Now, call me a skeptic, but in the past, every time I’ve seen an incredibly svelte celebrity in a fashion or beauty or fitness magazine giving me a handful of easy “tips” on how I, too, can achieve their hot body with a few simple crunches or leg lifts, I’ve thought to myself, “Yeah, right!”
And after chuckling, I usually ate a cookie.
We all know just a couple of sit-ups are going to give us abs we can grate cheese on, right?
Wrong. You’ve tried it. I’ve tried it. And still, no abs. At least not at my house.
But I may have to pack my cynicism away in light of Glamour’s latest feature with Underwood and her trainer Erin Oprea. Not only did they get the skinny on Underwood’s workout straight from the source herself, they actually feature the two of them demonstrating the moves for us in a handy online slideshow.
And, ladies, let me just tell you: This is it. This actually is the real “miniskirt-ready legs” workout we’ve all been dying to try in our valiant effort to emulate the look of country music’s most envied gams — the legs of Underwood.
Through a series of squats, lunges, jumps on a Bosu fitness ball, skater hops and one killer kettle bell move known as a “cherry picker,” the fit twosome don’t hold back. They dish the detailed instructions guaranteed to put you right on track to get Underwood’s toned legs by summer.
How can I be so sure, you ask? Because just one evening spent devoting to my … ahem … workout to Underwood’s regimen left me feeling the burn in places I’d never felt it before. I’m not even kidding.
So, guys and gals, should we all join together over the next month and get “Carried” away with Underwood’s hot legs boot camp? I could definitely be in it to win. Hey, I’ll even be your accountability partner, if you’ll be mine.
Credit – CMT
Performers ranging from country star Carrie Underwood to opera legend Patricia Racette will take the stage at Ravinia this summer.
The Highland Park outdoor concert venue unveiled its 130-event lineup for this year’s season, which runs June 5 through Sept. 14.
Music acts will include James Taylor (June 26-27), Carrie Underwood (Sept. 6-7), Train (Aug. 22-23), John Legend (June 16), Heart (Aug. 3), Crosby, Stills & Nash (July 19), Darius Rucker (June 28), Earth, Wind & Fire (July 3), Sarah McLachlan (July 5), Buddy Guy (Aug. 19), Hall & Oates (June 22), Counting Crows (July 14) and Five for Fighting (Sept. 14).
Pairing for the first time are: Jeff Beck and ZZ Top (Aug. 28); Matt Nathanson and Gavin DeGraw (July 21); OneRepublic and The Script (June 18-19); Rufus Wainwright and Cat Power (June 25); Bebel Gilberto and Chucho Valdés (July 30); Beach Boys and Temptations (TBA); Toto and Michael McDonald (Aug. 29); Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss (July 12); Bob Weir and RatDog with Dwight Yoakam (Aug. 31); and Howard Jones and Tom Bailey, of the Thompson Twins (Aug. 27).
Other lineup highlights are:
• James Conlon will conduct three operas, including Patricia Racette starring for the first time as “Salome,” one of seven evenings celebrating the 150th birthday Richard Strauss.
• Direct from the hit PBS show “Downton Abbey,” opera singer Kiri Te Kanawa (Aug. 11).
• Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Helfgot will perform the best-selling “Eternal Echoes” (Aug. 18).
• Midori joins Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute (RSMI) faculty for two concerts and a master class (July 16).
• The Knights team with Yo-Yo Ma and Dawn Upshaw, who will sing Maria Schneider’s jazz-influenced 2014 Grammy-winner “Winter Morning Walks” (Aug. 21).
A full schedule of performers is available at Ravinia.org.
Tickets go on sale to Ravinia members starting March 5, and to the public on April 24.
Prices start at $10 for lawn tickets to classical concerts, with discounts available for students.
Pop music acts are priced higher.
Credit – The Daily Herald
During a stop in Nashville on his Beat This Winter Tour on Saturday (Feb. 22), the cowboy hat-wearing crooner welcomed Underwood on stage for a surprise performance of their smash hit, ‘Remind Me.’ And it just happened to be the same spot where the duo co-hosted the CMA Awards last November — how’s that for full-circle?
In the middle of the concert at Bridgestone Arena, Underwood joined Paisley on stage in a stunning black and gold dress and knocked out a stellar rendition of their 2011 duet. The performance was powerful and electric, with Paisley rocking out on guitar. It was so exciting, in fact, that the country songstress couldn’t help but tweet about it to her 3 million followers after the show:
And the icing on the cake? After her performance, Underwood hung out with budding star Danielle Bradbery, who is currently on tour with Paisley. “AND I got to meet THE one and only @DBradbery. Such a sweetie!” gushed Underwood on Twitter.
Bradbery was equally overjoyed, posting a pic on Instagram with the caption: “There are moments that you’ll embrace for the rest of your life and this was one of them, such a blessing.” The 17-year-old winner of NBC’s ‘The Voice’ has cited Underwood as a direct musical influence and was surely ecstatic to meet one of her heroes.
While Taste of Country Festival headliner Paisley is wrapping up his Beat This Winter Tour, Underwood may just be gearing up for new music of her own. Rumors are swirling that the country music sweetheart is currently writing and looking for songs for a followup to 2012′s ‘Blown Away.’ Maybe we’ll see this dynamic duo teaming up again in the near future!
Credit – Taste Of Country
The Academy of Country Music today announced that George Strait, Carrie Underwood, Merle Haggard, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry are among the artists set to perform during the upcoming televised special ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops.
Set for broadcast May 20 on CBS, the concert was created to honor our country’s servicewomen and men. The show will tape on April 7 at the MGM Grand inLas Vegas, one day after the 49th ACM Awards, and proceeds from ticket sales will benefit ACM Lifting Lives, the charitable arm of the Academy.
Credit – CBS DFW
Carrie Underwood remembers seeing her parents pull their car over to offer money to people in need. She remembers them setting examples by helping people at church. And since she’s been in a position to follow their lead and start giving back, Underwood has made helping children and animals her passion.
“They need us,” the country star told The Tennessean this morning. “They haven’t made any wrong decisions in their lives. They haven’t done anything to anyone that could be malicious. They live in the garden and they love and it’s our jobs to take care of them.”
This morning, Underwood was honored for her efforts with the Country Radio Broadcasters Artist Humanitarian Award during the opening ceremonies of the Country Radio Seminar at the Nashville Convention Center.
“Carrie is aware of the platform she’s been given and she wants to use it to save the world,” said Kenny Alphinof Big & Rich, who along with duo partner John Rich, presented Underwood with the honor. Big & Rich received the award last year.
Underwood’s charitable highlights include donating $1 million of her last tour proceeds to the American Red Cross, starting her own foundation C.A.T.S. Foundation (Checotah Animal, Town, and School Foundation) to help with general causes, needs and services in her hometown of Checotah, Okla., and extensive volunteer work including cleaning out kennels at the Checotah animal shelter.
“Those kinds of things, I feel like, make the biggest difference,” Underwood said after Wednesday morning’s ceremony. “It’s easy to give money to stuff, and I feel like there’s a lot of stuff that my husband (Nashville Predators hockey player Mike Fisher) and I get to be a part of where we’re like, ‘Please don’t put it out there.’ You want to do things to help people, but not for stuff.”
Underwood’s C.A.T.S Foundation has met needs ranging from scholarship programs at Checotah schools; funds for the volunteer fire department to purchase oxygen masks for animals and tools to extract people from cars; new playgrounds; donated musical instruments and more. The singer’s family still lives in the small Oklahoma town and she still considers it her home. Helping, she said, is her responsibility.
“I am super blessed and I’ve been given so much,” she said. “If I did nothing but buy shiny things and spend it on stupid things, I just don’t think my mama would be proud of that, I don’t think I could be proud of that and I don’t think the good Lord would be too proud of that.”
She said her charity work is a group effort made possible by all of those who support her career and she just hopes others follow her lead.
“It’s the little things,” she said. “If you see someone who needs help, help them. If something needs help, help it. I feel like those are what make the best stories, not so and so wrote a check. Just so and so came and cleaned out awful nasty kennels.”
Credit – The Tennessean
With credits at Olay and OPI on her country-filled CV, Carrie Underwood has boosted her beauty arsenal, yet again, as thenewest face of Almay. I fell in love with her for a number of reasons during nineteen hours in Nashville—her authenticity, humility, and the fact that she wasn’t afraid to shed a tearand jeopardize the integrity of her mascara in a room full of beauty editors. From the Presidential Suite of Music City’s Hermitage Hotel, Glam went on a beauty binge with Underwood where fond memories of makeup, mom, and manicures ensued.
Angel: How does it feel to be part of the Almay team?
Carrie: I feel like they know what I’m all about: being real and not being complicated. I’ve always loved so many of their products and I’ve fallen in love with even more through getting to know them. I feel like we have the same goals, in wanting people to feel good about themselves and enhance what they’ve got.
A: What’s your makeup routine normally like?
C: My routines differ from day-to-day depending on what I’m doing. I’m like so many women out there. If it’s just me taking the dog to the dog park or going to buy groceries, everything is really simple and really easy. Obviously, for date nights or nights out with friends, even being on stage, things are definitely amped up a little more.
A: Who’s your beauty icon?
C: I grew up loving watching my mom put on her makeup, like so many women did. That was always something that was fun for me. I love women that are strong, that are confident, that have their own style, even if it’s something I wouldn’t do. I see people like Dolly Parton, who has her own thing; nobody does that. She’s completely confident in herself and I love that!
A: What’s in your beauty bag?
C: Golly! In every purse I own, I have lip balms. I do love the [Almay] Smart Shade. I love the CC Cream too, especially in the winter. That one’s really great for when it’s dry and cold. Makeup remover is really important to give your skin a fresh start and get it clean. I love coconut oil! I feel like that one’s really good for winter—I definitely wear it in the summer, too.
A: What was your first beauty buy?
C: My first experiences with makeup was with what was already in my house. I had sisters who were a little bit older than me, who were into makeup, so I’d steal their stuff and wear it. I definitely was into nail polish when I was a kid though. I would paint every finger a different color and go crazy!
A: What’s the most unconventional makeup tip you’ve gotten over the years?
C: Melissa [Schleicher], who does my hair and makeup, would wet her applicator or brush, then put them on shimmery eyeshadows. It would make them a lot more intense. That was something I never thought of doing before, but there’s a lot [of makeup] that you can wet to give it more of a pop.
Credit – Glam.com
Carrie Underwood is pretty famous for never really acting famous. When she’s out on tour, she always says she likes to cook her own meals, do her own laundry and take control when it comes to her hair and makeup.
But in a recent interview with Vogue magazine, Underwood admits there are three people she counts on to keep her looking gorgeous in general.
Mike Fisher: Obviously, loving her husband makes her glow from the inside. But working out with the professional hockey player is also important for Underwood because that’s how she stays healthy and keeps up her stamina, thanks to exercising with him. “My friends who knew Mike in high school tell me that he never worked out with any of his girlfriends before me,” she said. “They were like, ‘Oh, you work out with him? Wow, this is serious.’”
Erin Oprea: She’s Underwood’s official trainer. “I have a trainer who I work with a couple of times a week. It makes my workouts on my own better because I understand proper form,” she said. Oprea has been Underwood’s personal trainer since 2007, according to her website.
Melissa Schleicher: The owner of Parlour 3 salon in Nashville’s Brentwood area, she’s the one who cuts and colors Underwood’s long blond hair. “When I don’t have to color my hair, I don’t. I actually haven’t colored it for about six months,” Underwood told the magazine. “Over the winter, I’m off tour, so I can relax.” She also admitted that when she’s not able to get to Schleicher, she’s pretty good with a curling iron herself and that her hair holds a curl well. “It looks the same at 10 p.m. as it does at 10 a.m,” Underwood said.
Credit – CMT
Carrie Underwood is the newest face of Almay and she’s letting fans see what went down behind the scenes of her campaign shoot. The Underwood faithful gets to see the singer shooting her commercial, looking fresh-faced and beautiful as the drugstore makeup brand’s Global Brand Ambassador.
Underwood embraces the Almay brand and the fact that it strives to enhance a woman’s natural beauty, without covering up her best facial assets. This is one of the main reasons Underwood signed on to work with them — because she believes in what they do.
In the video, the blonde singer says she loves “that Almay makes it super easy” to pick out makeup, which can sometimes be a daunting task for women. Underwood describes how the line only has a few shades of foundation to choose from instead of having to sift through “hundreds” of tones as she cozies up a couch in front of a fireplace.
“I love makeup,” Underwood gushed. “I always have. I love to play.” She mentioned that on random days off, she enjoys testing out products and experimenting with new colors and styles.
“I don’t think women need inspiration to be beautiful,” she said in the video. “I think women are beautiful. There’s so much about women that was just made to be appreciated.”
The ‘Blown Away’ songstress will represent all of Almay’s products and will appear globally in the company’s ads, from TV to social media and everything in between. This isn’t Underwood’s first time being the spokeswoman for a beauty product. She was previously a spokeswoman for Olay.
Beauty lines just love Underwood and the feeling seems to be mutual.
Credit – Taste Of Country
In both 2012 and 2013, just three of the top 25 artists on Billboard’s Top Country Songs chart were solo women. In a Billboard Country Update column last fall, we heard what country radio has to say about this, but what do the artists themselves think?
Carrie Underwood was one of the artists who made that list of three both years (along with Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift), and she’s among the ranks of those hoping things will improve for females this year.
“You would think that we would be farther along in the thinking about women in country music,” Underwood says. “I like to think things are getting better, but then I see stats like [the one cited above] and realize that women really do seem to get the short end.”
Theories abound about why women get short-changed in country music, but Underwood notes, “There is certainly not a shortage of talented ladies out there that want so badly to get their fair shot in this business. But there seems to be only room for only a few.” On the flip side, she says, “there seem to be so many male singers out there who can be viewed as similar, and there seems to be plenty of room for all of them.
“We see new male artists have their first single reach No. 1 on the charts, but it generally takes a female a lot longer to build momentum,” Underwood continues. “I know that I am an exception to this, but I [also] know that if I hadn’t made my place in country music via ‘American Idol,’ I probably could have tried to make it for the rest of my life and never made any progress.”
One working theory is that song content has been a potential factor in the male/female disparity. Women—the theory goes—tend to write and/or choose to record songs with more substance and deeper themes than the “Parking Lot Party”-type songs that are working so well for the male artists right now.
Underwood agrees that that theory has some merit. “I don’t think women can get away with the partying, beer-drinking, hung-over, truck-driving kind of music that a lot of the guys have gotten away with lately,” she says.
“It does kind of seem like it’s a big party right now,” Kellie Pickler agrees. She notes that, “All the women that are played [on the radio] are outselling the men, and people are listening to what they have to say, so I don’t know why more women aren’t played.”
“I’m really, really sick of trucks and bonfires,” says Suzy Bogguss, who had her hits in the early ’90s at a time female artists were flourishing on the radio—including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Pam Tillis, Kathy Mattea, Patty Loveless and Lorrie Morgan—who collectively turned the derogatory term “chick singer” into something Bogguss says “meant you had some balls.”
“When that radio door opened, it let so many of us through,” she recalls of that time. “I felt at the time that [female listeners] really wanted us to speak about things they related to, and a lot of us did. One of the things we’ve gotta hope for is that the tide will turn and female fans will continue to speak up and say, ‘We need some real material here.’”
In the meantime, Underwood says, expectations remain different for male and female artists. “It seems women are expected to be so much more than men, which means we have to work that much harder,” she says. “We’re the ones under the microscope. We’re expected to sound perfect. We’re expected to look perfect all the time. We’re expected to be style-setters, whereas the boys roll onto the stage in their jeans, T-shirts and baseball caps. I don’t know what we all can do to change this. But I do hope it does change. I would love to see more women making their mark in the music that I love so much . . . There are so many more out there just waiting for their shot. I hope they get it!”
In next week’s column, female music industry executives discuss the dearth of women in the artist (and industry) ranks.
Credit – Billboard Magazine
Congrats to Carrie who scored two ACMA Nominations the other day! As you can see she is nominated for Female Vocalist Of The Year [Along with Miranda Lambert, Sheryl Crow, Kacey Musgraves, and Taylor Swift] and Video Of The Year for Two Black Cadillacs [Along with Better Dig Two by The Band Perry, Blowin' Smoke, by Kacey Musgraves, Highway Don't Care by Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban, I Drive Your Truck by Lee Brice and Mama's Broken Heart by Miranda Lambert].
Congrats to all the nominees but let’s hope that Carrie can go home with two trophies this year. Be sure to catch the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards hosted by Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton live Sunday April 6th at 8/7c on CBS.