Carrie Underwood will celebrate her 36th birthday on March 10, with the celebration coming amidst an already busy year for the singer. In January, she and husband Mike Fisher welcomed their second child, son Jacob, and in May, Underwood will hit the road on her Cry Pretty Tour 360, continuing the domination of the country music scene she began after winning American Idol back in 2005.
Underwood's debut album Some Hearts was the fastest selling debut country album in Nielsen SoundScan history, the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history and the best-selling country album in the ten years since its release. To date, she's sold over 65 million records worldwide and won seven Grammy Awards, fourteen ACM Awards and nine CMA Awards. In addition, she's a member of the Grande Ole Opry, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and the first woman to win back-to-back ACM Entertainer of the Year Awards.
Read on to learn more about the star!
Underwood auditioned for American Idol with just one semester left of college to complete, and she was able to use her time on the reality show to earn herself the three credits she needed to graduate. In May 2006, she officially graduated from Northeastern State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communication and an emphasis in journalism.
“I’ve obviously done enough with television,” she told PEOPLE at the time. “There was my internship right there!”
During college, the Oklahoma native was a member of the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, performed during the university's Downtown Country show and became the Miss NSU runner-up in 2004.
The star's Idol winnings included a recording contract, Ford Mustang convertible and access to a private jet, the latter of which Underwood ultimately passed on.
"At the time, because even when you're on a show like that it's not like I had money all of a sudden, and a lot of times when someone gives you a gift of that magnitude you have to pay taxes on it," she explained. "I didn't have the money to pay taxes on a jet, so I was like, 'I'm good thanks.'"
Underwood is a proud vegan, and told The Guardian that she doesn't eat meat because she grew up on a cattle farm and would hear the cows crying for each other when her family took some of them to sell.
"Growing up where I grew up it was hard to cut out meat altogether," she explained. "It was really when I moved away and I was doing my own shopping that I could go vegetarian."
Underwood had dreamt of stardom for years, and she almost scored a contract with Capitol Records when she was just 14 years old. The deal was ultimately canceled when company management changed, but Underwood has said that she thinks it was for the best in the long run.
“I honestly think it’s a lot better that nothing came out of it now, because I wouldn’t have been ready then," she explained. "Everything has a way of working out.”
While Underwood has a glam team to help her prep for red-carpet appearances, the singer prefers to do her own makeup and hair while she's on the road.
"When I am on tour I enjoy doing my own hair and makeup," she told Yahoo! "There are just so many people on the road, and it’s kind of therapeutic for me to be able to sit on my butt, and have all my things, and it’s quiet. It’s my time to play."
It's also rare to find the mom of two without makeup on, even if she's at home.
“I don’t think I ever have makeup-free days, to be honest," Underwood revealed. "I wear makeup for me. I don’t want to walk by a mirror and feel like I haven’t given some sort of effort. I just feel better when I have a little on."
A small-town girl from Checotah, Oklahoma, Underwood took her very first plane ride when she traveled to Los Angeles after making it to Hollywood Week during Idol.
“Idol was probably the most horrifying thing, because I had never been away from my hometown like that before,” she told Parade magazine. “I was in L.A., of all places, by myself, putting myself out there, which is a scary thing for anybody to do. My first plane ride was when I was going out to L.A. alone.”
Underwood and Fisher tied the knot in July 2010 at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Plantation resort in Georgia, and Southern Living reports that the event cost $500,000.
For her big day, Underwood wore a Chantilly lace and silk organza Monique Lhuillier gown and a diamond tiara, which was gifted to her by Fisher. The wedding was attended by 250 guests who enjoyed sushi and crispy risotto lollipop hors d’oeuvres as Underwood changed into her reception outfit, a strapless Lhuillier cocktail dress. After Underwood surprised Fisher with a performance by contemporary Christian singer Brandon Heath, the group hit the dance floor with music provided by a DJ.
“Everybody was dancing and acting the fool,” Underwood told PEOPLE. “The night exceeded all the hopes I had. It was a great party.”
While potatoes may be a staple for some vegans, Underwood isn't a fan, explaining to Cosmopolitan that she just doesn't like the consistency. Instead, she enjoys vegan options like tofu, beans or a veggie burger for dinner, with whole wheat pasta or rice as her carbohydrate during her meal and plenty of vegetables.
For breakfast, she likes fruit, oatmeal and cereal, lunch is often a sandwich, and Underwood fuels up with afternoon snacks including English muffins with peanut butter, seitan jerky and protein bars.
Unlike many country stars, Underwood isn't a big beer drinker — in fact, the list of things she does drink is pretty minuscule when compared to most people.
“I drink three things. I drink water, I drink coffee and I drink red wine,” she once said.
Photo Credit: Getty / Emma Mcintyre/ACMA2018