Carrie Underwood says Audra McDonald's voice was 'blessed by God'

Country music star and Christian Carrie Underwood has voiced support for actress and singer Audra McDonald as well as LGBT rights in an essay for TIME's "100 Most Influential People" list.

In addition to commending McDonald's talent on stage and on screen, Underwood made special note of her commitment to LGBT issues.

"She has acted on television and in movies, graced theatre and concert stages and given a gift to countless fans with a voice that I can only describe as being blessed by God," Underwood wrote.

"But I feel the greatest legacy she will leave behind lies in the works she does for others. Never afraid to stand up for what she believes, Audra is a strong voice speaking out for humane treatment of animals, dignity for the homeless and marriage equality," she added.

McDonald has been an outspoken opponent of Indiana's religious freedom bill, and uses the Twitter username @audraequalitymc to promote equal rights. She also sits on sits on the board of several organisations that promote LGBT rights, according to

The actress said she was touched by Underwood's tribute.

"Thank you 4 the love 4 making the #TIME100 list," she tweeted Friday.

"Its [sic] an honor & I'm so grateful to be included among such wildly diverse amazing people... and a special thank you to my sweet friend .@carrieunderwood for writing that tribute and making me cry!!!" she added.

Underwood's views on marriage equality hit a nerve among her more conservative fans three years ago when she expressed her support for gay marriage in an interview with a British newspaper.

"As a married person myself, I don't know what it's like to be told I can't marry somebody I love, and want to marry," she told The Independent. "I can't imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love." 

The singer and new mother has also been vocal about her Christian faith, and recently revealed that she stood firm in her faith when others thought it would damage her career.

"After I released 'Jesus Take the Wheel,' people started saying, 'Oh, it's kind of risky. You're coming out with a religious song,'" she said last year, according to Esquire magazine.

"And I was thinking, 'Really?' I grew up in Oklahoma, I always had a close relationship with God. I never thought it was risky in the least. If anything, I thought it was the safest thing I could do."