Carrie Underwood is one of country music's biggest stars, but before she stepped into the spotlight, she was a just girl from Oklahoma who had grown up on a farm, loved animals and loved to sing.
After winning American Idol in 2005, Underwood went on to become the show's most successful winner ever, selling over 70 million albums worldwide and earning numerous No. 1 hits and awards. She is the sixth highest-certified female artist, the second highest-certified country artist and the highest-certified female country artist of all time on the Recording Industry Association of America's Top Artists (Digital Singles) ranking, as well as the female artist with the most number-one entries on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. Keep reading to look back on Underwood's incredible career.
Before she auditioned for American Idol in the summer of 2004, Underwood was a student at Northeastern State University majoring in mass communication. She had one semester left to complete after winning the singing competition, and graduated in 2006.prevnext
Hitting the big-time
After winning Idol, Underwood released her debut album, Some Hearts, which arrived at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums and at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. It became the best-selling album of all genres in the United States and the best-selling country album of 2006 and 2007 and the fastest-selling debut country album in the SoundScan era.
The album contained the smash hits "Before He Cheats" and "Jesus, Take the Wheel," and its first single, "Inside Your Heaven," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and made Underwood the first country music artist ever to debut at No. 1 on the chart.prevnext
In 2008, Underwood and Brad Paisley began what would be an 11-year run as co-hosts of the CMA Awards. The two became fan favorites thanks to their musical numbers, comedic chemistry and topical skits, which addressed their country music colleagues, political figures and more. In 2019, Underwood hosted the show with Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton before announcing that she would be relinquishing her duties.prevnext
Entertainer of the Year
Underwood experienced incredible success in the late '00s, releasing her album Carnival Ride in 2007 and Play On in 2009, both of which sold huge numbers. She charted multiple No. 1 singles and won numerous awards including several Grammy Awards, ACM Awards, CMA Awards, CMT Music Awards and more. She was crowned the ACM Entertainer of the Year in 2008 and 2009 and won again this year, making her the only woman to win the honor three times. She was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2008 and the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2009.prevnext
In 2008, Underwood met then-NHL player Mike Fisher after her bass player suggested the idea. The two first met at a meet-and-greet at one of Underwood's shows, and after three months of long-distance dating, they shared their first kiss as the ball dropped in Times Square on New Year's Eve. They married in July 2010 at the Ritz-Carlton resort on Lake Oconee, Georgia.prevnext
Underwood and Fisher welcomed their first child, son Isaiah, in 2015, followed by son Jacob in 2019. Underwood quickly settled into life as a working mom, bringing Isaiah on the road with her on her Storyteller Tour shortly after he was born. She also continued to earn critical and commercial praise with her 2012 album Blown Away and its follow-up, 2015's Storyteller.prevnext
Along with singing, Underwood also has a passion for fitness and launched her athletic apparel line, CALIA by Carrie Underwood, in 2015. In March of this year, she released her first book, Find Your Path, in which Underwood shares her approach to health and fitness as well as recipes and workouts. She also created a workout app, fit52.prevnext
After releasing her sixth and most recent studio album, Cry Pretty, in 2018, Underwood spent much of her 2019 on the road on her Cry Pretty Tour 360, which employed a 360-degree stage and 15 elevators. In September 2020, she released her latest project, My Gift, her first full-length holiday album.prev