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Carrie Underwood

Singer / Talent Show Contestant

Born: 10 March 1983
Birthplace: Checotah, Oklahoma
Best known as:

The American Idol winner who became a country music star

Singer Carrie Underwood won the TV talent show American Idol in 2005, and parlayed that success into country music stardom. Carrie Underwood grew up singing at church and at events in and around her hometown of Checotah, Oklahoma. She was one of 100,000 potential contestants for American Idol when the 2005 season began; Underwood was a senior in college when she entered the contest, and she ended up in a tight race against Bo Bice, a southern rocker from Alabama.  Judge Simon Cowell predicted Underwood's ultimate victory two months in advance, but in the final weeks Bice emerged as a favorite. Underwood performed mostly country songs, a departure from previous winners Kelly Clarkson (2002) and Ruben Studdard (2003) and Fantasia Barrino (2004). In the final show of the season, on 25 May 2005, Underwood narrowly beat out Bice to become the new "American Idol," guaranteeing her a recording contract. Her debut album, Some Hearts, was released in November of 2005 and became a country-pop hit that won two Grammys. It included the hits "Jesus Take the Wheel," "Inside Your Heaven" and "Before He Cheats." Her 2007 album Carnival Ride debuted at the top of the country and Billboard charts and included the hits "So Small." Carrie Underwood was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2008. Her third album, Play On was released in late 2009 and included the hit "Cowboy Casanova." A fourth album, Blown Away, came out in 2012, and Underwood released a greatest hits album in 2014. By then she had won seven Grammy Awards. Underwood has also dabbled in TV and film, most notably playing Maria Von Trapp in a live TV version of The Sound of Music broadcast in 2013.

Extra credit:

Carrie Underwood married NHL hockey player Mike Fisher on 10 July 2010 in Greensboro, Georgia. Their first child, son Isaiah Michael Fisher, was born on 27 February 2015.

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