Carrie Underwood rose to stardom as the winner of American Idol, and her star hasn't faded since. Her powerful, versatile voice endeared her to fans as soon as she appeared on the show. She's made several multi-platinum albums, won dozens of awards, and continues to be a fan favorite on country radio.
Carrie Underwood grew up on a small town farm in Checotah, Oklahoma. When she was young she sang in talent shows, at church, and at local events. She auditioned for American Idol in St. Louis in 2004. Underwood became a favorite of the judges and quickly gained a fan following. She released her first album, Some Hearts, shortly after her American Idol win. Some Hearts is triple platinum and became the fastest-selling debut country album in history. Underwood holds the Guiness World Record for most No. 1 hits by a solo female country artist, with 11 chart-topping songs. Some of Underwood's biggest hits are “Before He Cheats,” “Cowboy Casanova,” “Mama's Song,” “Jesus Take the Wheel,” and “All-American Girl.” She's collaborated and performed with some of country music's biggest names, including Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, and Randy Travis. Underwood made her Grand Ole Opry debut just two weeks after winning American Idol, and was inducted as an Opry member in 2008.
Carrie Underwood has won many top musical honors, including five Grammys, 16 Billboard Music Awards, 11 Academy of Country Music Awards, five CMA Awards, and 6 American Music Awards. Underwood became the second female artist (after Barbara Mandrell) to win the ACM's Triple Crown for having won Top New Female Vocalist, Top Female Vocalist, and Entertainer of the Year. Underwood has also made TV appearances, acting in an episode of How I Met Your Mother and in the TV movie Soul Surfer, a role that earned her a Golden Globe nomination. She's also had her own episodes of VH1's Unplugged and Behind the Music, CMT Invitation Only, and hosted her own Christmas special on Fox in 2008. Underwood is highly involved in various charity organizations, championing community improvement in her hometown Checotah, animal rights, disaster relief, arts education, LGBT rights, charities for sick children, and various other humanitarian causes.