Number 672 - Carrie Underwood
"Jesus Take The Wheel"
Other countries have to understand we just don't have the singing pool depth of singers as America does. Painful? yes.... Truthful? afraid so .... Can we do anything about it? Yes, we can wait till the Japanese invent a karaoke machine that actually changes our voices as we sing into the mic and converts it into (in tune/harmony/a popular artist) via the speakers. (cant be that far away can it? Imagine Joe Blog being able to sound like Elvis at a press of a button!)
Anyway, to me, the most decent thing ever to come away from American Idol is Carrie Underwood, ...Kelly Clarkson ? ...shes ok and yes, if you twist my arm Clay is fine too, but Carrie?... she wouldve been a star regardless of Idol.
On May 25, 2005, she became the fourth winner of American Idol, beating Southern rocker Bo Rice, and joining Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken as the only contestants who had never been one of the "bottom three" singers during any week's results.
As part of her title, Underwood gained a recording contract with Arista Records; her first single, "Inside Your Heaven", was released on June 14, 2005. The single debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, with first-week sales of 170,000 copies.
Underwood was born at Muskogee Regional Medical Center in Muskogee, Oklahoma on March 10, 1983, and grew up on her parents' farm in rural Checotah, Oklahoma. She is the third and youngest daughter of Stephen (retired from an industrial plant) and Carole Underwood (retired schoolteacher of Checotah Public Schools). She has two older sisters, Shanna Underwood Means and Stephanie Underwood Shelton, born in 1973 and 1970, both elementary school teachers in Oklahoma.
Carrie Underwood had performed at Robbins Memorial Talent Show in her childhood. She is a member of Free Will Baptist Church. As a young child, she sang in church, and for Old Settler's Day and Lion's Club, local events in Checotah. At the age of 13 in 1996, her manager at the time tried to get her a recording contract at Capitol Records. However, due to management changes at Capitol, it never materialized.
Carrie Underwood graduated from Checotah High School in 2001 as salutatorian and moved on to Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and an emphasis in journalism. Carrie Underwood is a member of the Alpha Iota chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority. For two years during the summer, she performed in Northeastern'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. Carrie Underwood currently resides in Franklin, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee
.Underwood's debut album, entitled Some Hearts, hit store shelves on November 15, 2005, entering the Billboard 200 chart with 315,000 copies sold. The large first week sales of Some Hearts made it #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and the biggest debut of any country artist since the advent of the SoundScan system in 1991. Some Hearts has since been certified Quadruple Platinum by the RIAA, and is the fastest-selling debut country album in the history of the SoundScan era Carrie Underwood's first single, "Jesus, Take The Wheel" was released to radio on October 18, 2005. It received so much airplay that it debuted at #39 on the Billboard Country Chart in its first week, setting a record. It eventually reached #1 for 6 consecutive weeks, and was only two weeks shy of Connie Smith's record of an 8 week run back in 1964-1965. The single also debuted at #48 on the Billboard Hot 100 where it reached a peak of #20.
The album's title track, "Some Hearts" was released to pop music and adult contemporary radio. It received moderate airplay and made it to #12 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Top 40.
"Don't Forget To Remember Me," the second of Carrie Underwood's singles to be released to country radio, peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot Country Chart, as well as #49 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, it did reach #1 for a week on the Radio & Records Country Singles Chart.
On May 24, 2006, Carrie Underwood returned to guest-perform on the fifth season of American Idol for a second time. She opened the show with the top 12 finalists with "I Made It Through The Rain" and took the stage later on to perform her newest single "Don't Forget To Remember Me".
Both singles "Jesus, Take the Wheel" and "Don't Forget to Remember Me" have earned number one spots in Christian radio countdowns. "Jesus, Take the Wheel" won the Gospel Music Association's award for best country single of the year.
Her third single released to country radio was "Before He Cheats". It peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (making this single Carrie Underwood's most successful song off her debut CD, in terms of Pop success.) This current single is a definite change of style for Carrie Underwood, showing off her angry side. The music video has also entered the Top 10 videos on Yahoo Music, peaking at number 9.
Carrie Underwood's next single is confirmed to be "Wasted" which has debuted at #57 on the Hot Country Songs chart and will be officially released on February 5th, 2007. Since starting to gain airplay in the middle of december, as of December 30th issue of Billboard, Wasted has peaked at number 40 on the Hot Country Charts, which means every single on Some Hearts, released to country radio, has reached the top 40, and with its Airplay increasing everyday it seems to be another Number One Hit for Underwood.
In addition to being a singer, Carrie Underwood is also a skilled guitar player, and has accompanies herself on guitar during performanes of certain songs like "Dont' Forget To Remember Me" and "Inside Your Heaven" during some of her live concerts, as well as on the albums. She also played some guitar on an American Idol telecast when the 12 finalist were performing together
Carrie's music videos for Jesus Take The Wheel and Don't Forget To Remember Me have both reached number one on CMT'S Top 20 Countdown. Jesus for 3 weeks and Remember Me for 2 weeks. Currently Before He Cheats has been number one for five weeks on CMT, which is the all time record for CMT. Also, Jesus Take the Wheel, Don't Forget to Remember Me, and Before He Cheats have all been number one on GAC's fan voted top 20 countdown. Jesus Take the Wheel was number one for three weeks in a row and Don't Forget To Remember Me broke the record for number of weeks at the top of the chart with twelve. Before He Cheats also made history by being the first video to make its debut at #1 on the GAC countdown. Also, Before He Cheats recently fell off the number one spot on GAC after staying there for an amazing 8 straight weeks. Another record broke on the GAC top 20 countdown is the most weeks at number one for a year total with Carrie Underwood having well over 20 weeks at number one with all her videos put together.
On May 23rd, 2006, Carrie Underwood sang her huge hit Jesus, Take the Wheel and got the biggest standing ovation of the night at the ACM Awards and ended up winning Best New Female Vocalist and Single of the year for Jesus, Take the Wheel. Also she was nominated for Song of the Year and Female Vocalist of the year. On November 6th, 2006, Underwood performed her #1 hit, "Before He Cheats", at the 40th Annual Country Music Association Awards and later won both the Horizon Award (similar to the "rookie of the year" award in sports) for new country artists and Female Vocalist beating her idols, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Gretchen Wilson, and Faith Hill. Carrie's double win is the first time since 1995 that an artist won both the female vocalist and horizon award. Last was Alison Krauss.
Later that month, it was revealed that Carrie Underwood was nominated for World's Best-Selling New Artist at the 2006 World Music Awards but lost to James Blunt. Continuing her winning ways, on November 21,2006 Carrie went into the American Music Awards with 2 nominations, that night she left the building winning the Breakthrough Artist of the Year award beating out the Pussycat Dolls and Chamillionare. She was also nominated for Best Female Country Artist and lost to Faith Hill. On December 4, 2006, Carrie Underwood attended the "2006 Billboard Music Awards", and eventually took home 5 awards. She won 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.
On December 7, 2006, Carrie Underwood received two Grammy nominations for "Best New Artist" and "Best Female Country Vocal Performance" for "Jesus, Take the Wheel," while "Jesus, Take the Wheel" received nominations for "Best Country Song" and "Song of the Year" which is awarded to the songwriters, Hillary Lindsey, Gordie Sampson, and Brett James. Underwood marks the first time that an American Idol winner or contestant is nominated under the "Best New Artist" category.
In November 2006, Faith Hill made entertainment news headlines when she appeared to react angrily to losing the Female Vocalist of the Year award to Carrie Underwood at the CMA Awards. Faith Hill, who was backstage at the time and pacing in anticipation, could be seen throwing both hands in the air, mouthing "What!?" and then stepping away from the camera after Underwood's name was called. Faith Hill claimed that her reaction was a joke, saying in a statement, "The idea that I would act disrespectful towards a fellow musician is unimaginable to me. For this to become a focus of attention, given the talent gathered, is utterly ridiculous. Carrie is a talented and deserving female vocalist of the year." She later called Underwood to congratulate her and clear up any misconceptions between the two singers. Several other notable country singers have rallied to the defense of Faith Hill over the misunderstanding.One of the country singers who came to Hill's defense was LeAnn Rimes, in a statement on her website (since removed) also criticized the Country Music Association for awarding Carrie Underwood both the Horizon Award and Female Vocalist award stating,
"Okay, I usually keep quiet on topics like this but I feel I need to stand up for my friend, Faith. She was just being honest and emotional like every other person sitting at home with an opinion. These awards shows are SO political and we all get fed up with them. We all work very hard and have for many years so to see someone come in and win Female Vocalist that has been here for a VERY short time, is a little disheartening.
That is why we have the Horizon award and Carrie Underwood had an incredible year, enough to sweep that one. I don't think Faith was angry about her loss, she probably felt, as I did that Carrie has not paid her dues long enough to fully deserve that award. As artists and public figures, we have to keep our feelings so repressed so we don't get called ungrateful as Faith has on this board many times now. She is a very sweet and gracious woman, whom I adore. Please cut her some slack!” [click here to view video of Faith Hill's reaction]
Another feature of Carrie's interests was expressed on Idol, her love for animals. In 2005, Carrie Underwood starred in television advertisements for Hershey's Chocolate. The commercials have Underwood singing jingles for Hershey's products such as Kit Kat and Almond Joy. She is also wearing vintage Hershey T-shirts that feature Hershey's, Almond Joy, Kit Kat, Reeses and other chocolate brand logos as part of her endorsement deal. Carrie Underwood is also the latest spokesperson for Skechers shoes, following in the footsteps of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Carrie Underwood appeared in her second Skechers footwear advertisement campaign in fashion and lifestyle publications in June 2006. The new campaign, which was shot in early 2006 in a "behind-the-scenes" style, is reflective of Underwood's busy new life as a multi-platinum recording artist embarking on a summer cross-country tour. Carrie Underwood is also one of the celebrity faces of the "Got Milk" ad campaigns for the International Milk Foundation, joining such celebrities as Sheryl Crow, Britney Spears, and Kelly Preston.
Carrie Underwood is a vegetarian and stopped consuming meat at age 13. She was voted "World's Sexiest Vegetarian" alongside Coldplay frontman Chris Martin in 2005 by animal-rights organization PETA.
Carrie Underwood is a supporter of the Humane Society and has done several public service announcements for the organization.
A native of eastern Oklahoma, she co-wrote a song dedicated to her hometown, "I Ain't in Checotah Anymore". In December 2005, Carrie Underwood was named Oklahoman of the Year by Oklahoma Today magazine.
Carrie Underwood also appeared as the featured cover girl for Self, Girls Life, Parade Magazine, Teen Vogue, Teen People, Sweet 16, OK!, Reader's Digest, Cosmo Girl, and "American Idol, the Magazine".
Carrie Underwood has also been recently seen dating Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo. On December 25, 2006, She made a surprise appearance at Texas Stadium and gave Romo a hug on the field before his game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
For Coldplay see Number 769
For LeAnne Rimes see MM Vol 1 #100
For George Benson see Number 978
For Faith Hill see Number 678, MM Vol 1 #094 & MM Vol 2 #128
What does Rolling Stone think about Miss Underwood?
At the Fox show's two-hour, star-studded finale, Underwood beat out twenty-nine-year-old Alabama rocker Bo Bice, making good on typically critical judge Simon Cowell's early prediction that she would take the competition. Underwood performed "Northern Star" with country stars Rascal Flatts, Bice was backed by Lynryd Skynyrd on his adopted theme song "Sweet Home Alabama," and the other top ten Idols were paired with the likes of George Benson, Billy Preston, Babyface, Kenny G and Kenny Wayne Shepard.
Underwood closed out the show with an emotional rendition of "Inside Your Heaven," ending the song with a loud, "Thank you, America." The song will serve as the newly crowned Idol's first single, to be released June 14th.
Labels: Carrie Underwood