 100. It also came in on CMT's 40 Greatest Songs of the Decade at #25, along with Underwood's other signature hit, Jesus, Take the Wheel, which ranked #4.

[edit] BackgroundEdit

"Before He Cheats" tells the story of a woman taking revenge on her potentially unfaithful boyfriend/husband.

She imagines him hanging out and flirting with a "bleach-blonde" girl, shooting pool, buying her a drink, dancing, and hoping to "get lucky" with her. In retaliation, she commits several law-breaking actions including vandalizing his customized four-wheel drive vehicle by scratching its side with a key, carving her name into its leather seats, smashing the headlights with a Louisville Slugger baseball bat and slashing all four tires. She hopes that this will make him "think before he cheats" again.

"Before He Cheats" has sold over 3,314,000 downloads as of August 2011,[2] making it the fourth-most downloaded country song after "Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum; "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me" by Taylor Swift. The song was certified 2× Platinum in digital sales by the RIAA in February 2008, making it the first country song to ever to do so. It is the second best selling single from an American Idol contestant, and Underwood's best selling single to date. It has sold over one million ringtones. In Canada, it is officially certified as Platinum. On July 30, 2010, the song was officially cetified 3x Platinum by RIAA.

[edit] Music videoEdit

The music video for "Before He Cheats" was directed by Roman White.[4] In the beginning of the video Underwood is seen going out to a parking lot with a Louisville Slugger because she has just vandalized her husband/boyfriend's four-wheel drive truck for cheating on her. In other scenes, the "husband/boyfriend" (Actor - Tabb Shoup) is seen kissing another woman. As the video progresses Underwood takes the stage to sing as various objects behind her, such as lamps, are seen exploding. At one point, a screen shot of the front seat of the truck is seen with Underwood's name carved in it, which she mentions during the chorus of the song. Eventually, she catches up with her cheating husband/boyfriend with the other woman. After looking shocked for a second, she scoffs and drops the keys to his now-demolished truck into his drink. Towards the end Underwood struts down a street, singing along with the song, while different objects are shown flying across the air, glasses are seen shattering, and light bulbs explode paying homage to Brian De Palma's Carrie. At the very end of the music video, the truck is shown completely destroyed.

The early scenes in the video featuring a crowd in a narrow street and Underwood in a parking garage, were filmed in and around Printer's Alley in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. The final scene, featuring the exploding glass and light bulbs, was filmed on Fourth Avenue just north of Church Street in Nashville.

"Before He Cheats" made GAC music video history by debuting at number one. It also marks the third consecutive number-one music video on GAC for Underwood. It made history on CMT's Top Twenty Countdown for being at number one for a consecutive five weeks. In December 2006, "Before He Cheats" was named the best video of 2006 by CMT's Top 20 Countdown. It also finished number two in GAC's Video of the Year for 2006 behind Trace Adkins's "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk". Proving its crossover success, the video made a debut at number 15 on the VSpot Top 20 Countdown, peaking at number 4.

The video premiered on MTV's Total Request Live in April 2007, this is the second country music video to be premiered in this program, the first being "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" by Jessica Simpson. The video went on the make a #10 debut on June 5, 2007, over a month after its premiere.

On April 16, 2007, the video for "Before He Cheats" swept the CMT Music Awards, winning three categories: Video of the Year, Female Video of the Year, and Director of the Year. Underwood made history by being the first female to win Video of the Year.

The video also garnered Carrie a 2007 MTV Video Music Award nomination in the category of Best New Artist.

During an NBC Sunday Night Football telecast of a Dallas Cowboys-New York Giants game, the song was played over the Dallas offensive lineup announcements after Underwood broke up with Dallas QB Tony Romo.

The music video was ranked #9 on CMT's 100 Greatest Videos.[5]

In 2009, the music video for the song was voted #1 by fans as VH1's Greatest Diva Music Video of all-time, before the airing of the annual VH1 Divas Live special. Underwood's win for this honor beat nominations from pop and R&B music icons including Mariah Carey, Madonna, Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, Shania Twain, and Lady GaGa. The music video for "Before He Cheats" also defeated entries from other huge names (and who some would consider legends) such as Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, Reba McEntire, Celine Dion, and Whitney Houston. Another one of Underwood's music videos, for "Last Name", was also nominated.

[edit] ReceptionEdit

The song has drawn criticism for its glorification of violence as a justified response to the infidelity suffered by the subject of the song. For example, Glenn Sacks, an American men's and fathers' issues columnist and radio broadcaster, cited "Before He Cheats" as an example of the "double standard about domestic violence [that] manifests itself in ... popular culture".[6] Sacks notes that a "song and a video approving of a violent, jealous man destroying his girlfriend's car" would likely receive dissimilar treatment, and undoubtedly draw widespread criticism.

[edit] Cover versionsEdit

[edit] Awards and nominationsEdit

[edit] 50th Grammy AwardsEdit

Year Nominated work Award Result
2008 "Before He Cheats" Best Female Country Vocal Performance Won
2008 "Before He Cheats" Country Song of the Year Won
2008 "Before He Cheats" Song of the Year Nominated

[edit] 33rd People's Choice AwardsEdit

Year Nominated work Award Result
2007 "Before He Cheats" Favorite Country Song Won

[edit] 2007 CMT Music AwardsEdit

Year Nominated work Award Result
2007 "Before He Cheats" Video of the Year Won
2007 "Before He Cheats" Female Video of the Year Won

[edit] 2007 Academy of Country Music AwardsEdit

Year Nominated work Award Result
2007 "Before He Cheats" Music Video of the Year Won
2007 "Before He Cheats" Song of the Year Nominated
2007 "Before He Cheats" Single of the Year Nominated

[edit] 2007 MTV Video Music AwardsEdit

Year Nominated work Award Result
2007 "Before He Cheats" Best New Artist Nominated

[edit] 2007 Country Music Association AwardsEdit

Year Nominated work Award Result
2007 "Before He Cheats" Single of the Year Won
2007 "Before He Cheats" Song of the Year Nominated
2007 "Before He Cheats" Music Video of the Year Nominated

[edit] 2007 ASCAP Country Music AwardsEdit

Year Nominated work Award Result
2007 "Before He Cheats" Song of the Year Won
2007 "Before He Cheats" Most Performed Song of the Year Won

[edit] 2007 Teen Choice AwardsEdit

Year Nominated work Award Result
2007 "Before He Cheats" Choice Payback Track Nominated

[edit] Chart performanceEdit

"Before He Cheats" first appeared on the charts in February 2006. Although it had not at that point been released as a single, many country stations began giving the song unsolicited airplay, leading it to debut on Billboard's Hot Country Songs at #59. By the time the song was officially released as Some Hearts' third single in August of that year, it had already racked up 20 non-consecutive weeks on the chart, reaching as high as #49. After the official release, the song climbed the country charts quickly, reaching #1 in November and remaining there for five weeks. This was Underwood's third consecutive number one country single and fourth number one single overall. It also managed to debut on the Hot 100 at #92, and by November it had reached #16 on that chart. A controversy involving Faith Hill's reaction to Underwood's win for Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2006 CMAs (at which Underwood performed "Before He Cheats") helped bring attention and sales to the single. By the end of 2006, the song began to slowly descend the charts, and it had appeared the single had peaked.

However, Top 40 radio began to take notice of the song in February 2007, around the time of Underwood's Grammy wins. As the single increased its top 40 airplay, it began to rebound on the Hot 100. The new airplay, along with attention from numerous award show wins for the song, such as favorite country song at the 2007 People's Choice Awards in January and Video of the Year at the 2007 CMTs in April, reinvigorated digital sales as well. When it finally peaked at number 8 in May 2007, it had already logged 38 weeks on the chart, making it the longest trek to the top 10 ever. As pop airplay began dying down, the song got a third life on the adult contemporary format, which began playing the song in May. "Before He Cheats" spent 64 consecutive weeks on the Hot 100, before finally falling off in late November 2007. The song is the fourth-longest charting single on the Hot 100, following LeAnn Rimes's "How Do I Live", Jewel's "You Were Meant For Me"/"Foolish Games" and Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours". It is the second longest running hit so far this decade.

"Before He Cheats" was ranked sixth on the 2007 Hot 100 Year-End Chart and fifth on the 2007 Hot 100 Airplay Year-End Chart by Billboard Magazine. It was also ranked tenth on the 2007 Adult Contemporary Year-End Chart.

Chart (2006–2007) Peak


Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[8] 4
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 8
US Country Songs (Billboard)[10] 1
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[11] 6
US Pop Songs (Billboard)[12] 9
US Adult Pop Songs (Billboard)[13] 5
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