Carrie Underwood Biography

A biography of the American Idol winner and country music star

Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood. Google Images/

Carrie Underwood was born on March 10, 1983 and grew up on her parents' farm in Checotah, Okla. The youngest of three, Underwood was a true country girl. She sang at her local church and starred in school musicals. As she got older she began performing in local talent shows. When Underwood was 14 she landed a deal with Capitol Records in Nashville, but the contract fell through due to a company management change.

Underwood continued to sing at fairs, community events and in church while attending Checotah High School, where she was an Honor Society member, played basketball and softball, and was a cheerleader. She graduated as salutatorian in 2001 and enrolled at Northeastern State University (NSU) in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, where she studied journalism, choosing practicality over passion.

During college she was a member of the Alpha Iota chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, spent a summer working as a page for Oklahoma State Representative Bobby Frame, waited tables at a pizzeria, and worked at a zoo and a veterinary clinic, all the while continuing to sing. She performed in NSU's Downtown Country show and in university beauty pageants. She won Miss NSU runner-up in 2004.


American Idol:

Underwood saw in the news that people in Cleveland were camping out to audition for the upcoming season of . People had always told her that she should try out, so she headed to St. Louis in the summer of 2004. The rest is history. She quickly became a favorite amongst fans and judges, and dominated the voting. On May 25, 2005 she became the winner of season four.


Career Overview:

After winning Idol Underwood embarked on the multi-city American Idol tour and released her first single, "Inside Your Heaven." The song debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the only solo country music act to debut at No. 1 during the 2000s. "Inside Your Heaven" is certified double platinum by the CRIA.

Her first album, Some Hearts, was released in November 2005 and became the best-selling album of 2006 across all genres in the United States. Some Hearts went seven times platinum and propelled Underwood to headline a 2006 North American tour.

Underwood released her sophomore album, Carnival Ride, in 2007, and fans and critics waited with baited breath to see if the country sweetheart could maintain the success she had with her first album. Carnival Ride went double platinum just two months after its release, proving that the album was no sophomore slump.

Her third album, Play On, was released in 2009, debuting at number one on the Billboard Hot 200. The album contains hits like "Cowboy Casanova" and "Undo It," and is certified double platinum by RIAA. Underwood toured North America and Australia for the Play On Tour.

Blown Away, her fourth studio album, was released in 2012 and went platinum. The album combined country, rock and pop and has a distinctly darker tone compared to her earlier albums, and it spawned hits like "Good Girl" and "Blown Away." Underwood embarked on an international tour with Hunter Hayes as her opening act.

Underwood will release her fifth studio album, Storyteller, this October. Her first single from the album, "Smoke Break," is available now.


Awards and Recognition:

Since she burst onto the scene in 2005 Underwood has received recognition by music industry heavyweights like Stevie Nicks, Tony Bennett, Dolly Parton, Steven Tyler, and Vince Gill. Underwood is highly acclaimed for her vocal talents, with a tremendous vocal range and the ability to hit and hold notes for extended periods of time.

Underwood was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2008. She has won seven Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist following the release of Some Hearts, 17 Billboard Music Awards, including the Milestone Award in 2014, 11 Academy of Country Music Awards, eight American Music Awards and five Country Music Association awards. She is the only female to have won the Academy of Country Music's Entertainer of the Year twice. Time Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014.

She is widely recognized for her philanthropic work, having established the C.A.T.S. Foundation, a general cause foundation that serves her hometown, Checotah, Oklahoma. Underwood is also a supporter of the American Red Cross, Save the Children, and the Humane Society of the United States, among others. Underwood is also known as an animal lover and animal rights activist, and she's been a vegan since she was 13.


Other Ventures:

Underwood has appeared on the TV shows How I Met Your Mother and Sesame Street, and in the movie Soul Surfer. In 2012 she starred as Maria von Trapp in NBC's live broadcast of The Sound of Music. Underwood has dabbled in product endorsements and recently released a fitness clothing line, CALIA by Carrie Underwood. She has co-hosted the CMAs with Brad Paisley since 2008.



  • Some Hearts (2005)
  • Carnival Ride (2007)
  • Play On (2009)
  • Blown Away (2012)
  • Storyteller (2015)


Popular Songs:

  • "Before He Cheats"
  • "Blown Away"
  • "Cowboy Casanova"
  • "Jesus Take the Wheel"
  • "Good Girl"
  • "All-American Girl"
  • "Undo It"


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