Carrie Underwood Recalls 'Hard Jobs' Early in Her Career

Carrie Underwood might have grown up dreaming of being a singer, but her early years in Checotah, Okla. didn't give any indication of the superstar she would become. The 35-year-old's first few jobs certainly were not glamorous, but they taught her plenty about the value of hard work.

"I don't think I've ever had a bad job," Underwood says. "I've had hard jobs. I've had jobs that worked random hours. My first job was at a gas station, and that was a lot of fun actually. While I was working at the gas station, I took another job at a hotel down the street. There was nobody else working there. I had one day of training and then the next day I came in, and the lady that had worked there the longest and was training me just didn't show.

"So, the second day at work I was now in charge," she continues, "'cause I was now the senior member that was working at the hotel."

Even though those jobs had yet to tap into her undeniable vocal prowess, they did prepare her for her current gig.

"I feel like that one was really challenging to figure my way through it, but I did," the American Idol alum explains. "My best job is definitely what I do now. I really like being on stage. I really like performing for people and just having fun and singing, because that's what I feel like I was born to do."

Underwood just received two CMA Awards nominations, both for Female Vocalist of the Year and Music Video of the Year, the latter for her current single, "Cry Pretty," which is the title track of her upcoming new album. She will also return for the 11th year, to co-host the live TV show with Brad Paisley.

"We were super excited to get the phone call to ask Brad and me to come back for an 11th year of the CMAs of hosting," Underwood says. "We just always have a lot of fun. It's definitely a lot of pressure and it's a lot of work working on the CMAs, but at the end of the day, I love the team that we work with. We have a lot of fun, and we kinda get to be the ones that represent country music and we take our jobs very seriously, but we love what we do."

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The 2018 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, November 14, at 8:00 PM ET on ABC.

Photo Credit: Getty images/Chris Polk