Carrie Underwood - Biography
BY J Poet
Thanks to her winning streak on American Idol, Grammy winning country singer and songwriter Carrie Underwood has become one of the most successful country artists in America. Her debut, Some Hearts (2005 Arista) was one of the fastest selling debut albums in country music history, going 7Xplatinum in just a few years. It was the best selling country album in 2005, 2006 and 2007, and spawned three #1 hits. Carnival Ride (2007 Arista) entered the pop and country charts at #1 and sold over three million copies the first year it was released. As of 2008, she was the biggest start ever launched by American Idol.
Underwood grew up in Checotah, Oklahoma where she played guitar and piano, sang in church, appeared in grade school musicals and won many talent shows, despite being painfully shy. At Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK, she majored in broadcast journalism, thinking she didn’t have what it takes to become a singer. Just before she was to graduate, she auditioned for American Idol and won the first place on the show’s 2005 season. Arista signed her and her first single, “Inside Your Heaven,” shot up the charts to #1. Her debut, Some Hearts (2005 Arista), spawned three #1 country singles, “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” which won a Dove Award (Gospel Grammy) and Single Record of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards. “Before He Cheats,” and “Wasted.” She also won two Grammys – one for Best Country Music Vocal, Female for the song “Jesus, Take the Wheel” and Best New Female Artist. She came out as a vegetarian and animal rights activist and become a spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In 2007, she took home another Best Country Music Vocal, Female Grammy for “Before He Cheats.” In 2006 she toured Kuwait and Iraq to entertain the troops.
Underwood returned to school to finish her degree, between touring and making her second record Carnival Ride (2007 Arista), which introduced her songwriting talent. It included four hits “So Small,” which she co-wrote with Hillary Lindsey, “All-American Girl,” “Last Name,” and “Just a Dream.” She cut a duet with Brad Paisley on his album 5th Gear (2007 Arista Nashville) and thanks to the magic of digital technology, sings a duet with Elvis Presley on Elvis Presley Christmas Duets (2008 RCA). In 2009 she released Play On, followed by Blown Away in 2012.