For a young woman, Carrie Underwood has achieved quite a bit in very little time. She was an honor student in high school who went on to succeed in college. She spent a summer working for her state representative and was placed admirably in pageants and contests, owing to her natural musical gifts. Later she became the fourth winner of American Idol. A lot of girls would envy her success at such a young age.
As an Idol winner, Carrie Underwood became familiar to millions of TV viewers and music fans alike. She's had several hits on the Billboard Country charts, and has won four American Music Awards, 13 Billboard Music Awards, four CMT Music Awards, and three Grammy Awards.
Carrie Marie Underwood was born on March 10, 1983, in Checotah, Oklahoma. The daughter of a paper mill worker and an elementary school teacher, she grew up on a cattle farm with her two older sisters, Shanna and Stephanie. Carrie began singing in her church choir when she was only 3 years old. When she was 13, she made her first studio recording, and performed in festivals in a number of states while trying to get a singing career off the ground.
In spite of her passion for music, Carrie maintained a well-balanced life growing up. A big sports fan, she played softball for eight years. She was an honor student at Checotah High School, and a member of the National Honor Society. One summer, she served as a page for Oklahoma State Representative Bobby Frame. In 2001, Carrie graduated from Checotah as salutatorian.
Carrie Underwood on American Idol
After high school, Carrie went on to Northeastern State University, where she majored in mass communications. She joined Sigma sorority and competed in beauty pageants throughout college, winning the title of Miss NSU runner-up in 2004. Not long afterward, Carrie decided to travel to St. Louis to audition for the 2005 American Idol competition. From the beginning, Carrie's country-infused style was popular with both the judges and the audience, and she was one of only three finalists in the show's history (alongside Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken) to never finish in the "bottom three."
After Carrie's performance of Heart's "Alone" in March 2005, notoriously sharp judge Simon Cowell had nothing but praise for her: "You're not just the girl to beat, you're the person to beat. I will make a prediction: Not only will you win this competition, but you will sell more records than any other previous Idol winner!" Sure enough, on May 25th, Carrie was named the new "American Idol," beating out Southern rocker Bo Bice.
Carrie Underwood Releases Inside Your Heaven
As part of her American Idol win, Carrie signed a recording contract with Arista Records. In June 2005, she released a single, "Inside Your Heaven," which debuted at the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100. She was the first country artist to ever debut at No. 1 on that chart.
Life for Carrie Underwood didn't have the chance to settle down after her American Idol win. All the publicity and work on an upcoming album (planned for a November 2005 release) didn't even leave her much opportunity to celebrate. She became a spokesperson for Hershey's chocolate and Skechers shoes, adopting a hectic schedule that sent her rushing back and forth between New York, Los Angeles and Nashville -- and just about everywhere in between.
Carrie Underwood At The American Music Awards
Not only did Carrie Underwood win Favorite Female Artist in country at the 2007 American Music Awards, but her album Some Hearts also won for Favorite Album in country.
Set to exhibit her remarkable voice at the 2005 Pete Newell Challenge held on December 21 in Oakland, Carrie Marie Underwood has really soared to be a bright rising star in the music scene following her success to garner 3 Billboard Music Awards that also included the title of Country Single Sales Artist of the Year.
Indeed fame came as a surprise to young Carrie Marie Underwood, but she proved with her talent and hard work that sky should be the limits.
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