Carrie Underwood (age: 36) is a singer and actress known for the singles Before He Cheats, Blown Away, Cowboy Casanova, Cry Pretty, The Champion, Good Girl. She was the winner of the 4th season of American Idol.
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Carrie Underwood Bio
Carrie Underwood (born March 10, 1983) is an American singer and songwriter. She rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol, in 2005. Her debut album, Some Hearts, was released in 2005. Bolstered by the huge crossover success of the singles “Jesus, Take the Wheel” and “Before He Cheats”, it became the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history, the fastest-selling debut country album in Nielsen SoundScan history and the best-selling country album of the last 15 years. Underwood won three Grammy Awards for the album, including Best New Artist.
Her second album, Carnival Ride, followed in 2007. It had one of the biggest ever opening weeks by a female artist and earned Underwood two Grammy Awards. Her next album, 2009’s Play On, was a commercial success led by the single “Cowboy Casanova”. Underwood’s fourth album, Blown Away (2012), earned her a Grammy Award and was that year’s second best-selling release by a female artist. Her first compilation album (2014) was a chart and sales success and earned her a Grammy Award. Her fifth album, Storyteller (2015), made her the only country artist to have all first five studio albums reach either numbers one or two on the Billboard 200. Underwood will release her sixth album, Cry Pretty, on September 14, 2018.
One of the most successful artists in any musical genre, Underwood has sold more than 65 million records worldwide. Recognized by Billboard as Country Music‘s reigning Queen and by Rolling Stone as “the female vocalist of her generation of any genre”, she was listed by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014. Underwood is the top country artist of all-time on the RIAA’s Digital Singles ranking and the highest certified country album artist to debut in the 21st century. She is the only solo country artist in the 2000s to have a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100, the only country artist to debut at number one on the Hot 100, and the woman with most number-one hits in the history of the Billboard Country Airplay chart, with fifteen. She is the most successful American Idol winner, per Forbes. Billboard named Some Hearts the number-one country album of the 2000s and her as top female artist on their ‘Best Country Artists of the 2000s’ list. She has been inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grand Ole Opry, Oklahoma Hall of Fame, and Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. She has received numerous awards and accolades, including seven Grammy Awards, 10 Billboard Music Awards, 14 ACM Awards, 12 American Music Awards, eigth CMA Awards, and a Guinness World Record.
2004–2005: American Idol
In the summer of 2004, Underwood auditioned for American Idol in St. Louis, Missouri, singing Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me”. 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 on “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 Mustangconvertible.
2005–2007: Some Hearts and breakthrough
Underwood’s music career began with the release of her first single, “Inside Your Heaven”, on June 14, 2005. The song debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, with Underwood becoming only the third artist to bow in the top slot since chart policy changed in 1998. She also broke Billboard chart history as the first country music artist ever to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100 and the song became the first song from a country artist to go to No. 1 on the Hot 100 since country group Lonestar’s “Amazed” did so in 2000. “Inside Your Heaven” is the only single by a solo country artist in the decade of 2000-2009 to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also debuted at No. 1 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. It sold nearly one million copies and was certified gold by the RIAA and double 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 No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums and at No. 2 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. Some Hearts became the best-selling album of 2006 in all genres in the United States. The album was also the best-selling country album of both 2006 and 2007, making Underwood the first female artist in Billboard history to earn back-to-back honors for Top Country Album. Additionally, it was the best-selling female country album of 2005, 2006, and 2007. Some Hearts has since become the fastest-selling debut country album in the history of the SoundScan era, the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history, the best-selling Country album of the last 14 years, and the best-selling album by an American Idol alumni in the US. The album is certified eight times platinum by the RIAA, the highest album certification of any country artist to emerge since 2000.
The album’s second single, “Jesus, Take the Wheel” was released to radio in October and later peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, topping it for six consecutive weeks, and at number twenty on the Hot 100. The song sold over two million copies and was certified double Platinum by the RIAA. Underwood’s third single, “Some Hearts”, was also released in October, but exclusively to pop radio. “Don’t Forget to Remember Me”, her fourth single, also proved successful, reaching No. 2 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Later that autumn, Underwood’s third country single, “Before He Cheats”, hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs, staying there for five consecutive weeks. The song peaked at No. 8 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 double Platinum, “Before He Cheats” became the first country song to ever be certified multi-platinum. It has now been certified five times Platinum, selling more than 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 No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, sold more than one million copies and was certified Platinum by the RIAA. In 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 page’>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 five 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. That year, Underwood also 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. By winning the Best New Artist Grammy Award, Underwood became only the second country artist to ever win the award in the 56-year history of the Grammy Awards, following LeAnn Rimes (1997). 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. That same 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 No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs.
In 2007, Forbes reported that Underwood earned over $7 million between June 2006 and June 2007. Also in 2007, Victoria’s Secret named Underwood the Sexiest Female Musician.
2007–2009: Carnival Ride and commercial success
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 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 No. 1 on both the Billboard 200and Top Country Albums, as well as No. 1 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 now certified four times Multi-Platinum by the RIAA. “So Small”, the first single from the album, was released in July 2007 and reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs, topping it for three consecutive weeks. “All-American Girl”, the second single, also reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart. The next single, “Last Name”, reached No. 1 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 No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, staying there for two consecutive weeks. With that, Underwood became the first solo female artist to pull four number one’s from one album since 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 No. 2 on the Country charts and No. 9 on the Billboard 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 topped five Billboard Year-End charts, including 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 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 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’s classic, the title song from Music page’>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 2008, it was reported by Forbes that Underwood earned over $9 million between June 2007 and June 2008, being No. 79 on the Top Celebrity 100 list. In 2009, Forbes reported that Underwood was the top earning American Idol alumnus 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 No. 2 on the AC Chart and remained there for three 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’s 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.
2009–2012: Play On and collaborations
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 No. 2. 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 No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart in just ten weeks, the year’s fastest chart-topper by a country female and the fastest number one of her career at that time (her 2014 single “Something in the Water” topped the Hot Country Songs chart in its seventh week). “Cowboy Casanova” has sold over 2 million copies, being certified double Platinum. Second single, “Temporary Home” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and the RIAA certified it Platinum. “Undo It”, Underwood’s third single from “Play On”, was released to radio in May. It was later certified Platinum and hit No. 1 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 Triple Platinum.
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.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 No. 1 on the North American raking, and No. 31 worldwide. Billboard also ranked Underwood’s tour at No. 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 page’>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. 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.
In December 2009, Some Hearts was named the number-one Country Album of the 2000 Decade by Billboard and Underwood was the top-ranked female artist on Billboard’s Best Country Artists of the 2000 Decade list.Overall, she was ranked No. 50 on the Artists of the Decade list by Billboard. Also in late 2009, Underwood had her very own CMT Invitation Only and also hosted a Christmas special, Carrie Underwood page’>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 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 No. 11 Queen of Pop, based on a lot of criteria from 2009 until 2011. 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. 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 No. 1 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 2010, Underwood was reported by Forbes to have earned over $13 million from May 2009 to May 2010, being the top-earning Idol. 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.
2012–2013: Blown Away and global tour
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 No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the Country Albums Chart and the Digital Albums chart in the US, 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 No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, giving Underwood her twelfth number-one on the chart, and was certified Double Platinum and has sold over two 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 Triple 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 Hot Country Songs chart, a record among women in the tally’s 68-year history. The album 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. It has been certified Double Platinum by the RIAA and sold over 1.7 million copies in the United States alone. In August 2012, it was announced that Underwood would have her very own VH1 Unplugged (called “VH1 Presents: Carrie Underwood page’>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 No. 2 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart and certified Platinum. In March 2013, “See You Again” was released as the album’s fourth single; it has peaked at number 2 on Country Airplay chart and has been certified Platinum by the RIAA.
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”. 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 performed a medley of “Blown Away” and “Two Black Cadillacs” at the awards show. On February 13, Underwood received two nominations for the Academy of Country Music Awards. She won International Album of the Year at the 2013 British Country Music Awards. At the 2013 CMT Music Awards, Underwood won her 10th award, becoming the most awarded artist ever in CMT Music Awards history. She won Video of the Year for “Blown Away” for the fourth time, which also makes her the artist with the most wins ever in the category. During the ceremony, she paid tribute to tornado victims in Oklahoma, by performing “See You Again” backed by a choir from Nashville‘s Christ Church.
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 had its own exhibition at the Country Music Hall of Fame, called “Carrie Underwood page’>Carrie Underwood: The Blown Away Tour Exhibition”, which ran from June 5 through November 10, 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 were sold out, breaking records. Underwood wrapped the Blown Away Tour in late May 2013, playing to one million fans across three continents and six countries. Her three headline arena tours have played to over 3.2 million fans combined. On May 31, it was announced on Underwood’s official site that she would release The Blown Away Tour: LIVE, a DVD with nearly 100 minutes of performance footage, behind-the-scene looks, interviews, and music videos from the album Blown Away. The DVD was released on August 13, 2013, and is Underwood’s first official DVD concert.
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. In June 2013, Forbes placed Underwood at No. 46 on The Celebrity 100 list, reporting that she earned more than $31 million between June 2012 and June 2013, being the top-earning American Idol.
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 25, Underwood joined The Rolling Stones onstage during the stop of the band’s 50 and Counting Tour in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They performed “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)”. On September 22, 2013, at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, she was part of the Emmy Awards’ special tribute honoring the 50th Anniversary of 1963 Television Milestones, which includes the assassination coverage of President John F. Kennedy and The Beatles’ first US appearance. She performed one of The Beatles’ iconic songs, “Yesterday”.
2014–2015: Greatest Hits: Decade #1
Underwood confirmed that she began planning a new album in August 2013 and would start prep work sometime in 2014. Underwood told Billboard, “After Music page’>The Sound of Music, I feel like I can really buckle down and start working on the next album.” Underwood also stated she has been planning another tour, which might be toned down from her earlier ones, stating, “I haven’t thought about it much because I don’t know what the next album is going to sound like, but I like just standing there and singing, too. I may take a different approach, a more simple approach on the next one. I loved the energy that rock concerts had,” Underwood told Billboard. Underwood is featured on Miranda Lambert’s album Platinum, on a song called “Somethin’ Bad”. Released as a single, “Somethin’ Bad” reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, becoming Underwood’s 13th number-one on the chart. The same week, the song vaulted to No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In early 2014, she performed on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, paying tribute to Linda Ronstadt. Her performances were highly acclaimed by critics and even by Stevie Nicks, who performed with Underwood. In September, Underwood headlined the 2014 Global Citizen Festival, alongside Jay-Z, No Doubt and other music acts. Her cover of R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” during her performance was highly praised. She headlined the 2014 Concert for Valor in November, alongside Eminem, Metallica, Foo Fighters, and other music acts, where she was backed by the Singing Sergeants of the US Air Force during the performance of “Something in the Water”. Underwood was asked by Bono himself to front U2’s World AIDS Day (RED) Concert, alongside U2, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, and Kanye West, on December 1, 2014. She was joined on stage by U2 guitarist The Edge during a performance of her song “Change”, which received acclaim.
The Academy of Country Music awarded Underwood the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award, for her widespread exposure through NFL Sunday Night Football, the live NBC broadcast of Music page’>The Sound of Music, her worldwide Blown Away Tour and her charity work with the American Red Cross and her C.A.T.S. Foundation. At the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, Underwood won the Milestone Award, for which she had been nominated due to her chart success, especially her record of having the best starting run ever by a woman on the Country Airplay chart (18 top ten hits on the chart). Time listed Underwood as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, placing her in the “Icons” category. She won the award for Favorite Female Country Artist at the American Music Awards, marking her eighth career AMA. She was named 2014’s top female Christian artist by Billboard. In 2015 at the 57th Grammy Awards, Underwood won Best Country Solo Performance for “Something in the Water”, marking her seventh career Grammy Award. At the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, she won the award for Top Christian Song for “Something in the Water”. At the 2015 CMT Music Awards, Underwood won three awards, including Video of the Year for “Something in the Water”. She won her ninth American Music Award in 2015, winning Favorite Female Country Artist.
In September 2014, Underwood appeared on The Today Show, where she announced her first greatest hits compilation, Greatest Hits: Decade #1, which was released on December 9. The album’s lead single, “Something in the Water”, became a crossover success. It reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, becoming her fourteenth number-one hit on that chart and her second in 2014. With fourteen number ones, she holds the record as the female country artist with the most number-one hits on the Hot Country Songs chart in the Nielsen SoundScan era (since 1991) in the Guinness Book. The song topped the Hot Christian Songs chart and has held the top spot for multiple consecutive weeks. It debuted at No. 24 on the Hot 100 chart as well. The song set and broke multiple airplay records on Country radio in its first week. In February 2015, “Little Toy Guns” was released as the second single from the compilation. The track peaked at number six on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs, number two on the Country Airplay Chart and number 47 on the Hot 100. The song was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance at the 58th Grammy Awards. The compilation debuted with the biggest sales debut for a hits collection in any genre of music in more than six years and the biggest first-week sales for a female hits album in any genre in over nine years.
Underwood returned to the studio to finish her fifth studio album in the spring of 2015. On August 20, 2015, via live Facebook stream, Underwood announced her album would be titled Storyteller and was scheduled to be released on October 23, 2015. The lead single, “Smoke Break”, was serviced to radio immediately following the announcement. Storyteller debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, making Underwood the only country artist to have their first five studio albums debut at Nos. 1 or 2 on the Billboard 200. In addition, the album debuted at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart, earning Underwood another record as the only artist to score six consecutive number-one albums on that chart. Storyteller has since been certified Platinum by the RIAA.
The album’s second single, “Heartbeat”, became Underwood’s 14th leader on the Country Airplay while the album’s third single, “Church Bells”, became her 15th career No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart, both extending her record for the most number one’s among women in the history of the chart. Underwood became the first female artist to score two number one hits on the Country Airplay chart in 2016. A fourth single, “Dirty Laundry”, was released from the album in August 2016.Billboard ranked Underwood as the top female country artist for the year, and fifth overall.
Underwood launched the Storyteller Tour, her fifth headlining tour, in January 2016, with a second half picking up in August. The tour has since played to over 1 million fans, completing 92 shows across 7 countries while being named by Billboard the top country tour for the first half of the year.
In June 2016, Underwood received three nominations from the CMT Music Awards, taking home two honors for “Smoke Break”, expanding her CMT Music Award total to 15—the most among all acts. She was named Female Vocalist of the Year by the American Country Countdown Awards in 2016, and also received the CMA Chairman’s Award. In July, she picked up her fifth Teen Choice Award, for Choice Country Artist. Underwood also received two nominations from the Billboard Music Awards, including Top Country Artist. In September 2016, Underwood was the first artist to receive the ACM Lifting Lives Gary Haber Award, for her continuous work with charities.
On October 20, 2016, Underwood was honored as one of CMT Artists of the Year, marking her third year to receive the award. Underwood received four nominations for the 50th annual Country Music Association Awards, including her first nomination for Entertainer of the Year. She walked away with Female Vocalist of the Year, her fourth time to win the award. She further received three nominations for the 2016 American Music Awards, including the top prize for Artist of the Year. She won Favorite Female Country Artist for the fourth time and Favorite Country Album (for Storyteller) for the fifth time, expanding her record as the only artist to win the award for all albums released.
Underwood was one of 30 artists to perform on “Forever Country”, a mash-up track of “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, “On the Road Again”, and “I Will Always Love You” celebrating 50 years of the CMA Awards. The single debuted at number one on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs. In December 2016, she joined Keith Urban for a series of concerts in Australia and New Zealand.
In January 2017, she received her ninth People’s Choice award, winning Favorite Female Country Artist. Underwood received one nomination – Best Country Solo Performance – for her single “Church Bells” for the 59th annual Grammy awards. She and Keith Urban performed their new single, “The Fighter,” at the Grammy ceremony. Their joint single peaked in the top two of the Hot Country Songs and top twenty of the adult contemporary chart and was certified platinum by the RIAA within the same year of its release.
She received two nominations for the 52nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards, including Entertainer of the Year. She scored three more nominations for the 2017 CMT Music Awards in June, including Video of the Year for “Church Bells.” She won Female Video of the year, extending her record for most wins in the show’s history. Underwood scored two nominations for the 2017 Teen Choice awards, including Choice Country Artist, which she won for a third consecutive year. She received one nomination from the 45th annual American Music Awards in the Favorite Female Artist – Country category, which she won for the fourth year in a row, bringing her total to twelve American Music awards.
In January 2017, Underwood announced that she would be taking some time off at the beginning of the year to spend time with family, and would then, possibly, begin to write for her next album. On March 28, 2017, it was announced that Underwood had signed with Universal Music Group’s Capitol Records Nashville after being with Arista Nashville for nearly twelve years. Madame Tussauds unveiled a new figure of Underwood when the Nashville location opened in April 2017. Christian singer Matthew West announced he had collaborated with Underwood, who performed background vocals on the song “Something Greater” from his album, All In (2017).The Country Music Association announced that Underwood and Brad Paisley would be returning to host the CMA Awards in November, marking their 10th consecutive year as hosts. Underwood again received a nomination in the Female Vocalist category, her twelfth nomination to date. She performed “Softly and Tenderly” as part of a tribute to the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival shooting, and the performance received widespread acclaim.
In October 2017, Underwood announced via Instagram that she would be releasing her second concert experience – The Storyteller Tour: Live from Madison Square Garden. It was made available digitally on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and Qello Concerts on November 17.
2017–present: Injury, “The Champion” and Cry Pretty
A few days after the CMA Awards in November 2017, Underwood sustained injuries in a fall at home that resulted in a broken wrist and several facial stitches. Underwood did not make any public appearances for several months following the incident.
In January 2018, Underwood released “The Champion”, a promotional duet single featuring Ludacris for Super Bowl LII. Unlike any of her previous releases, “The Champion” is Underwood’s first under the pop genre. The single itself debuted at number one on iTunes, where it remained for a week following its release. The song debuted at number 47 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, powered by its launch at number three on the Digital Song Sales chart with 61,000 downloads.
Underwood met songwriter/producer David Garcia in 2017, whom she began co-producing her new album with. On April 8, 2018, Underwood announced via social media that she would be returning to the stage for the first time since her accident and would debut her new single “Cry Pretty” at the 53rd Annual ACM Awards on April 15, where she received two nominations; she won the award for Vocal Event of the Year for “The Fighter” with Keith Urban.
On April 18, Underwood announced the title of her sixth studio album, Cry Pretty, scheduled for release on September 14, 2018.
On May 11, she celebrated a decade of being an Opry member; the celebration lasted over a two-day duration, and included several special guests, including Randy Travis, who had invited her into the Opry ten years prior. On May 13, Underwood returned to American Idol, now rebooted on ABC, to mentor the top five of the season sixteen contestants. She performed “Cry Pretty”, in addition to “See You Again” with the remaining top five contestants.
Underwood received four nominations and one win for the 2018 CMT Music Awards. She performed at the ceremony and expanded her record as the artist with the most wins in the show’s history. She again received a nomination for Choice Country Artist and “Cry Pretty” received a nomination for Choice Country Song for the Teen Choice awards, winning Choice Country Artist and expanding her record for most wins in the category. On June 22, Underwood was honored with the Hero award from the Radio Disney Music Awards, in recognition of her many humanitarian efforts over the last decade. She and Ludacris performed their song “The Champion” together at the awards ceremony.
In August, the Country Music Association announced Brad Paisley and Underwood would be returning to host the 52nd annual CMA awards on Nov. 14. The same month, Underwood announced she would kick off the Cry Pretty Tour 360 in May 2019.
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