Born March 10, 1983 in a small town next to Checotah, Oklahoma, Carrie's father, Stephen, worked at a paper mill, and her mother, Carole, was an elementary school teacher. Music didn't run in the family, but Underwood started singing at church when she was 3. Once she was in school, she sang solo roles in student plays. By the seventh grade, people were taking more notice of her voice as she entered local talent shows. She was told she had a "big voice" for "such a little girl."
Music didn't run in the family, but Underwood started singing at church when she was 3. Once she was in school, she sang solo roles in student plays. By the seventh grade, people were taking more notice of her voice as she entered local talent shows. She was told she had a "big voice" for "such a little girl." Music wasn't completely out of the picture while she was in college. She had a role in a country music show where she learned about country legends like Patsy Cline and the Carter Family. She was still taking her college classes when friends encouraged her to audition for American Idol.
At first, she resisted. However, she soon realized if she didn't audition, she would graduate, get a job and may never have a chance to try out for the show again. So one night after wrapping an appearance in the college country music show, she piled into the car with her mom, a friend and her mother and drove all night, arriving in St. Louis at 6 a.m. They had to be at the stadium by 8 a.m. to receive wristbands to be eligible for the auditions. Then she waited eight hours before singing Martina McBride's "Phones Are Ringing All Over Town" for American Idol supervising producer James Breen. She was invited to come back the next day and sing for executive producer Nigel Lythgoe. She sang another McBride song for Lythgoe, "Independence Day." On the next round, Underwood sang Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me" for the show's judges, who sent her to Hollywood on her first-ever airline flight. As the weeks went by, the other contestants were voted off the show one by one, until the finale on May 25, 2005, when it was Underwood vs. Bo Bice. When Ryan Seacrest announced the winner, Underwood became America 's new idol.
She signed to 19 Recordings/Arista Records and released the single "Inside Your Heaven", which debuted as the best selling song in the nation with sales of 170,000. She broke Billboard chart history as the first country music artist ever to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100. Underwood's "Inside Your Heaven" also became the first song from a country artist to go to No. 1 on the Hot 100 since Lonestar's "Amazed" did so in 2000. However, the single was scarcely played on country radio.
Some Hearts proved to be a huge hit, leading to the No. 1 hits "Jesus, Take the Wheel," "Don't Forget to Remember Me" and "Before He Cheats." She toured with Kenny Chesney as well as Brad Paisley in 2006. She also won her first CMA Awards in 2006, in the Horizon and female vocalist categories.
As of February 2009, Underwood has sold over 9.3 million albums in the United States. Underwood was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry on May 10, 2008.
On April 5, 2009, Underwood made history at the Academy of Country Music Awards (ACM Awards) by becoming only the seventh female to win the prestigious "Entertainer of the Year" Award. She also took home "Female Vocalist of the Year", her third consecutive win in that category. On April 5, 2009, Underwood joined Brooks & Dunn, Taylor Swift, Sugarland, and Rascal Flatts in an opening duet to the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards (ACM Awards). She performed a snippet of "All-American Girl".
In 2006 Carrie headlined a USO Tour during the Christmas holiday season and performed for U.S. troops in Kuwait and Iraq . She is known for her love of animals, is also a major supporter of the Humane Society of the United States . Such charitable efforts are yet another indication that, in a world where celebrity is often about mere self-indulgence, Carrie brings as much grace, style and substance to her life as she does to her stage performances.