Carrie Underwood (born Carrie Marie Underwood, March 10, 1983) is an American country music singer, songwriter, and actress. She rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of “American Idol” in 2005. Underwood has since become one of the most prominent mainstream recording artists in the music industry, setting and breaking several records throughout her career.
Underwood's debut album, entitled “Some Hearts,” was released in 2005. “Some Hearts” reached #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and #2 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The album containd the #1 singles “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” “Don't Forget to Remember Me,” “Wasted” and “Before He Cheats.” It also included Underwood's first Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart #1 single, “Inside Your Heaven.”
The album was also the best-selling country album in the United States 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 been certified seven times platinum by the RIAA, and is 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 ten years, and the best-selling album by an “American Idol” alumni in the United States. At the 49th Grammy Awards, in 2007, Underwood won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist and the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, for “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” which also won Best Country Song for its songwriters. The following year, at the 50th Grammy Awards, Underwood won the Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Before He Cheats.” The song won Best Country Song for the songwriters.
Underwood's second album, “Carnival Ride,” was released in 2007 and debuted at #1 on both the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums charts, marking one of the biggest first-week sales by a female artist in history. With the album's first three singles – “So Small,” “All-American Girl” and “Last Name” - reaching #1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, Underwood became the first female artist to have two consecutive albums each release three #1 hits on the chart since Shania Twain in 1998. When “Just a Dream,” the album's fourth single, later peaked at #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, Underwood became the first solo female artist to pull four #1 singles from one album since Twain did it with 1995’s “The Woman in Me.” At the 51st Grammy Awards, in 2009, “Last Name” earned Underwood her third consecutive Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and in 2010, at the 52nd Grammy Awards, Underwood won the Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for, “I Told You So.”
Underwood wasinducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2008 and into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2009.
Underwood released her third studio album, “Play On,” in 2009. It debuted at #1 on the Top Country Albums chart and the Billboard 200. It featured the #1 singles "Cowboy Casanova,” "Temporary Home,” and "Undo It,” as well as the #2 single, "Mama's Song.” It has been certified two times platinum by the RIAA. At the 53rd Grammy Awards, in 2011, Underwood was nominated for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, for the single “Temporary Home.” In 2012, at the 54th Grammy Awards, she was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance, for “Mama's Song.”
2012's “Blown Away,” her fourth album once again debuted atop the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums charts. With “Blown Away” reaching #1, Underwood became the third female to top the Billboard 200 with three country albums, tying her with Linda Ronstadt and Faith Hill. Underwood also became the second artist to send his or her first four albums to #1 on the Country Albums chart, along with Miranda Lambert. In 2013, at the 55th Grammy Awards, Underwood won the Grammy Award for Best Country Solo Performance, for the album's second single, “Blown Away,” which also won Best Country Song for its songwriters.
Described by music critics as Country Music's reigning Queen, Underwood is the only solo country artist in the 2000s decade to have a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and the first and only country artist to ever debut at #1 on the Hot 100, as “Inside Your Heaven” topped the chart in 2005. She is also the female country artist with the most #1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, from 1991 to present, having 12 #1 hits.