Monday, January 24, 2011

Carrie Underwood

By Vernell Hackett

Carrie Underwood is one of the most successful singers in country music. She didn’t come up through the ranks like Reba McEntire or George Strait, who performed in nightclubs or at fairs, festivals, rodeos and other events in order to hone their chops as singers and entertainers. Instead, Carrie came up the new way, via Fox’s popular show American Idol.

Although she did perform at local and regional events, she did not have the years of performing experience behind her that a Reba or George might have when she was required to hit the stage to perform before her fans. Carrie is quick to point out that going through the rigors of American Idol was no easy task. Contestants had almost no time of their own as they were constantly in rehearsals and interacting with the full Idol cast, among them trainers, makeup artists, hair dressers, all trying to shape her into the next star and changing her look on a weekly basis, from cowgirl in boots and jeans to country diva in gown and heels.

The young woman from Checotah, Oklahoma is a perfect inclusion in ABC-CLIO’s Greenwood Biographies series. She seems, and is, the girl next door, who likes to relax in her sweats around the house, play with her pets and have lunch with friends. The other side of Carrie is the woman who loves to play dress up with numerous costumes and looks when she’s onstage belting out those number one hits like “Jesus Take The Wheel,” “Cowboy Casanova,” “Before He Cheats” and “Temporary Home.”

While ascending to the top in the world of country music, Carrie managed to carve out time for romance, marrying Canadian hockey star Mike Fisher, of the Ottawa Senators, in the summer of 2010. She also made the time to graduate from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, as well as found time to donate to charities that are close to her heart, including the Checotah Animal, Town and School Foundation. She has also helped spread the word about the Humane Society of the United States, PETA (who has named her Vegetarian of the Year for two years), St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Project Clean Water, and Habitat for Humanity.


Read more on Carrie in Hackett's new book Carrie Underwood: A Biography. The book is not only an overview of Carrie’s whirlwind climb to success, but also offers a view of Nashville’s music industry and what it takes to tackle being a singer, songwriter and entertainer while keeping true to oneself throughout the process. The book also includes a glossary of music terms and a timeline for Carrie’s career.

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