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It's Carrie Underwood vs. Carrie Underwood on Friday's edition of CMT Power Picks. Voting is in progress right now and all night. Of course Carrie will win, whether you vote for Jesus, Take The Wheel or Don't Forget To Remember Me. But, don't forget to remember that CMT.com tracks our activity on that site and it is part of the formula used to decide how many Carrie videos will air on CMT. So vote as much as you can!
Life after `Idol'
Performing whirl has young singer Carrie Underwood learning as she goes
THE FLINT JOURNAL FIRST EDITION
Thursday, August 24, 2006
By Doug Pullen
It may seem odd for "American Idol" alumna Carrie Underwood to think of herself as a student.
She graduated magna cum laude from Northeastern State University in her native Oklahoma last June. The 2005 "Idol" champ's debut album, "Some Hearts," has sold more than 3 million copies since it came out last fall.
Underwood has toured with some of country's biggest names, done myriad interviews, made numerous TV appearances and is fast becoming the go-to girl to sing the national anthem at major sporting events, including last year's NBA Finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills, an NFL playoff game and this summer's Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
So what's to learn?
How about how to go from "Idol" to star?
"It's a total learning process. I was thrown into everything so quickly. I'm picking it up as I go along," says the 23-year-old singer from the small town of Checotah, Okla. She made one of her first post-"Idol" concert appearances last December at a Hurricane Katrina benefit with her idol, Martina McBride, and LeAnn Rimes at The Palace.
It's gone pretty well for the pert performer with the crystal-clear voice whom notoriously tough "Idol" judge Simon Cowell praised as having the "it factor." Since winning the vastly popular TV talent show 15 months ago, Underwood has seen her singles "Inside Your Heaven," "Jesus, Take the Wheel," "Some Hearts" and "Don't Forget About Me" variously scale the country and pop charts, with new release "Before He Cheats" on its way up.
Her debut album sold 315,000 copies in its first week, making it the best-selling country debut since 1991. It has gone on to sell nearly 3.5 million copies. Underwood has won Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music and Dove Awards, signed endorsements to pitch everything from Hershey's chocolate products to Skechers footwear, and is one of the newest celebrities to sport a "Got Milk?" mustache for the International Dairy Foods Association.
Heck, she even was 2005's Oklahoman of the Year.
And to think she graduated from high school only five years ago.
Carrie Marie Underwood admits her vision of what this would be like is different from the reality she's experiencing.
"You honestly think things will be all glamorous and you sleep until 3 every day and get up and sing, but it's a lot more crazy than I would have thought, but in a totally good way," she said from a tour stop in Lewisburg, W.Va. "You have all these ideas of what will happen, what stardom will be like, but it turns out better in some cases." More...
For those in the L.A. area, tune in to this morning's broadcast of the KTLA Morning Show on channel 5. Ex-KZLA Morning Show personality, Peter Tilden will be the guest in the 9am block. For those who missed the interview, Kevin at CountryBoards.com has posted the transcript here.
More pics of Carrie's 8/11 performance on Good Morning America...
If you missed the concert broadcast the first time around, be sure to check out these links for streaming video of Carrie on GMA...
Konami Signs Simon Cowell And Randy Jackson For 'Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol'
Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., caught up with American Idol's famous judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson to get their comments about the upcoming video game Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. Gamers will not only come face-to-face with Cowell and Jackson as they rate performances and provide feedback, but Konami's groundbreaking artificial intelligence (AI) inside the game will also enable them to critique specific parts of any performance, a first in the award-winning video game's history.
"Over the years American Idol has produced some amazingly talented singers, but let's be honest most of the people who turn up for the auditions are useless," said Simon Cowell. "For anyone who wants to know what it's like to audition in front of me, now you're about to find out. This game is a great representation of American Idol."
"The number one show on television and the top karaoke video game around – wow, this is going to be big time!" said Randy Jackson. "It's amazing what Konami has accomplished in making this game look and feel like the TV show." More...
The last banner at Country 93.9 KZLA.com, before the format flip
On August 1st, Katie, Jen, Sharkie, and I were fortunate to be able to visit the studios of KZLA, in Burbank, and meet Vicki Pepper (for the first time), Shawn Parr, and Whitney Allen. Here are some cool pics of our visit which was a wonderful way to start off our 3-concert Carrie-palooza road trip.
Excerpts from my Carrie-palooza review, day 1...
After making our way past NBC Burbank, where we had seen Carrie on The Tonight Show, 9 months earlier, we arrived at the KZLA studios. We said hello to the receptionist and after a short wait, we were greeted by the effervescent and very pretty, Vicki Pepper. She's the Programming Assistant and is someone I've been in contact with for several months, but had not yet met. What a delight! After our introductions, she escorted us into the non-public areas and we saw a lot of cool studios where a couple of producers were working on mixing stuff, and then out pops Shawn Parr! He's the mid-day personality and also hosts the 8 o'clock block and is host of the Top 20 Countdown on Sunday mornings. We all took pictures, but I'll leave the pictures of Sharkie and Katie to tell the story better than my little camera can.
Katie, Shawn, Jen, Me, Vicki
We bid farewell to Shawn and got to take a peek into the office of Peter Tilden, the host of the morning show, which Ashley Paige co-hosts with him.
Peter and Ashley
We got to take a peek into the back-up studio which we heard was used recently. There's always a little something like a snafu when you least expect it, huh? We passed by many, many records and awards on the walls. Very impressive! We happened to get there just when Whitney Allen was starting her show and, tada, this was the place. The main studio and Whitney was standing and doing her announcing. I was surprised that many DJs stand while broadcasting. Hmmm. Something about energy and projecting the voice. Very interesting! For those of you who don't know who Whitney is, she's just the evening drive DJ for "America's Most Listened To Country Station." Plus she hosts a couple of syndicated shows: The Big Time Saturday Night and America's Hot List. Plus, she's just a darn nice person.
Vicki, Jen, Me, Whitney, Katie
Whitney came out from the studio to say hello and we got to take some pictures with her. We spoke with Vicki some more while Whitney went back in the studio and then Whitney came out to show us her tattoo.
Whit and Sharkie
Whit had to get back to work so Vicki took us in search of more tour goodies. I asked Vicki about syndication and we spoke ever-so-briefly about companies such as Westwood One.
One of many awards lining the halls of KZLA, this one from SHeDaisy
Everyone was so nice and Vicki even gave us all KZLA caps and cup cozies. We said our goodbyes and I know I'm not the only one who felt very fortunate to be able to see the inner workings of our favorite radio station. It looks like a really fun place to work. We decided to act like tourists in our own backyard as we all mugged for the camera in front of the KZLA logo in front of the building. What a wonderful day to start off our Carrie-palooza road trip!
As we now know, a mere 16 days later, Emmis Communications would flip the format from country music (KZLA's format for 26 years) to "Rhythmic AC" and would go by the name of "Movin' 93.9." This would turn out to be our first and last visit to our friends at Country 93.9 KZLA. So, it is somewhat bittersweet for me to present this here. But, it was a wonderful year for me. If I had not tuned in to American Idol for the first time last year, I would have never met Carrie. If I had never met Carrie, I would, most likely, never have become a huge fan of country music. So, to have been able to meet such wonderful people at KZLA is really something for which I'm truly blessed. They were and are the nicest people. Vicki and Kevin (the station's webmaster) appear to be the only employees who have been retained for the new operation.
Many of us listeners in Los Angeles are deeply saddened for this loss to our airwaves and are working hard via a petition and letter-writing campaign to help shed light on the urgent need for country radio in our major cities, in this case Los Angeles. Artists, fans, record labels, and radio all benefit from this wonderful art form: country music. Sure, there are some reasonable alternatives if one is only looking for the music itself. But, what KZLA and it's on-air personalities brought to all of us is a local community and a family through which we shared our love of country music. This is something we want to recapture and country radio is a wonderful addition to our lives. I understand the ACM and the CMA are working diligently through their board members to find a solution to this void, so this is also something that is a positive note.
To Peter Tilden, Ashley Paige, Shawn Parr, Whitney Allen, Brian Douglas, Blair Garner, Buzz Brainard, Paul Freeman, Larry Santiago, Justin Michaels, Vicki Pepper, Tonya Campos, RJ Curtis, and anyone at Country KZLA who I may have left out, a huge thank you so much for giving all of us so much listening pleasure.We miss you!
Whitney Allen can still be heard on numerous stations on her awesome show The Big Time Saturday Night and America's Hot List. Blair Garner is also going strong with his After Midnite show, now in it's 13th year. I understand Peter Tilden is looking into syndicating his show called "Hollyville." We're still looking forward to many years of listening to these fantastic on-air personalities. This isn't the end, it's just the beginning! Feel free to sign our petition here and visit Country Boards.com and Country Fanlink.org to stay up-to-date on our blossoming projects to help bring back Country in the City. To our friends at KZLA, we'll be right here ready to celebrate the return of country radio in L.A! More pics at CarrieFORUMS.
This is the first of many stories on people who are connected to Carrieworld in some way.
Some of us have been very fortunate to make the acquaintance of Amy, the lovely merchandiser, who will be at most of the Carrie concerts this year. Here are a couple of pics to help introduce Amy to everyone who hasn't met her yet.
That's Amy above on the right. This picture was taken at the Ironstone Vineyards concert.
Carrie's band and others at the Mid State Fair concert. Ashley Clark, Mark Childers, Me, Ed Eason, Amy, Sharkie.
So, this is Amy! If you see her selling all those t-shirts and other fun Carrie stuff, buy tons of stuff! There's the black Carrie shirt, the white Carrie shirt, the pink hat, the celphone strap, the plush doggie, the keychain, the Carrie pic, and the concert photobook, which I think is a work of art! Amy is usually pretty busy with her Carrie goodie sales, but be sure and give her a big hello from CarrieNEWS!
Beginning Monday August 21st, countdown to the front row with Mantel and Michelle!
Listen at 7:10a for the time you’ll hear the Carrie Underwood Double Play of the Day and you could be at the show courtesy of Arista Nashville and part of a private sound check party where you’ll meet Carrie on Thursday!
Mon 8/21-3p Tue 8/22-11a Wed 8/23-4p Thur 8/24-8a
Profile of Gordie Sampson
Hits/Cuts/Chart Action:"Jesus, Take The Wheel," Carrie Underwood; "My Name," George Canyon; "Paris," Faith Hill; "The Hard Way," Keith Urban; "This Life," LeAnn Rimes
The following is an excerpt of an interview from Music Row Magazine
Gordie recalls his first trip to Nashville: "I want to say I was 26, something like that. I hooked up with some Canadians in town—Ralph Murphy and Tinti Moffatt were two important ones. I slept on their floors and they introduced me to people and guided me through the choices that you make when you're eager and starving. I'm forever indebted to them for that. The more time I spent in Nashville the easier it got, the more doors became unlocked. It just really feels like home there now."
His first Universal Canada album was released at about the time of that first Nashville visit. "I had singles in Canada that were doing really well and was getting video play on MuchMoreMusic up here, our version of MTV2. Sort of a triple-A video station."
But two albums' worth of respected material, despite generous Canadian airplay, hardly prepared Gordie for what would happen when "Jesus, Take The Wheel" became hitched to the meteoric rise of a certain American Idol winner. "I got way more press out of writing a song for Carrie Underwood than I ever did for anything I did as an artist," he's quick to admit. "The cool thing is that I'll do a show as an artist and draw some people as a result of riding on Carrie's wave. It's very strange 'cause people will ask me to sing the song and I can't sing it! There's a bit of sorting out involved in maintaining the two paths."
From his earliest Nashville days Gordie has enjoyed the benefits of co-writing. "I confess to being a born co-writer. I really enjoy the process. One of the coolest things I learned in Nashville was being able to surrender your trust to the other person. When you're trying to hack out a line you learn a lot by saying to yourself, 'OK, even though I don't agree with him I'm gonna trust my co-writer on this.' That's happened for me a couple of times on songs that got cut, where I look back and go, 'Oh my God, If I'd have gone with my own feeling it wouldn't have been as good!'
When "Jesus Take The Wheel" was making it's momentous run up the charts, my pastor mentioned Carrie Underwood in one of his sermons, saying that he loved the song. However in his view, the good lord would rather that we take the wheel, in fact he said God gives us the keys and we take charge. I'm pleased that Carrie got the memo. In fact, she not only has the keys, she rips them into her cheating boyfriend's 'suped-up four-wheel drive' with a vengeance. And so is the story of, "Before He Cheats," the new single from our new superstar. Underwood displays a whole new side here, with enough soul, swagger and spit-fire to make Aretha proud. The pretty school marm from the church choir just changed into her leather skirt and boots and like a true chameleon, she looks great in both. In my opinion this is the best single so far this year, okay maybe the last two years. Impacting everywhere now.
Pics from Saturday's concert in Louisville
Carrie Underwood, who won the 2005 American Idol title, said she never thought in her wildest dreams that she would open a show for Brad Paisley, below, as she did at Freedom Hall on Saturday. (By Geoff Oliver Bugbee, Special to The C-J)
The Centennial CD project entitled "Oklahoma Rising" is a two disc CD saluting the artists and music of Oklahoma. Carrie and "Inside Your Heaven" will be featured on Volume 2 of the set. The CD will be available for purchase online at www.oklahomacentennial.com and at 7-11 Stores in the metro area (106 stores). The retail price is $19.99. Net proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity in Oklahoma. Click here for a list of those artists who will be featured on the CD. Stay tuned for the exact date of when this wonderful set will be available.
Carrie's opening act at Musikfest: Tandem
CCMA Nashville recording artists, Tandem, were Carrie's opening act at Musikfest on August 12th. Tandem tells CarrieNEWS about the experience...
"We had a great time at Musikfest with Carrie. She was very kind to our people. We took pics, swopped tshirts, etc. She sounded great. We hope that we get the opportunity to open up for her again down the road."
The best way to hear Carrie Underwood is the same way that inspired millions of quick-fingered "American Idol" voters to give her the title - as far away from the sterility of a studio as possible.
Underwood's robust voice could cut through titanium, so it still slices through the overproduced clutter on her album, "Some Hearts." But when music sounds embalmed, so can the mood.
Not so Sunday at the Illinois State Fair Grandstand, where the 23-year-old Oklahoma sweetheart brought to her own songs what the crowd of 9,687 already knew from watching her sing chestnuts on TV. She's an unfailingly vibrant performer whose towering talent makes any song work live.
Underwood belted the dickens out of well-performed, full-band ballads - "Starts with Goodbye," "Lessons Learned," "I Just Can't Live A Lie" - but sounded like she was having more fun with the uptempo songs. She gave a seductive sales pitch worth biting on for the familiar call to cut loose on show-opening "We're Young and Beautiful." And although the revenge-seeker of "Before He Cheats" clearly is a character, the lie sold a little stronger on stage.
"American Idol" gurus never would let it happen, but Underwood would be best off in mostly acoustic shows. A stripped-down middle portion scorched the corn off of "Don't Forget To Remember Me" and "AI" signature song, "Inside Your Heaven." Plus, Guns 'n' Roses music rarely could be described as pretty, but she made it happen on a cover of "Patience."
Better yet was a fully rocking, nasty nailing of "Sweet Child O' Mine" - right down to Underwood's vocal "cha" right before guitars kicked in or mimicking Axl Rose's sucking in of air. It easily was one of the song's best-ever cover versions, followed by a dainty "thank you" at its finish.
If Underwood is a bit green at anything, it's stage chatter. Copious amounts of gratitude given out to the audience after each song were 100-percent sincere. But she said "thank you" as many times as Ruben Studdard says "sorry" in his song "Sorry 2004." Nice gesture, but a few times is fine.
Underwood sent her departing cowgirl fans into a dancing frenzy with "Some Hearts" before returning with an encore, "I Ain't in Checotah Anymore." What seemed at the start another mopey song about big-city blues was instead a rollicking romp that put Underwood on par with one of her own idols, Martina McBride, and put every other female country arena-filler on notice to watch out.
Last time Phil Vassar opened at the Grandstand, he shook his butt. On Sunday, with a running start, he slid it Dukes-style across his Yamaha piano. As caffeinated as the Jolt Cola on his T-shirt, Vassar's performances of recent hits like "Last Day of My Life" and "The Next Thirty Years" and staples like "American Child" drew more crowd hoots as his set went on. Kudos, too, for a "Saturday Night Live" Buckwheat reference with a "Wookin' Pa Nub" thrown into "I'll Take That As a Yes."
WAMZ On-Air Personality Gator Glass was very nice to provide CarrieNEWS these great pictures of last night's concert at the Kentucky State Fair. He had a personalized Louisville Slugger bat made up to give to Carrie Saturday night, with her name, the song title, and the station's logo on it. That is way too cool!
Here's Carrie with Gator's wife Beth, their 2 1/2 year old son Caleb, and Gator with the LS bat. According to Gator, Carrie really liked her bat. She said she didn't want to smash anything on stage with the bat because her band wouldn't like it.
Gator says Carrie put on a great performance.
I was listening to WAMZ quite a bit last night. But, unfortunately, I missed our shoutout. But, it's all good. A big thank you to Gator Glass for helping all of us get more of a sense as to what went on yesterday at this special show right there in the heart of Louisville Slugger country. It looks like everyone had a wonderful time.
Recommended KZLA alternatives for syndicated programs:
The Big Time Saturday Night w/ Whitney Allen: Saturday 4pm - WGAR Listen Live
After Midnite with Blair Garner (Larry Morgan Sa-Su): Daily 12 midnight - KUSS Listen Live
Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40: Sunday 6pm - KXY Listen Live
Country radio Taku 105 in Juneau, Alaska, is giving away tickets to Carrie in concert at the Puyallup Fair on September 18th. Included in the prize package are roundtrip tickets for 2 on Alaska Airlines and $105 in spending money! Click here for details.
In honor of Carrie's performance at the Kentucky State Fair this evening, CarrieNEWS is naming this day Louisville Slugger Day!
As most of you know, the lyrics of Carrie's new single "Before He Cheats" includes references to Louisville Slugger. A representative of Louisville Slugger tells CarrieNEWS that the company has teamed up with WAMZ-FM to produce and present a bat for Carrie. How cool is that?!
More pics of Carrie from her performance on CBS' The Early Show...
Neighbors raise money to help fire victims
Kjerstin Ramsing/News4 Reporter
LOON LAKE -- A mulit-faceted fundraiser was held on Saturday for the victims of the August 9th Valley Mill Fire. The fire destroyed 10 homes near the town of Valley, Washington.
Neighbors in the Loon Lake community held car washes, yard sales and a spaghetti feed and silent auction to raise money for the uninsured families that lost their homes.
The spaghetti feed at Loon Lake Saloon and Grill drew support from local supporters and national celebrities alike. County Music stars Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood each donated autographed guitars to be auctioned off.
Patricia Sponsel of Loon Lake told News4 that "big names aside, it is a small close knit community that usually helps out the most in times of need".
The Valley Mill fire scorched 300 acres.
Source: KXLY.com News
From a Q and A with Anthony Federov....
Do you still keep in touch with past Idols? If so, who? *Andrea*
"I keep in touch pretty much with everybody. I talk to Carrie most of the time. We talk quite a bit."
I know you're both huge animal lovers. Did that bring you together? *Mrs. Jones*
"Actually, no. Carrie and I first bonded because our personalities connected. Carrie – she's a great girl and we started hanging out. The less people that were on the show, the more we just bonded and hung out."
Yesterday, our beloved KZLA (formerly America's Most Listened To Country Station) had its format changed to Rythmic AC by their corporate parent. Apparently, this was as much a shocker to the on-air personalities as it was to us, the devoted listeners. Fortunately, there are a couple of bright spots for those of us who, by virtue of following Carrie's career, now love country music. Most of the syndicated shows are still available, so here are the links to those sites. Click on the logos for station finders to stream on the net. To everyone at KZLA: We love you and we miss you. Thank you for giving us, your faithful listeners and even us country music newbies, so much listening pleasure. We're looking forward to crossing paths again one day soon. Check KZLA.com to keep up to date on streaming and HD options.
Let's also get out there with our country pride by attending the Country Bash concert to show that Southern California loves country!
It is a sad day for the Country Music industry when Emmis Broadcasting decides to change formats on what is arguably the most listened to Country Music radio station, KZLA.
As neighbors in Southern California, we know first hand all the hard work KZLA has put in to helping make country music the most successful radio format in America. To our friends at KZLA, most of whom we have worked directly with over the years but especially R.J. Curtis, who has served on the Academy board of directors and currently serves on the radio task force committee; Shawn Parr, the voice of the Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS and emcee of our post-awards All-Star Jam reception; and Peter Tilden, who was the host of many of our behind-the-scenes web interviews, we thank you for all your efforts in the past and look forward to your continuing success in the future. We know how successful Country Music continues to be in Southern California with KFRG in Riverside, KHAY in Oxnard/Ventura and KSON and KUSS in San Diego counties, and pledge to continue to support and bring awareness of country radio and our artists to the Los Angeles market in the wake of this loss.
Source: All About Country
Listen n Request party #39 is tonight and it's a big night to request Before He Cheats. Details can be found at Team CMU here.
By Ken Barnes, USA Today...
> Some Hearts, Carrie Underwood: This Diane Warren song, previously recorded by Marshall Crenshaw, is probably the least country-sounding thing on the American Idol winner's debut. But, despite Underwood's two huge singles, it's the song with the hooks I can't get enough of. Album: Some Hearts.
"Oklahoma Sun" is a lovely song which was written by Cory Thomas to honor the wonderful inspiration of Carrie Underwood. Cory's perseverance and dedication to raise funds to record the song resulted in the song you hear today. My friend Katie Pettit is one of my favorite montage masters. Some of you may know her fantastic heartfelt Carrie tribute montage called "My Wish." I knew Katie would be the perfect person to work her magic and to make "Oklahoma Sun" into the beautiful tribute montage you see playing today on Carrievision (if no longer on CarrieVision, you can play it right here in this post by clicking the arrow on the screen). So, without further ado, CarrieNEWS is proud to present a brand new Carrie montage, this unique collaborative effort highlights the best that Carrieworld offers: "Oklahoma Sun." Enjoy!
Underwood lives up to her Idol status with performance at fair By Benjamin Siegel News Contributing Reviewer 8/17/2006
The showdown that took place last May during the "American Idol" finale was a good one, if you'll remember. A classic rock and roller, the longhaired Mr. Bo Bice, and a classic country girl - that would be the winner, Miss Carrie Underwood - pitted two traditional American standards up against each other.
From the looks of Underwood's triumphant year-old career, and a packed show at America's Fair in Hamburg last night, she's picking from Columns A and B with ease. Not that country is far off from rock, and not that her pop demographic doesn't allow for a little dibble-dabble in each other's pots.
Entertaining a crowd of devout "Idol" voters and their eager-to-be-pleased little ones, Underwood made good on her win as America's fifth Idol. If voters were quick to reward the Oklahoman's genuine vocal chops, she was just as willing to give back to those who put her in her place.
Taking generously from her debut album, last November's "Some Hearts," Underwood kicked things off with the killer "That's Where It Is," a rocking tune with enough kick and sass in its step to show her growth from her viewer-voting days.
Dolly Parton's "Jolene" followed, echoing the legend's vulnerability with grace. She even journeyed into some Guns 'N' Roses, and mostly succeeded.
"I love country, but I love all kinds of music," she said as she introduced an acoustic "Patience." "Sweet Child O' Mine" was nearly fail-safe - if it weren't for that scarf-layered mic stand she ran around with. It was a little too much of a prop.
Though this sing-a-long gave her one of two standing ovations for the night, it was her own music that showcased her best work.
Her third single, "Before He Cheats," was a smooth country rocker and a crowd favorite. "Starts With Goodbye" and "Lessons Learned" soared with the drama of the best country-pop ballads.
Her balladry is noteworthy, if not a little one-trick-pony-ish. Don't get me wrong; it's a pretty nice pony. But it's nothing if not repetitious. But then again, this genre rarely varies from the formula of simple strong structure, woeful lyrics and soaring vocals.
Still, this young performer shows glimmers of a bright future. Maybe it's a sign of the times for the country ballad, traditionally drowning in depression and despair. But there was an abundance of optimism in this girl's message, especially in her hit single, "Jesus, Take the Wheel." Dolly and Loretta never made us feel so renewed.
It's wonderful to see humility and authenticity pour off a stage and directly into the souls of such young fans. I'm not sure if Carrie noticed, but I was surely captivated by one very little girl being escorted to the front row by a fairgrounds usher. She took her white children's camera out, hoisted it to her darling little face, and with the help of the usher, took a snapshot of her idol before running back to her parents. It was in this sweet moment that my usual dismay in Simon Cowell was all but forgiven. He had the right idea all along.
Source: The Buffalo News
I got my Carrie calendar! I got my Carrie calendar!
I've gotta tell you, this calendar is even more beautiful in person. Just like the concert photo book, it's a work of art! I love it!
Only 12.99 at Calendars.com! Get your Carrie calendar for 2007 today!
More pics from the CarrieNEWS department of tiny pictures. Our philosophy is that a tiny pic of Carrie is better than no pic of Carrie. So, here are quite a few pics from last Friday's taping of CBS' The Early Show.
More great pics of Carrie on The Early Show are right below on this page!
Carrie Underwood's 'Amazing' Year-Plus
NEW YORK, Aug. 16, 2006
(CBS) A little over a year ago, Carrie Underwood battled it out with rocker Bo Bice for the title "American Idol."
Since her victory, the Oklahoma native has become a true country music star.
Her debut CD, "Some Hearts," has already gone triple platinum and produced two No. 1 singles.
On The Early Show plaza Wednesday, Underwood agreed with Tracy Smith's depiction of the 14 months since "Idol" as "amazing."
"I am a very blessed person," Underwood told Smith, "and everything's been busy and crazy, but it's all been really great, so, whenever it does get kinda hectic, I just remember how fortunate I am."
Underwood has 70 tour dates this summer, and is performing with some of the very country stars she used to watch.
"It's amazing," Underwood marveled. "It's really nerve-wracking because of that. I get to go to award shows and things like that and sing in front of all the people I grew up listening to, and it does get a little nerve-wracking sometimes, but it's really awesome, and I'm just lucky."
Underwood recently graduated college, even though she's gone so far, so fast in the music business.
"I was three and a half years into it," Underwood explained. "I only had a few hours left, and I didn't want to come that far and not finish, so I finished."
She also confirmed that she once had aspirations to become a TV news anchorperson.
"I definitely wanted to do something in news," she said, "whether it was in front of the camera or behind the camera. I loved editing and camera work and stuff like that, too, so, whatever I could get my foot in the door with, that's what I was willing to take."
99 Hour Sale for Country Jamboree
We're hooking you up with another special opportunity this week ~ save some dough on tickets to the Clark County Country Jamboree! Click here for details & use the password THEWOLF when purchasing online to save $9.95 on single-day tickets. This special offer will begin on Thursday (8.18) at 10 am until Monday (8.21) at 1 pm.
Then tune in to CMT Power Picks at 3pm ET/12noon PT to vote for Carrie!
Country star focuses on life after 'American Idol'
by Bill Lynch
for the Gazette
"American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood is relaxing in her hotel room, trying to get ready for her show in a few hours at the Country Thunder music festival in Twin City, Wis. She's following Miranda Lambert and playing just before LeAnn Rimes.
It's an intimidating lineup. Lambert is one of country music's rising stars and Rimes is practically an institution. But Underwood isn't the least bit nervous. This is what she's always wanted.
"That's probably the best part — getting to do what I love and getting paid for it," she says, speaking in advance of her Monday concert at the West Virginia State Fair.
Even for an American Idol, Underwood has had amazing success. After winning the show last spring, she released an album that went triple platinum and a string of hit singles — including "Jesus, Take the Wheel" — that helped her win two CMA Awards, three Billboard Music Awards, two CMT Video Awards and a Dove Award.
Her positive messages have earned her more than fans and music awards. The governor of her home state of Oklahoma declared a day in her honor. Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn called her a role model and commended her for being "an intelligent, kind, considerate, young woman."
She takes the designation in stride.
"It wasn't planned," she says. "I just didn't do anything I was uncomfortable with. So, if I get the quote/unquote 'good girl' image with that, oh well ..."
Being true to herself has reaped amazing rewards. In a little over a year since her "Idol" win, Underwood seems to be well on the way to confirming judge Simon Cowell's prediction that she would go on to sell more records than any previous "Idol" winner.
"It's all good stuff," she says. "I think I'm handling it fine. Things just keep getting better and better."
She loves the crowds, loves to perform and can't help but enjoy the things that come with being a country pop star. Fame and fortune, however, take some getting used to.
"It's a different lifestyle," she says and laughs.
Despite her massive television and radio exposure, she says that she has a tendency to sometimes forget how famous she's actually become.
"I can't so much go out anymore. I'll go to the mall or something and people will come up to me. It's an adjustment."
Being a bona fide musician is also something she's still learning. After she won "American Idol," she was signed to a record contract. She knew nothing about the process of making an album.
"We had a flood of songs coming in," Underwood explains. "I told everyone around me that I was going to want a lot of help. Opinions were welcome and people listened to me."
She expects the process will be similar when she goes back into the studio, probably next year, to start work on her follow-up album. In some ways, the process of preparing for the next album has never stopped.
"I get CDs in every week and go through them."
The touring, the appearances and the subtle extra work of screening potential songs for later use takes a lot of her time. She admits that she doesn't get the chance to listen to much beyond the demo CDs. But does she find time to keep up with America's favorite talent show?
"I watched as much as I could," she says of this past season. "My parents keep me up to date on it."
Underwood remembers her own "American Idol" experience with gratitude. She remembers the pressure as being intense, but the rewards were phenomenal. It's the silliest of questions to ask if she'd do it again. Touring and performing all over the country has given her the chance to see some of the people who rooted for her and voted for her week after week.
"Without it, I'd still be back in Oklahoma ... somewhere. I have no idea what I'd be doing."
She says that she doesn't miss the show, though, that it's been better on the road than in front of cameras and the entire world. "Sure, technically, we were being seen by millions and millions, but I didn't see them."
In this case, less is more for Underwood.
"We're doing shows now in front of a few thousand. I'd rather sing in front of those thousands that I can see, than the many more that I can't."
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