Carrie Underwood was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma on March 10, 1983 and was living in Checotah, OK at the time she started on American Idol. The daughter of a sawmill worker and an elementary school teacher, Carrie began performing musically at an early age, competing in talent shows and singing at her local church.
At the age of 14 Carrie went to Nashville to audition for Capitol Records and, 1n 1996, was on the verge of signing a contract with them before management of the company changed and the deal never took place. After high school she basically gave up on a music career and attended and graduated from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK. But a huge music career ended up being exactly what was to happen after auditioning for the show in the summer of 2004 and eventually becoming the fourth member of the American Idol Winners List.
Carrie Underwood Idol Audition
Carrie auditioned for Season 4 of American Idol in St. Louis, Missouri in August of 2004. The show aired from January 18 until May 25, 2005. In her audition, Carrie performed the song “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Rait. The judges were impressed with her voice and were happy to have a “good country singer” in the competition, and she was on her way to Hollywood. Here is the video of Carrie Underwood’s Idol audition.
Carrie was one of 193 contestants to move on to the Hollywood week and Carrie had no problem moving on to the semi-finals where she sang “Could’ve Been” by Tiffany in the Top 24, “Piece Of My Heat” by Erma Franklin in the Top 20, and “Because You Love Me” by Jo Dee Messina in the Top 16. After those performances Carrie was named one of the 12 American Idol Finalists.
Carrie Underwood: American Idol Season 2
Carrie was an outstanding performer throughout every round of the finals, never landing in the Bottom 2 or being close to elimination. She was impressive every week, and at one point the judges not only predicted that she would win the competition, but also go on to outsell all previous Idol winners. Below is the list of all the songs performed by Carrie Underwood throughout the 2004 Idol finals.
|Top 12||1960′s||When Will I Be Loved||The Everly Brothers|
|Top 11||Billboard #1′s||Alone||I-Ten|
|Top 10||1990′s||Independence Day||Martina McBride|
|Top 9||Broadway||Hello, Young Lovers||The King and I|
|Top 8||Birth Year Songs||Love Is A Battlefield||Pat Benetar|
|Top 7||70′s Dance||MacArthur Park||Richard Harris|
|Top 6||21st Century||God-Fearin Women Get The Blues||Martina McBride|
|Top 5||Leiber & Stoller||Trouble||Elvis Presley|
|Top 5||Current Billboard||Bless The Broke Road||Nitty Gritty Dirt Band|
|Top 4||Country||Sin Wagon||Dixie Chicks|
|Top 4||Gamble & Huff||If You Don’t Know Me By Now||Harold Melvin|
|Top 3||Clive’s Choice||Crying||Roy Orbison|
|Top 3||Idol’s Choice||Make Love Out Of Nothing At All||Air Supply|
|Top 3||Judges Choice||I Feel Like A Woman||Shania Twain|
|Finale||Fuller’s Choice||Inside Your Heaven||Desmond Child|
|Finale||Idol’s Choice||Independence Day||Martina McBride|
|Finale||Winner’s Single||Angels Brought Me Here||Guy Sebastian|
Over 63 million votes were cast and although the numbers vary from source to source regarding the winning percentage, one of the show’s producers stated that Carrie won by a significant margin. Here is the video of Carrie Underwood’s victory announcement and final performance.
Carrie Underwood: Post American Idol Career
By almost any standard, Carrie Underwood has had the most successful career after the American Idol of any contestant to date. The immediate payoff for winning the 2005 Idol title was a million dollar record contract, use of a private jet for a year, and a Ford Mustang convertible. But it got, and continues to be much larger than that for Carrie.She has released multiple albums, won numerous awards and her career has exploded. The following are albums she has released to date:
- Some Hearts, 2005
- Carnival Ride, 2007
- Play On, 2009
Here are some of her award highlights so far:
- Billboard Music Awards: Album of the Year, Female Country Artist of the Year, Country Artist of the Year, Top Country Album of the Decade, Top Selling Single and more.
- American Music Awards: Artist of the Year, Favorite Country Female Artist, Favorite Country Album
- CMT Artist of the Year
- American Country Artist of the Year and Album of the Year
- Grammy’s: Best New Artist, Best Country Song, Best Female Country Vocal Performance
These are just a few of the awards won so far by Carrie. She has sold over 22 million singles and 16 million albums worldwide and, as predicted by the judges, has become the top selling Idol to date. She has also made a number of TV appearances, and had a role in the movie Soul Surfer. Carrie Underwood is married to NHL hockey player Mike Fisher of the Nashville Predators, and her career continues to thrive.