Carrie Marie Underwood (born March 20, 1986 in Checotah, Oklahoma) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She rose to fame as the winner of season four of American Idol in 2005. Following her victory Underwood became a country music sensation, winning seven Grammy Awards among many other achievements.
Early Life Edit
Underwood was born on March 10, 1983 in Checotah, Oklahoma. Underwood is the youngest of three daughters. She began singing in church at an early age, and as she grew older her mother would drive her to talent shows and local events to perform.
A local admirer arranged for her to go to Nashville when she was 14 to audition for Capitol Records. In 1996, Capitol Records was preparing a contract for Underwood but cancelled it when company management changed. Underwood said of the event, "I honestly think it's a lot better that nothing came out of it now, because I wouldn't have been ready then. Everything has a way of working out." While at Checotah High School, she was an Honor Society member, a cheerleader, and played basketball and softball. Underwood graduated from Checotah High School in 2001 as salutatorian. She chose not to pursue singing after graduation. She said, "After high school, I pretty much gave up on the dream of singing. I had reached a point in my life where I had to be practical and prepare for my future in the 'real world'". She attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, graduating magna cum laude in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and an emphasis in journalism. She spent part of one of her summers as a page for Oklahoma State Representative Bobby Frame. She also waited tables at a pizzeria, worked at a zoo, and at a veterinary clinic. Underwood is an alumna of the Alpha Iota chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority. For two years during the summer, she performed in Northeastern State University's Downtown Country show in Tahlequah. She also competed in numerous beauty pageants at the university and was selected as Miss NSU runner-up in 2004.
2004-05: American Idol Edit
In the summer of 2004, Underwood auditioned for American Idol in St. Louis, Missouri. After she sang "Could've Been" by Tiffany on the top 12 girls night, judge Simon Cowell commented that she would be one of the favorites to win the competition. During the top 11 finalists' performance on the March 22, 2005, Idol episode, Underwood sang a rendition of the number one 1980s rock hit "Alone", made famous by Heart, and Cowell predicted that Underwood would not only win the competition, but she would also outsell all previous Idol winners. One of the show's producers later said she dominated the voting, and never landed in the bottom three. She gained a fan base known as "Carrie's Care Bears" during the course of the show. During the final, she sang with Rascal Flatts their song "Bless the Broken Road". On May 25, 2005, Underwood became the season four winner. Her winnings included a recording contract worth at least a million dollars, use of a private jet for a year, and a Ford Mustang convertible.
|American Idol season 4 performances and results|
|Auditions||Contestant's choice||"I Can't Make You Love Me"||Bonnie Raitt||N/A||Advanced|
|Hollywood||"Young Hearts Run Free"||Candi Staton|
|Top 75||"Independence Day"||Martina McBride|
|Top 24 (12 women)||"Could've Been"||Tiffany||5||Safe|
|Top 20 (10 women)||"Piece of My Heart"||Erma Franklin||9|
|Top 16 (8 women)||"Because You Love Me"||Jo Dee Messina||3|
|Top 12||Song of the 1960s||"When Will I Be Loved"||The Everly Brothers||11|
|Top 11||Billboard number ones||"Alone"||Heart||2|
|Top 10||1990s||"Independence Day"||Martina McBride||8|
|Top 9||Classic Broadway||"Hello, Young Lovers"||The King and I cast||3|
|Top 8||Year they were born||"Love Is a Battlefield"||Pat Benatar||7|
|Top 7||1970s dance music||"MacArthur Park"||Richard Harris||2|
|Top 6||21st Century||"When God-Fearin' Women Get the Blues"||Martina McBride||1|
|Top 5||Leiber & Stoller||"Trouble"||Elvis Presley||5|
|Current Billboard chart||"Bless the Broken Road"||Nitty Gritty Dirt Band||10|
|Top 4||Country||"Sin Wagon"||Dixie Chicks||1|
|Gamble & Huff||"If You Don't Know Me by Now"||Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes||5|
|Top 3||Clive Davis' choice||"Crying"||Roy Orbison||3|
|Contestant's choice||"Making Love Out of Nothing at All"||Air Supply||6|
|Judge's choice (Randy Jackson)||"Man! I Feel Like a Woman!"||Shania Twain||9|
|Final 2||Idol single||"Inside Your Heaven"||Carrie Underwood/Bo Bice||2||Winner|
|Contestant's choice||"Independence Day"||Martina McBride||4|
|Producer's choice||"Angels Brought Me Here"||Guy Sebastian||6|
Underwood released her Idol coronation single, Inside Your Heaven, on June 14, 2005. The single debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs chart, making her the first country artist in history to debut at the top of that chart. Underwood released her debut album, Some Hearts, on November 18, 2005. It sold over 315,000 copies in its first week, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and #2 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The album would eventually become the best-selling debut release from a country artist, as well as the best-selling album by an American Idol to date, selling over 8 million copies.
In 2007 she released her second album, Carnival Ride, which contained number one singles "So Small", "All-American Girl", and the Grammy-winning "Last Name."
Underwood's third studio album Play On followed in late 2009, winning the American Music Award for Favorite Country Album and adding to her list of number one hits with "Cowboy Casanova." Her fourth album Blown Away was released in May 2012, and she won another Grammy with the title track, also embarking on a global tour.
In 2014 Underwood released a greatest hits compilation to give herself more time to work on her fifth album. The new single "Something in the Water" won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance and topped the Billboard charts.
She released fifth album, Storyteller, in October 2015 and embarked on another worldwide tour the following year. Underwood received her first-ever nomination in 2016 for the CMA Entertainer of the Year category. She also earned another Grammy nomination for the 2017 ceremony, for her number one hit "Church Bells."
Personal LifeEditUnderwood has been married to Mike Fisher, who plays hockey for the NHL's Nashville Predators, since July 10, 2010. They have a son, Isaiah Michael Fisher, who was born on February 27, 2015.
- Some Hearts (2005)
- Carnival Ride (2007)
- Play On (2009)
- Blown Away (2012)
- Greatest Hits: Decade #1 (2014)
- Storyteller (2015)
- Jesus, Take the Wheel (2005)
- Before He Cheats (2006)
- Wasted (2007)
- So Small (2007)
- All-American Girl (2007)
- Last Name (2008)
- Just A Dream (2008)
- I Told You So (2009)
- Cowboy Casanova (2009)
- Temporary Home (2009)
|Carrie Underwood · Bo Bice · Vonzell Solomon · Anthony Fedorov · Scott Savol · Constantine Maroulis · Anwar Robinson · Nadia Turner · Nikko Smith · Jessica Sierra · Mikalah Gordon · Lindsey Cardinale|