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The first country singer to win American Idol, Carrie Underwood grew up in the small town of Checotah, Oklahoma, and began singing with her church at the tender age of three. Throughout her childhood, she also performed at functions for the Lion's Club and Old Settlers Day, eventually moving on to festival gigs in several states. Along with developing her singing, Underwood learned to play guitar and piano. She graduated from high school as her class salutatorian and majored in mass communication at Northeastern State College with an eye on a career in broadcast journalism, but continued her singing career throughout her studies.
As a senior just a few credits short of her degree, Underwood heard about the auditions for the 2005 season of American Idol. She tried out for the show at the St. Louis, Missouri auditions, and her innocent charm and pure, pretty voice ended up winning her not only a place among the 12 finalists, but the title of 2005's American Idol. Her debut single, "Inside Your Heaven," was released that summer, and she began recording her debut album after completing the American Idols Live! tour. Some Hearts was released later that fall and became a smash hit, selling over 300,000 copies in its first week and eventually going platinum a whopping seven times. The album's lead single, "Jesus, Take the Wheel," was also a big success, topping Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart for six weeks.
Acclaim for the album and single spilled over into 2006, when Some Hearts re-entered Billboard's Top Ten after Underwood's appearance on the 2006 American Idol finale. Meanwhile, "Jesus, Take the Wheel" won Single Record of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards (where she also won Top Female Vocalist); a Dove Award from the Gospel Music Association; and Breakthrough Video and Best Female Video at the CMT Awards, making her the only double winner at the event. Despite her hectic career as a country music star -- which included carrying her Some Hearts tour through the fall of 2006 -- Underwood found the time to finish her degree and become a spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (who named her 2005's World's Sexiest Vegetarian). "Before He Cheats" was released as Underwood's third single late in 2006, and became her third country number one and her fourth total number one hit. That December, she won five Billboard Music Awards: Album of the Year, Top 200 Female Artist of the Year, Female Country Artist, New Country Artist, and Country Album of the Year.
Early in 2007, Underwood began work on her second album, while "Wasted" became the fourth single taken from Some Hearts; she performed it on an episode of American Idol that March, and the following month it hit number one on the Hot Country Songs Chart. Underwood gathered more accolades by winning three awards at the 2007 CMT Awards -- Video of the Year, Female Video of the Year, and Video Director of the Year for "Before He Cheats" -- and taking home two Grammys. She also took home three 2007 ACM Awards in May, which included Album of the Year for Some Hearts and Top Female Vocalist. She made another trip to American Idol late in the month for the sixth season finale, where she sang "I'll Stand by You" to a standing ovation. During the show, Clive Davis recognized Underwood's sextuple-platinum sales; Underwood was the first country artist to sell that many copies of a debut album since LeAnn Rimes did it in 1996. She also appeared on Brad Paisley's album 5th Gear, which was released in June 2006.
Riding on that swell of support, Underwood released the sophomore effort Carnival Ride in October 2007. Four of the album's tracks hit the top of the country charts, pushing the album to multi-million sales and earning her an additional Grammy Award. Two years after the album's release, Underwood released her third studio effort, Play On, which found her devoting more focus than ever to her songwriting abilities. She co-wrote seven of the album's tracks, including the leadoff single, "Cowboy Casanova." Underwood's fourth studio album, Blown Away, released in the spring of 2012, was produced by her longtime collaborator Mark Bright, and driven by its hit lead single, "Good Girl," it showed her continued growth from American Idol to savvy country-pop star.
Carrie Marie Underwood (born March 10, 1983) is an American country music singer, songwriter, and actress. She rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol in 2005. Underwood has since become a multi-platinum selling recording artist, a winner of six Grammy Awards, sixteen Billboard Music Awards, seven American Music Awards and ten Academy of Country Music Awards, among several others. As a songwriter, she has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. Underwood is also a two-time winner of the Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year award and the first woman to win such an award twice (2009/10). Underwood was inducted into and became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008. She was also inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2009.
Her debut album, Some Hearts, was released in 2005. Buoyed by the huge crossover success of the singles "Before He Cheats" and "Jesus, Take the Wheel", it went on to become 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 of the last 10 years. Underwood won three Grammy Awards for the album, including Best New Artist. Her second album, Carnival Ride, was released in 2007, with one of the biggest opening weeks by a female artist in history, and later earned Underwood two Grammy Awards, for the singles "Last Name" and "I Told You So". Released in 2009, her third album, Play On, was led by the success of its first single, "Cowboy Casanova", and was ranked the second top-selling release of that year by a female artist. 2012's Blown Away, her fourth album, quickly became the second best-selling release by a female artist in the year. She won a Grammy Award for the album's song "Blown Away". With her strong album and single sales, and $100 million in tour revenues, Underwood is the biggest American Idol earner and the fourth biggest album seller of the past ten years. Worldwide, she has sold nearly 30 million singles and more than 15 million albums.
Described by music critics, such as Billboard 's, as Country Music's reigning Queen, Underwood is the only solo country artist to have a number one hit on Billboard Hot 100 Songs in the 2000 decade, as "Inside Your Heaven" reached the top of the chart in 2005. She is also the female country artist with the most number one hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, from 1991 to present, having 12 No. 1s and breaking her own Guinness Book record of ten, which was co-held with Reba McEntire. Some Hearts was named the Best Country Album of the 2000 Decade by Billboard and she was the top-ranked female artist on Billboard's Best Country Artists of the 2000 Decade list.
Early life 
Underwood was born to Stephen and Carole Underwood on March 10, 1983, in Muskogee, Oklahoma. She was raised on her parents' farm in the rural town of Checotah, Oklahoma. Her father worked in a sawmill, while her mother taught elementary school. She has two older sisters, Shanna and Stephanie. During her childhood, Underwood performed at Robbins Memorial Talent Show, and sang at her local church, First Free Will Baptist Church. She later sang for local events in Checotah, including Old Settler's Day and the Lion's Club.
A local admirer arranged for her to go to Nashville when she was 14 to audition for Capitol Records. In 1996, Capitol Records was preparing a contract for Underwood but cancelled it when company management changed. Underwood said of the event, "I honestly think it's a lot better that nothing came out of it now, because I wouldn't have been ready then. Everything has a way of working out." While at Checotah High School, she was an Honor Society member, a cheerleader, and played basketball and softball. Underwood graduated from Checotah High School in 2001 as salutatorian. She chose not to pursue singing after graduation. She said, "After high school, I pretty much gave up on the dream of singing. I had reached a point in my life where I had to be practical and prepare for my future in the 'real world'". She attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, graduating magna cum laude in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and an emphasis in journalism. She spent part of one of her summers as a page for Oklahoma State Representative Bobby Frame. She also waited tables at a pizzeria, worked at a zoo, and at a veterinary clinic. Underwood is an alumna of the Alpha Iota chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority. For two years during the summer, she performed in Northeastern State University's Downtown Country show in Tahlequah. She also competed in numerous beauty pageants at the university and was selected as Miss NSU runner-up in 2004.
American Idol 
In the summer of 2004, Underwood auditioned for American Idol in St. Louis, Missouri. After she sang "Could've Been" by Tiffany on the top 12 girls night, judge Simon Cowell commented that she would be one of the favorites to win the competition. During the top 11 finalists' performance on the March 22, 2005, Idol episode, Underwood sang a rendition of the number one 1980s rock hit "Alone", made famous by Heart, and Cowell predicted that Underwood would not only win the competition, but she would also outsell all previous Idol winners. One of the show's producers later said she dominated the voting, winning every week handily. She gained a fan base known as "Carrie's Care Bears" during the course of the show. During the final, she sang with Rascal Flatts their song "Bless the Broken Road". On May 25, 2005, Underwood became the season four winner. Her winnings included a recording contract worth at least a million dollars, use of a private jet for a year, and a Ford Mustang convertible.
Performances and results 
Music career 
2005–07: Some Hearts 
Underwood's music career began with the release of her first single, "Inside Your Heaven", on June 14, 2005. The song debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, with Underwood becoming only the third artist to bow in the top slot since chart policy changed in 1998. It also debuted at number one on the Billboard Pop 100 and on the Canadian Singles Chart, topping it for seven consecutive weeks, becoming the longest running single of 2005 in Canada. "Inside Your Heaven" is the only single by a solo country artist in the 2000 decade to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It sold nearly one million copies and was certified gold by the RIAA and two times platinum by the CRIA. Underwood's debut album, Some Hearts, was released on November 15, 2005, entering the Billboard charts with 315,000 copies sold, debuting at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums and at number two on the Billboard 200. The large first week sales of Some Hearts made it the biggest debut of any country artist since the advent of the SoundScan system in 1991. The album was the best-selling album in the United States in 2006 and the best-selling country album in the United States of 2006 and 2007, also being the best-selling female country album of 2005, 2006 and 2007. Some Hearts has since been certified seven times Platinum by the RIAA, and is the fastest-selling debut country album in the history of the SoundScan era, the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history, as of February 2008, the best-selling Country album of the last 10 years, since March 2011, and the best-selling album by an American Idol alumni in the U.S. The album's second single, "Jesus, Take the Wheel" was released to radio in October and later peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, topping it for six consecutive weeks, and at twenty on the Hot 100. The song sold over two million copies and was certified 2-time Platinum by the RIAA. Underwood's third single, "Some Hearts", was also released in October, but just to the pop radios. "Don't Forget to Remember Me", her fourth single, also proved successful, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Later that autumn, Underwood's third country single, "Before He Cheats", hit number one on Billboard's Hot Country Songs, staying there for 5 consecutive weeks. The song peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, achieving the slowest climb ever to the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, breaking the record that was previously held by Creed from July 2000. In February, 2008, when it was certified two-time Platinum, "Before He Cheats" became the first country song to ever be certified multi-platinum by the RIAA. It has now been certified 4 times Platinum, selling nearly four million copies, and is the fourth best-selling country digital song of all time. On April 11, 2007, Underwood continued her streak of top Country singles with the release of "Wasted", which peaked at number one on the Hot Country Songs Chart, sold nearly one million copies and was certified Gold by the RIAA. On August 2008, the "Jesus, Take the Wheel" ringtone was reported to have been certified Platinum, making Underwood the first country artist ever to have two songs hit Platinum Mastertone status together with "Before He Cheats", which had been certified earlier in 2007. Underwood started her first headlined tour, Carrie Underwood: Live 2006, with dates across North America.
At the 2005 Billboard Music Awards, her hit song "Inside Your Heaven" won the coveted Top-Selling Hot 100 Song of the Year award and also Top-Selling Country Single of the Year award, and she won Country Single Sales Artist of the Year. At the 2006 Academy of Country Music Awards, she won Top New Female Vocalist and Single of the Year, for "Jesus, Take the Wheel". At the 40th Annual Country Music Association Awards she won both the Horizon Award (now New Artist of the Year) and Female Vocalist of the Year. At the 2006 CMT Awards, Underwood won both the Breakthrough Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year for "Jesus, Take The Wheel". She later won the Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award at the American Music Awards, and was also nominated for Favorite Female Country Artist. She won 5 awards at the 2006 Billboard Music Awards, including the coveted Album of the Year, Top 200 Female Artist of the Year, Female Country Artist, New Country Artist, and Country Album of the Year. Also that year, Underwood won a Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Award for Country Recorded Song of the Year, for "Jesus, Take The Wheel". At the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2007, Underwood won Album of the Year, Video of the Year, and Female Vocalist of the Year. She was nominated for "World's Best Selling New Artist" at the 2006 World Music Awards. At the 2007 CMT Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, on April 16, Underwood's "Before He Cheats" won three awards, including Video of the Year, Female Video of the Year, and Video Director of the Year. Underwood won two awards at the 2007 CMA Awards: Female Vocalist of the Year, for the second consecutive time, and Single Record of the Year, for "Before He Cheats". In 2007, at the 49th Grammy Awards, Some Hearts received four Grammy nominations and Underwood won her first two Grammy Awards: Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance for "Jesus, Take the Wheel. She sang the Eagles song "Life in the Fast Lane" alongside Grammy nominees Rascal Flatts. She also sang the Eagles' "Desperado" to honour Don Henley of The Eagles. She also paid tribute to Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys by performing "New San Antonio Rose". At the 50th Grammy Awards, in 2008, Underwood was nominated for two more Grammys: Best Female Country Vocal Performance, for "Before He Cheats" and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals, for "Oh, Love" a duet with Brad Paisley. She won one Grammy Award that night, for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, and performed the song at the ceremony.
In December 2005, Underwood was named Oklahoman of the Year by Oklahoma Today. In December 2006, Underwood joined Tony Bennett, Michael Bublé and Josh Groban to sing "For Once In My Life" on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Also that month, she paid tribute to Dolly Parton, by singing "Islands in the Stream" with Kenny Rogers (originally by Parton and Rogers) at the Kennedy Center Honors, which honored Parton that year. Underwood performed with the USO Christmas Tour in Iraq during the 2006 Holiday season. Underwood also performed at the 2007 Idol Gives Back concert, singing "I'll Stand By You", a cover of The Pretenders hit. Her version of the song debuted at number six on Billboard's Hot 100 Songs. Also in 2007, Victoria's Secret named Underwood the Sexiest Female Musician.
2007–09: Carnival Ride 
Underwood's second album, Carnival Ride, was released in October 2007. On Carnival Ride, Underwood was more involved in the songwriting process; she set up a writers' retreat at Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium to collaborate with such Music Row tunesmiths as Hillary Lindsey, Craig Wiseman, Rivers Rutherford, and Gordie Sampson. Carnival Ride moved over 527,000 copies in its first week, debuting at number one on both the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums, as well as number one on the Canadian Albums Chart, one of the biggest first-week sales by a female artist. Carnival Ride was certified double platinum in just two months after its release, in December. The album is certified 3-time Platinum by the RIAA, for sales of over three million. "So Small", the first single from the album, was released in July 2007 and reached number one on Billboard's Hot Country Songs, topping it for three consecutive weeks. "All-American Girl", the second single, also reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs. The next single, "Last Name", reached number one on the Hot Country Song chart as well. This made Underwood the first female artist to have two consecutive albums each release three number-ones on this chart since Shania Twain in 1998. "Just a Dream", the album's next single, was released on July 2008 and later peaked at number one on the Hot Country Songs chart, staying there for 2 consecutive weeks. With that, Underwood became the first solo female artist to pull four No. 1s from one album since Shania Twain did it with The Woman in Me. The album's fifth single, "I Told You So", a duet with the original singer of the song, Randy Travis, was released in February 2009. It peaked at number two on the Billboard Country charts and number nine on the Hot 100. All singles from Carnival Ride were certified Platinum by the RIAA, for selling more than one million copies each. In January 2008, Underwood embarked on a joint tour with Keith Urban named the Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Carnival Ride Tour, with dates fixed nationwide that continued through April. She then started her headlined tour, the Carnival Ride Tour, in February 2008, with dates across all North America, and ended it on December 14, 2008, playing to 1.2 million fans throughout the tour and being named the top-selling country female touring artist of 2008.
At the end of 2007, Underwood won 5 awards at the Billboard Music Awards, including the coveted Billboard 200 Artist of the Year and also Country Artist of the Year. Also in late 2007, she won three American Music Awards: Artist of the Year, Favorite Female Country Artist and Favorite Country Album, for her debut album, Some Hearts. At the 2008 Academy of Country Music Awards, she won Female Vocalist of the Year, for the 2nd consecutive time. She received two nominations for the 2008 Country Music Association Awards. Underwood and Brad Paisley co-hosted the awards show and she walked away with the Female Vocalist of the Year award for the third consecutive time, but lost the Album of the Year award to George Strait. At the 2008 American Music Awards, Carnival Ride won the Favorite Country Album award, thus making that her 2nd consecutive win in such category. In 2008, Underwood also won her first international award, which was "Female Vocalist of the Year" at the European Country Music Association Awards. For the 44th Academy of Country Music Awards, in 2009, Underwood was nominated for four major awards. Underwood won for Female Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of The Year, thus making her the first woman to win the award in ten years and the 7th female to take it in the award show's four decade run. Underwood was nominated for Video of the Year at the 2009 CMT Awards for "Just A Dream". In 2009, at the 51st Grammy Awards, she won, for the third year in a row, the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, for "Last Name", and performed the song at the ceremony. At the 52nd Grammy Awards in 2010, Underwood won her fifth Grammy Award: She won the Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for "I Told You So" with Randy Travis and was also nominated again for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, for "Just A Dream". At the ceremony, she performed with Celine Dion, Usher, Smokey Robinson and Jennifer Hudson during the 3-D Michael Jackson tribute. Grammy Awards producer Ken Ehrlich stated that Michael Jackson greatly admired Underwood, which is why she was hand-picked to perform during his tribute.
On May 13, 2008, Underwood was invited by Randy Travis to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry, later that month she was officially inducted by Garth Brooks into the Grand Ole Opry. A few months earlier, she sang Julie Andrews' classic, the title song from The Sound of Music, at the 2007 Movies Rock: A Celebration Of Music In Film. On October 22, 2008, Underwood unveiled her wax figure at Madame Tussauds New York. In 2009, Forbes reported that Underwood was the top earning American Idol alumni from June 2008 to May 17, 2009. She earned more than twice as much as the second place finisher, with estimated earnings of $14 million during this time period. She appeared on the holiday CD Hear Something Country Christmas 2007 with a rendition of "Do You Hear What I Hear?". The song reached number two on the AC Chart, and remained there for 3 consecutive weeks. She recorded the song "Ever Ever After" for the soundtrack of the 2007 Walt Disney film Enchanted. Underwood co-wrote a song for Idol alum Kristy Lee Cook's major-label debut album Why Wait. At the 2008 Idol Gives Back, she sang George Michael's classic "Praying For Time" and later recorded it. In November 2008, Underwood recorded a virtual and posthumous duet with Elvis Presley, on his classic "I'll Be Home For Christmas", for his 2008 album Christmas Duets. Elvis' ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, herself asked Underwood to do the duet: "Priscilla wanted me to do 'I'll Be Home For Christmas'", she says. "I couldn't say 'no'." In March 2009, she tracked a cover of Mötley Crüe's ballad "Home Sweet Home" for the American Idol season eight farewell theme. Her version debuted at number 21 on the Hot 100 Songs.
2009–12: Play On 
Underwood released her third studio album, Play On, on November 3, 2009. The album debuted atop both the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums, selling over 318,000 copies in its first week, and became, upon its release, the top-selling release of the year by a female artist, but was later overtaken by Susan Boyle's I Dreamed a Dream and finished the year as the number two. Underwood wrote a song with pop/R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo for the album, the song however did not make the album. The first single from the album, "Cowboy Casanova", co-written by Underwood, Brett James and hip hop producer Mike Elizondo, was released in September, 2009. It was a huge success, jumping from No. 96 to No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its second week, one of the biggest single-week upwards on the chart of all time. It later peaked at number one on Billboard's Hot Country Songs in just ten weeks, the year's fastest chart-topper by a country female and the fastest No. 1 of her career, and has sold over 2 million copies, being certified 2-time Platinum by the RIAA. Second single, "Temporary Home" hit number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and the RIAA certified it Gold. "Undo It", Underwood's third single from "Play On", was released to radio in May. It was later certified Platinum by the RIAA and hit number one on the Hot Country Songs chart, giving Underwood her tenth number one single on the Hot Country Songs. The 4th single from Play On, "Mama's Song", was released to country radio in September, peaked at two on the Hot Country Songs and was certified Gold by the RIAA. The album is certified Double Platinum by the RIAA.
Underwood's Play On Tour started its first leg on March 11, 2010 in Reading, Pennsylvania. The second leg of the tour started on September 25, 2010 in Portland, Oregon, and ended January 1, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Underwood sold out the prestigious Hollywood Bowl on October 2, 2010. In December 2010, Pollstar.com ranked the Play On Tour one of the Top 50 tours of 2010, at number 18 on the North American raking, and number 31 worldwide. Billboard also ranked Underwood's tour at number 24 for all worldwide tours of 2010. On January 4, 2011, official statistics revealed that Underwood played to over 1 million fans throughout the tour, resulting in her being named again as the top-ranked female country touring artist of the year.
At the 2009 CMA Awards, she received two nominations and co-hosted the ceremony with Brad Paisley. Underwood was nominated for six Academy of Country Music Awards. At the show, Underwood was named Entertainer of the Year, making her the first woman in history to win this award twice. Host Reba McEntire presented Underwood with the "ACM Triple Crown Award" signifying her winning Top New Artist, Top Female Vocalist, and Entertainer of the Year during her career. She was only the second Female to win the coveted "Triple Crown Award", the first being Barbara Mandrell. At the CMT Music Awards Underwood walked away with Video of the Year for "Cowboy Casanova" and also won CMT Performance of the Year for "Temporary Home" from CMT: Invitation Only presents Carrie Underwood. Underwood won two international awards at the 8th French Country Music Awards, which were Best Female Vocalist and Video of the Year, for "Cowboy Casanova". At the 2010 American Music Awards, she won "Favorite Country Album", for "Play On", making her the only artist in the American Music Award history to have all albums awarded in such a category. She co-hosted the 2010 CMA Awards with Brad Paisley for the third year in a row. Underwood was the 2010 American Country Awards' top winner with six wins, Artist of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, Album of the Year for (Play On), Female Artist Single of the Year for ("Cowboy Casanova"), Female Artist Video of the Year for ("Cowboy Casanova") and Touring Artist of the Year. At the 2011 Grammy Awards, Underwood was nominated for 'Best Female Country Vocal Performance' for "Temporary Home." Underwood was honored by the CMT Artists of the Year special as one of the 5 top Artists of the year in 2010 in country music. The event aired on CMT on December 3, 2010. At the 2011 Academy of Country Music Awards, Underwood sang with Steven Tyler both her song "Undo It" and Aerosmith's "Walk This Way". In May 2011, Underwood was one of the seven women to be honored by the Academy of Country Music at the Girls' Night Out: Superstar Women of Country special. She was recognized for being the first and only female artist in the Academy's history to ever win Entertainer of the Year twice. At the ceremony, Vince Gill introduced Underwood and presented her with the special award. He sang one of her hits, "Jesus, Take The Wheel", and joined Underwood on a rendition performance of "How Great Thou Art". The video of the performance turned into a viral sensation, reaching 3 million views on YouTube within two days. On December 5, 2011, Underwood won three awards at the 2011 American Country Awards, including Female Artist of the Year for the second consecutive time.
In late 2009, Underwood had her very own CMT Invitation Only and also hosted a Christmas special, Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special, a two-hour variety show on Fox that featured Dolly Parton (with whom she sang a rendition duet of "I Will Always Love You") season seven American Idol champion David Cook, Kristin Chenoweth, Brad Paisley and others. In 2009, she was also ranked number 50 on the Artists of the Decade list by Billboard. In May 2010, Underwood was selected on People Magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People List for 2010. This was the 4th year in a row that she was selected for the list. Also in May, Victoria's Secret named her legs the Sexiest Legs in Hollywood. In June 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Underwood as the number eleven Queen of Pop, based on a lot of criteria from 2009 until 2011. Underwood appeared on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. Her character, Tiffany, is a pharmaceutical sales representative who becomes the love interest for another main character on the show. A few months earlier, she performed a voice-over as 'Carrie Underworm', a parodied "worm" character, in an episode of the PBS children's television series, Sesame Street, Underwood co-wrote and recorded a song titled "There's a Place for Us," the lead single from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Underwood and songwriters, David Hodges and Hillary Lindsey, received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. In March 2011, Underwood sang John Lennon's "Instant Karma!" at the NBC's special All Together Now – A Celebration of Service, which honored former President George H. W. Bush. She made her big screen debut in Soul Surfer, in April 2011. At the season ten finale of American Idol Underwood selected a song for contestant Lauren Alaina to sing.
Underwood is featured on "Remind Me", a duet with Brad Paisley that reached number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, giving Underwood her eleventh number one single on such chart and fourteenth overall. She has also a duet with Tony Bennett on his 2011 album Duets II and another duet with Randy Travis on his 2011 Anniversary Celebration album. Underwood was one of the headliners of the iHeartRadio Music Festival. The event took place on September 23 and 24, 2011. On September 19, Underwood performed "You Really Got a Hold on Me" in order to honor Smokey Robinson, as he was presented with the Ella Award at the Society of Singers annual dinner. Robinson returned the favor to Underwood by singing "My Girl" to her. At the same event, they sang together with Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole and other artists a medley of multiple songs. In July 2011, Forbes reported that Underwood earned over $20 million between May 2010 and May 2011, being the top earning American Idol alumnus for the fourth consecutive year.
On February 4, 2012, Underwood joined Steven Tyler to record CMT's Crossroads at the Pepsi Coliseum during the Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam of Super Bowl XLVI. It was the highest-rated episode in seven years. On February 12, 2012, Underwood and Tony Bennett performed their duet "It Had to Be You" at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. They also sang the song on the season two premiere of Blue Bloods in September 2011.
2012–present: Blown Away 
Blown Away, Underwood's fourth album, was released on May 1, 2012. Underwood has said that this album features songs with a "darker storyline." Blown Away debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, the Country Albums Chart and the Digital Albums chart in the United States, selling more than 267,000 in its first week. The first single, "Good Girl", was released to the iTunes Store on February 23, 2012. It was officially released to Country radio on February 27, 2012. The music video for "Good Girl" premiered on Entertainment Tonight and on VEVO on March 12, 2012. The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, giving Underwood her twelfth number one on the chart, and was certified Platinum by the RIAA and has sold over 1.5 million copies. The song "Blown Away" was released as the second single from the album on July 9, 2012. It was a massive success, selling over 2 million copies, being certified Double Platinum, reaching the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, the number one spot on the Billboard Country Airplay and the Top 2 of the Top Country Songs, where it became Underwood's 16th Top 10 hit on Billboard's Hot Country Songs, a record among women in the tally’s 68-year history. The album has been certified Platinum by the RIAA and was the 7th best-selling album of 2012, the second best-selling country album of the year and the second best-selling release by a female artist in 2012. On August, 2012, it was announced that Underwood would have her very own VH1 Unplugged (called "VH1 Presents: Carrie Underwood Unplugged") and VH1 Behind The Music episodes. "Two Black Cadillacs", the third single from the album, was released on November 26. It became Underwood's 17th top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, extending her own record, later peaking at number two on Billboard's Country Airplay chart and certified Gold by the RIAA. In March, 2013, "See You Again" was annouced as the album's fourth single.
At the 2012 CMT Music Awards, Underwood won the awards for Video of the Year, for "Good Girl", and Collaborative Video of the Year, for "Remind Me", her duet with Brad Paisley. She also performed "Good Girl" at the ceremony. At the 2012 American Music Awards, she won the award for Favorite Album – Country, for Blown Away, and performed "Two Black Cadillacs". On December 10, Underwood won 2 American Country Awards, for Female Artist of the Year and Single of the Year for Remind Me. She has won a total of 11 ACA's, the most of any artist ever. In early 2013, Underwood won the prize for Top Selling International Album of the Year at the 41st Country Music Awards of Australia, held by the Country Music Association of Australia. Also in February 2013, Underwood won her sixth Grammy Award, for Best Country Solo Performance, for "Blown Away". She also performed a medley of "Blown Away" and "Two Black Cadillacs" at the awards show. On February 13, Underwood rceived two nominations for the Academy of Country Music Awards.
On May 1, 2012, Underwood announced her international arena tour, the Blown Away Tour. The first leg consisted, besides the North American dates, of concerts in the UK, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, on June 21, 2012, which sold-out in 90 minutes, and five shows in Australia, including a sold-out date at the Sydney Opera House, on July 2. The first leg of the Blown Away Tour made Underwood the best-selling female country touring artist of 2012, grossing over $29.2 million and bringing her career tour revenues to over $95 million. The tour will have its own exhibition at the Country Music Hall of Fame, called "Carrie Underwood: The Blown Away Tour Exhibition", starting on June 5, 2013. The second leg of the tour started in February, 2013, with shows in Ireland, an additional show in England, as part of the C2C: Country to Country festival, and several shows in North America. All dates of the second leg of the Blown Away Tour have been sold out so far, breaking records.
As of early 2013, Underwood has sold more than 13 million album copies and over 27 million digital tracks in the United States. Since May 2011, Underwood is the Biggest American Idol Earner, with, at the time of the press release, over $66 million in tour revenues, besides her records sales. She is also the fourth biggest album seller of the past 10 years. Worldwide, she has sold nearly 30 million singles and more than 15 million albums. On February 22, 2013, Billboard ranked Underwood as the 16th money maker for the period from February 2012 to February 2013. She earned close to $12 million, being American Idol's Top Earner and second for female country artists.
On January 21, 2013, "Can't Stop Lovin' You", a song by rock band Aerosmith with featured vocals by Underwood, was released as a single. On May 7, 2013, it was announced that Underwood will perform the opening theme song for NBC Sunday Night Football, replacing Faith Hill.
Acting career 
Underwood appeared on How I Met Your Mother in March 2010. She played the part of Tiffany, a medical sales rep that forms a relationship with Ted. This was the second highest rated episode for season five, gaining 10.48 million viewers. Brian Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 8.5 out of 10. He was surprised how well Underwood performed in her first acting role. Underwood made her film debut in Soul Surfer in April 2011. She played Sarah Hill, the church youth leader who helped Bethany Hamilton overcome the obstacles she faced after the shark attack.
It was announced by NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt on November 30, 2012 that Underwood is set to star in the coveted role of Maria von Trapp in NBC’s live broadcast of The Sound of Music, based on the original Broadway musical. The telecast will be a three-hour event is scheduled to air on December 5, 2013. NBC is partnering with the producing team of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. "To have a star like Carrie Underwood perform Maria in ‘The Sound of Music’ – and in such a very special and unique production, is exciting beyond words,” said Ted Chapin, President, Rodgers & Hammerstein. “Part of the magic of Rodgers and Hammerstein is how their work has adapted itself to so many different incarnations, and I am certain the fresh spirit Underwood brings to her own songs will transition into exciting versions of the classic songs we all know and love.”
Personal life 
Underwood is a practicing Christian. She follows a vegan diet. She performed at halftime of the 2006 Thanksgiving Day football game at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, and was friends with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. She attended his birthday party in April 2007, and on May 15, 2007, he escorted her to the Academy of Country Music Awards. They were rumored to be dating on and off throughout 2007. Although she denied the rumor when asked, Romo confirmed it by saying "[...] I'm dating Carrie Underwood" on his website. He also told an Illinois newspaper that they were dating. In August 2007, Underwood began dating Chace Crawford of the American television series Gossip Girl. On October 4, 2007, People magazine reported that the two were seen holding hands in New York City, though according to further reports, they ended their relationship in the spring of 2008.
She became engaged in December 2009 to then Ottawa Senators (now Nashville Predators) hockey player Mike Fisher, whom she began dating after they met at one of her concerts in 2008. Underwood and Fisher appeared together publicly for the first time in January 2010, at the Bell Sens Soiree, an annual fundraiser in Gatineau for the Ottawa Senators' official charity. After appearing together at the CMT Awards in June 2010, Underwood told reporters that Fisher was planning a surprise honeymoon for the two of them after their summer wedding.
On July 10, 2010, Underwood and Fisher wed at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia, with more than 250 people in attendance. The couple gave People the following statement, which they signed "Mike & Carrie Fisher": "We could not feel more blessed to have found each other and to have shared this day with our friends and family that mean so much to us!" According to People, Monique Lhuillier created a dress of Chantilly lace for Underwood and also designed the bridesmaids' dresses. The ceremony featured classical music and readings of the couple's favorite Bible verses. National Hockey League players, as well as Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Garth Brooks, American Idol contestants, and judges Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson were in attendance. She surprised her husband by having one of their favorite artists, Brandon Heath, sing his song "Love Never Fails" for their first dance.
On February 11, 2011, an Ottawa radio station, 105.3 CISS-FM, banned the playing of Underwood's music because her husband, Mike Fisher, was traded to the Nashville Predators the day before. Due to Underwood's fans' threats on Facebook to never tune into the radio station, the station later modified their statement. They apologized for their actions, saying that their statements were meant to be taken as a joke, as they do not play Underwood's country songs anyway and it was their tongue-in-cheek way of wishing Fisher the best of luck in Nashville. Fisher later criticized the station saying "obviously Carrie had nothing to do with the move or the trade or anything so to imply something like that was just wrong", and noting that both he and Underwood were disappointed in the negativity that was created by the radio station. Underwood was selected by The Hockey News on its annual list of the 100 People of Power and Influence in Ice Hockey. For the 2012 list, Underwood ranked at number 85.
Personal interests 
Underwood has stated that she has a great interest in sports. She has participated in the annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball tournament for charity for many years. The event takes place in Nashville, Tennessee, and benefits research for life-threatening diseases. In 2005, she performed the "Star-Spangled Banner" at Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons, and in 2006 at the NBA All-Star Game. She also performed the "Star-Spangled Banner" at the NFC Championship Game between the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers in 2006, as well as at the 2006 edition of NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600, the MLB All Star Game in Pittsburgh, P.A., and at Game 3 of the 2007 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies. On February 7, 2010, Underwood performed the National Anthem for Super Bowl XLIV.
Underwood is an animal lover and a vegan. She stopped eating meat at the age of thirteen because she could not stand the thought of eating one of her own animals. She was voted "World's Sexiest Vegetarian" by PETA in 2007 for the second time, the first being in 2005 alongside Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, who is also a vegan. In a 2007 interview with PETA, Underwood stated, "Ever since I was little I loved animals [...] If you told me I could never sing again, I'd say that was horrible, but it's not my life. If you told me I could never be around animals again, I would just die."
In April 2013, Underwood spoke out with disapproval regarding the Tennessee "Ag Gag bill". The bill would require anyone recording images of animal abuse to submit unedited footage or photos to law enforcement within 48 hours. Underwood tweeted, "Shame on TN lawmakers for passing the Ag Gag bill. If Gov. Bill Haslam signs this, he needs to expect me at his front door. Who's with me?" State Rep. Andy Holt responded to her tweet, saying, "I would say that Carrie Underwood will stick to singing, I'll stick to lawmaking." Underwood later responded via Twitter, "I should stick to singing? Wow…sorry, I’m just a tax paying citizen concerned for the safety of my family. #NoAgGag". She also tweeted Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, saying "Please don't sign the Ag Gag bill. Think about the welfare of the animals as well as the consumers. I'm begging you..."
Underwood has had many endorsements throughout her career. In 2005, Underwood appeared in Sketchers global advertising campaign. In 2008, Underwood worked with Nintendo for the launch of their Nintendo DS appearing in various television commercials. In 2008, Underwood became the spokesperson for Vitamin Water appearing in television and magazine advertisements. Underwood also hosts a guide to a healthy lifestyle on Vitamin Water's website. In 2010, Underwood became the spokesperson for the Pedigree adoption drive. In 2011, she became the first celebrity brand ambassador for Olay skin care. Underwood has appeared in the global advertising campaign for their facial wash.
Underwood established the Checotah Animal, Town, and School Foundation in 2009. The foundation helps with general causes, needs and services in the area of Checotah to directly impact the community. “My hometown is extremely supportive of me and I feel blessed to be able to create something as a way of giving back; to say thank you,” said Underwood.
Underwood is a supporter of arts education. In 2009, Underwood’s foundation "Checotah Animal, Town & School Foundation" and the Academy of Country Music foundation "ACM Lifting Lives" partnered to give students in Checotah, Oklahoma a gift valued at more than $120,000 in new instruments for their music programs. Underwood held a surprise concert at a local high school and then unveiled the gifts. The instruments will be shared throughout the Checotah school district, and were ordered through Yamaha Corporate Artist Affairs at a special philanthropic price. During the 2011 holiday season, her foundation donated $350,000 to the Checotah schools.
Underwood is a supporter of animal rights. Underwood is a supporter of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and has done several public service announcements for the organization. Underwood has also done a "Protect Your Pets" public service announcement for Do Something. In 2010, Underwood became the official spokesperson for the Pedigree adoption drive. On March 29, 2010 Underwood and Pedigree partnered to donate $10,000 to a New York City Animal Shelter. In April 2011, Underwood opened the Happy Paws Animal Shelter in her hometown. On January 10, 2012, it was reported, but had previously been blogged by Underwood herself on her official fan-site, that the singer rescued an abandoned dog along highway.
Underwood and her husband made a video for the "Do It For Daron" campaign urging young people to stop bullying. In July 2012 she publicly endorsed same-sex marriage. She told the British newspaper The Independent, "As a married person myself, I don't know what it's like to be told I can't marry somebody I love, and want to marry," she said. "I can't imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love." Underwood went on to say, "Our church is gay friendly. Above all, God wanted us to love others. It's not about setting rules, or [saying] 'everyone has to be like me'. No. We're all different. That's what makes us special. We have to love each other and get on with each other. It's not up to me to judge anybody."
Underwood launched the Academy of Country Music Lifting Lives Temporary Home Fund in 2010. The Fund specifically benefits victims of the Tennessee floods of early 2010 and it was kicked off with grants that Underwood received from ACM as Entertainer of the Year. She also teamed up with Brooks and Dunn to support the new Fund by recording a Public Service Announcement (PSA).
Underwood is involved with a number of organizations that benefit children. In January 2010, she partnered with Country Cares for St. Jude Kids visiting the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In February 2011, Underwood donated $140,125 to Save The Children. This charitable initiative was inspired by the “36 cents” written in the lyrics of Underwood’s album track “Change” on her album Play On, which addresses how even the smallest bit of spare change that one might have can add up to make a difference and help “change” the world.
Underwood is a supporter of the United Service Organization, Clothes off our back, and Habitat For Humanity. To benefit cancer research, in August 2008 Underwood joined Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Miley Cyrus and other female artists to record the song "Just Stand Up!". The proceeds benefited Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C). As a result of their fund raising efforts, the SU2C scientific advisory committee, overseen by the American Association for Cancer Research was able to award $73.6 million towards novel, groundbreaking research. The song peaked at number eleven on Billboard's Hot 100 Songs. In May 2012, Underwood announced that she will donate $1 of every ticket sold on Blown Away Tour to the American Red Cross.
Tours 2005: American Idols LIVE! Tour 20052006: Carrie Underwood: Live 20062008: Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Carnival Ride Tour (w/ Keith Urban)2008: Carnival Ride Tour2010: Play On Tour2012: Blown Away Tour
Underwood has been the recipient of six Grammy Awards, sixteen Billboard Music Awards, ten Academy of Country Music Awards, seven American Music Awards, five Country Music Association Awards, seven BMI Awards and one Golden Globe nomination.