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More great pics of Carrie on The Early Show are right below on this page!
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."
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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."
Source: Charleston (WV) Gazette
Here are some really nice pics from Carrie's West Virginia State Fair concert on Monday...
August 16, 2006 07:21 AM PDT
Thanks Rich for the tiny pics!
Ohiocare bear roxs! Thanks OhioCarebear you always come through with the best to support Carrie!
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