Carrie Underwood made a triumphant (and emotional) return to the spotlight on Sunday at the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards.

The country singer, 35, had the crowd on its feet as she took to the stage to perform her new single “Cry Pretty,” which marked Underwood’s first public appearance since she fell in November outside her home in Nashville. The singer broke her wrist and had to get more than 40 stitches in her face as a result of the freak accident.

Thankfully, she appears to have healed quite nicely. Wearing a sparkly silver-and-black frock, Underwood didn’t miss a beat as she belted out the beautiful power ballad, whose lyrics about vulnerability and overcoming adversity allude to her traumatic injury.

“The title refers to when emotions take over and you just can’t hold them back,” Underwood explained in a letter to fans about the song after she released a recorded version of “Cry Pretty” earlier this week. “It really speaks to a lot of things that have happened in the past year and I hope when you hear it, you can relate those feelings to those times in your life. It’s emotional. It’s real. And it ROCKS!”

Following her heartfelt performance at the ACM Awards, Underwood was clearly feeling emotional and got teary as the audience gave her a standing ovation with thunderous applause.

Underwood was also nominated for two ACM Awards — Female Vocalist of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year, for her duet with Keith Urban on “The Fighter.”

Academy of Country Music Awards
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