Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Carrie Underwood rose to fame after winning the fourth season of American Idol and has since gone onto musical superstardom. She was recognized by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, by Rolling Stone as the female vocalist of her generation in any genre, and by Billboard as Country Music’s reigning Queen. The winner of multiple Grammys, Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards, and a Guinness World Record, she is one of the most successful and beloved artists of the 21st century, country or otherwise.
Here are some facts you might not know about the little church girl who could.
1. Not THAT Soft
When she delivered her 2001 salutatorian speech during graduation ceremonies at Checotah High School, she was sporting a black eye she received courtesy of a softball which is so country.
2. Date Night
She had her first date in 1999 when she was 16. She distinctly remembers that when her suitor arrived, her dad made a point of cleaning his shotguns in front of him, which is sooooooo country.
3. Learn to Fly
Prior to competing on American Idol, she had never been on an airplane. Now she gets to fly on private jets all the time because she’s Carrie Underwood and you’re not. Enjoy economy plebes!
4. Stop Staring
Her fans are known as Carrie’s Care Bears because “Carrie” has “care” in it (Underwood’s explanation, not ours) and she also was part of the same sorority (Sigma Sigma Sigma) as Linda Denham, the co-creator of the Care Bears.
5. As Seen on TV
Being on American Idol counted as a college credit for a Mass Communications degree from Northeastern State University in Oklahoma. “I’ve obviously done enough with television,” she told People magazine. “There was my internship right there.”
6. Latin is Confusing
Carrie graduated magna cum laude. This literally means "with great praise" or more commonly a member of the Dean's list.
7. So… like… the opposite
Carrie says that if she hadn’t won the signing competition and become the darling of a nation, she would likely have pursued a career as a reporter.
8. Sad Emoji
“Gossip Girl” actor Chace Crawford broke up with her via text. The cad! The singer did say she was cool with it. “It just didn’t work.” Crawford’s sister publicly clarified that Chace took it hard and was rather upset about the split. Yes. His sister defended him to People magazine. Celebrities. Amirite?
9. Oh, the Horror
Underwood is a big fan of horror movies, citing “Halloween” and “Nightmare on Elm Street” as her all-time favorites. She also cited the 2012 Ethan Hawke movie “Sinister” as a recent fave, which makes her the only person in America who’s ever seen “Sinister.”
10. Humble Beginnings
Although they weren’t poor, Underwood’s family was frugal. Her mother would sew the singer’s outfits from material she purchased at Wal-Mart and her family still lives in the same small home she grew up in. By contrast, Underwood attends glitzy awards shows with $30 million dollars’ worth of diamonds around her $75 million dollar neck. Kids these days.
11. Sleeping with the Enemy
Underwood is neurotic when it comes to a clean house. “I can’t function during the day if I know my bed is not made. It will be all I think about throughout the day until it’s actually made,” she giggled in an interview. “My refrigerator is extremely organized. Everything is showing the labels and is arranged in perfect rows.” Yeah, leave it to Carrie Underwood to make OCD sound cute.
12. Tofurkey Hunt
Although Underwood is vegan, much of her family hunts regularly, which may have made for a few awkward family dinners when Underwood would pick at her tofu while her family tore into a bullet-riddled goat.
In an interview with Taste of Country, Underwood revealed that she’s often getting her own songs stuck in her head. Worse, she often sings or whistles to herself and if it just so happens her song is in her head, that’s what comes out of her mouth resulting in her being “horribly embarrassed.” Luckily, she is comforted by the millions of dollars those songs have earned.
14. Charity Begins at Home
An animal lover, Carrie Underwood started a charity called C.A.T.S (Checotah Animal Town and School) Foundation. The purpose of the foundation was to assist with causes and provide services to the community where she grew up. They built a new animal shelter as well as donated money to buy musical instruments for the local school. Although, inexplicably, the logo for the C.A.T.S. Foundation is a dog.
15. A Capitol Arrangement
Back in 1996, Underwood almost had a contract with Capitol Records but it got cancelled when company management changed. Thinking back, Underwood said, “I honestly think it’s a lot better that nothing came out of it now, because I wouldn’t have been ready then. Everything has a way of working out.”
16. Record Breaker
Bolstered by the success of the singles “Jesus, Take the Wheel” and “Before He Cheats,” her 2005 debut album “Some Hearts” was the fastest selling debut country album in Nielsen SoundScan history, the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history, and the best-selling country album in the last ten years.
17. Phoning It In
Both “Jesus, Take the Wheel” and “Before He Cheats” were turned into ringtones and they both went platinum.
18. Community Chest
She competed in numerous beauty pageants at university and, in 2004, was selected as Miss NSU runner-up. For winning second prize in a beauty contest she collected $10.
19. Number One at Number Ones!
With fourteen of them, Underwood is the female artist with the most No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart from 1991 to present day. She was probably still angry about that one time she came second in a beauty contest.
20. Voice of an Angel
Underwood got her ultimate revenge when, in 2007, she was named by Victoria’s Secret as the Sexiest Female Musician. To the person who won Miss NSU 2004: FEEL IT!
21. Bottom Up
In May 2010, Victoria Secret named her legs the “Sexiest Legs in Hollywood,” because, for some reason, as time goes on, only parts of you get recognized.
22. She’s Not a Piece of Meat
In 2005 and 2007, Underwood was voted by PETA as the “World’s Sexiest Vegetarian.” Okay. Seriously. We get it. She’s sexy. But… like… just stop.
TIME magazine has listed Underwood as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
24. That’s Why He’s Simon Cowell
After Underwood sang a rendition of the 1980s rock hit “Alone,” made famous by the rock band Heart, Simon Cowell predicted that Underwood would not only win the competition, but she would outsell all previous Idol winners.
One of the American Idol producers revealed, after the season aired, that Carrie Underwood dominated the voting, winning every week in a walk.
26. How Grand
In 2008, Underwood was invited by Randy Travis to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and later that month she was officially inducted by Garth Brooks. We’re sure our invite was just lost in the mail.
At the 2009 CMAs, Underwood was named the Entertainer of the Year, making her the first woman in history to win this award twice.
28. Chosen by the King
Grammy Awards exec producer Ken Ehrlich revealed that Michael Jackson was a huge admirer of Underwood and that was why she was hand-picked to perform during his tribute at the 2010 Grammy Awards.
29. Close Call
Stevie Nicks told Underwood that she was glad Underwood wasn’t “around when we joined Fleetwood Mac because I think you would have won the lottery on that one, and I would have been back to being a waitress.”
30. Laughter is the Best Medicine
Underwood appeared on “How I Met Your Mother” as Tiffany, a medical sales rep that forms a relationship with Ted. With 10.48 million viewers, it was the second highest-rated episode of the fifth season.
31. How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria?
Underwood starred in the coveted role of Maria von Trapp in NBC’s live broadcast of “The Sound of Music,” based on the original Broadway musical. Although her acting performance was described as “amateur,” “lifeless,” and “lacking emotion,” the production was still a ratings success with 18.62 million live viewers, and was the biggest Thursday night audience NBC has had since the 2004 series finale of “Frasier.” So yeah. Underwood tossed their salad and scrambled their eggs.
32. Don’t Mess With Care Bears
In 2011, an Ottawa radio station joked that it would stop playing Underwood’s music because her husband, Mike Fisher, had been traded to the Nashville Predators, resulting in backlash from Underwood fans (despite the fact that the station never played Underwood songs in the first place).
33. Ice Ice Baby
Underwood was selected by The Hockey News on its annual list of 100 People of Power and influence in Ice Hockey. In 2012, Underwood came in at #85, because of her tremendous slap shot and aggressive forechecking.
34. 50% Extra Nip!
Carrie Underwood was born with a birthmark that bizarrely turn out to be a third teat. She revealed this on national television during her American Idol audition. Nobody knows why.