We, at New England Country Music, want to bring on the new year with a fun series spotlighting women in country music. While the acronym WCW, standing for “Women Crush Wednesday,” is often used for physical attraction, that is not the case here. This series will feature talented women who are crushing it in the country music scene.
Let’s change things up a bit for this week and talk about one of the current powerhouse women in the country music scene, Carrie Underwood. Little did anyone know that the blonde-haired, farm girl from Checotah, Oklahoma was going to become a household name. Growing up in a religious home, Underwood began singing at church when she was quite young and continued singing in local talent shows in and around her home town. She was a well-rounded teenager, playing sports like softball and basketball, cheerleading for the blue and white Checotah High School Wildcats, and graduating as the salutatorian. After high school she attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK. Her academic success continued as she graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Mass Communications. Like many college students, she worked her tail off at various jobs including a zoo, a veterinary clinic, and a pizzeria. She could have never known back then that today, she would have over eleven million Facebook followers. How quickly life can change!
Underwood’s life changed completely in the spring of 2005, after winning the fourth season of American Idol. The soon to be thirty-six-year-old vegan is not only a super talented vocalist, she is also an accomplished songwriter and actress. Her very first single, ‘Inside Your Heaven,’ released in June 2005, was the only single by a solo country artist between 2000-2009 to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Five months later, she dropped her first full length album, ‘Some Hearts.’ It debuted as number one on Billboard Top Country Albums and went on to become the best-selling country album in the United States for 2006 and 2007. It is certified eight times platinum by the RIAA. Two years later, in 2007, Underwood released her second album, ‘Carnival Ride.’ It sold over half a million copies in its first week. It is certified four times multi-platinum. Another two years passed and then Underwood released her third album, ‘Play On,’ which sold over 300,000 copies in its first week. She went on to release her fourth album, ‘Blown Away’ in 2012, her fifth album, ‘Storyteller’ in 2015, and her sixth album, ‘Cry Pretty’ in 2018. Although music has been her predominant career, she has immersed herself in the world of acting. In February 2010, she performed a voice-over on PBS’s classic show Sesame Street. A couple months later, she took on her first major acting role as “Tiffany” on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. Her first film role was in the 2011 movie Soul Surfer. And in 2013, Underwood appeared in NBC’s The Sound of Music Live as Maria von Trapp. With six albums under her belt and some time on the big screen, we’re confident that Carrie Underwood will continue to impress us.
Since she came into our lives, Carrie Underwood has sold sixty-five million records worldwide. She has had twenty-six number one singles, co-writing thirteen of them. She has won seven GRAMMY awards, ten Billboard Music Awards, fourteen ACM Awards, eighteen CMT Music Awards, and nine CMA Awards. She has been a member of the Grande Ole Opry for over ten years. Billboard referred to her as “the ultimate Idol success story.” Forbes mentioned that Underwood was “the most successful American Idol winner of all time, with more albums sold and more revenue generated than any of the other contestants in the show’s 15 seasons.” Though she may have had her start on Idol, there’s absolutely no stopping her now.
The happily married mom has two little ones. Isaiah will be turning four next month and Jacob was born just last week! I’m sure you didn’t miss Carrie’s social media pictures that were released shortly after giving birth to Jacob, gorgeous as ever and make-up free! We are so excited for her growing family and also for her Cry Pretty Tour which is set to start in May of 2019. Joining her on tour are two other groups of dynamic women in country music, Maddie and Tae and Runaway June. Be sure to catch them all when they stop in Boston, MA at the TD Garden on Thursday, October 10th.
Don’t forget to download one of our favorite Carrie Underwood songs, ‘Love Wins,’ from her album ‘Cry Pretty’ on iTunes here.
‘The Fighter,’ a collaboration with Keith Urban, can be found on his album ‘Ripcord.’ You can download it from iTunes here.
Be on the lookout for our next installment of WCW in country music. It is set to hit our page on Wednesday, February 13th.