Before Carrie Underwood was a 7-time GRAMMY Award winner or had 21 No. 1 hits to her name, she was just a small-town girl from Oklahoma performing Martina McBride covers at local beauty pageants. Just like the rest of us.
Even as a 14-year-old, Carrie had glimpses of greatness, though her bangs were pretty terrible.
“A Broken Wing” was McBride’s second No. 1 single.
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Four months after I had a child, I was still a milky mess bumbling around in indoor pants. Carrie Underwood, on the other hand – who played her second big show tonight on the Marcus Amphitheater after delivering her son, Isaiah, at the end of February – was focused, relaxed and radiant.
But Underwood doesn’t get accolades just for being on stage as a new mom. She delivered a 21-song, 90-minute performance that kept the audience on their feet, singing along and completely engaged.
I went into this concert with an open mind, but I admit, pop country is not usually my brand of jam. Although I adore old-school country music like Johnny Cash, and alternative country singers like Lucinda Williams, I’m not usually attracted to the country radio sweethearts.
But I really liked Carrie.
Not only does she have an incredible voice – she is able to hold notes for very extended periods of time and has a crazy-controlled vibrato – she also seems down-to-earth and even though she has an “All-American Girl” look, her personality isn’t an over-chipper stereotype.
Tonight was Carrie’s third visit to Milwaukee and although she didn’t make small talk specifically about our city or the venue, it was evident she was enjoying herself. Before tonight, she played the Big Barrel Country Music Festival in Dover, Del. on June 28. Tonight’s setlist was the exactly the same.
She shared the stage with nine other musicians, eight men and one woman. High points of her set included a sing-along of “Little Toy Guns,” the current number one song on country radio, and a powerhouse remix of “See You Again,” Wiz Khalifa’s and Charlie Puth’s anthem of the same name.
“I’ve had a great week,” she said.
She also covered 80’s alt-pop artist Marshall Crenshaw’s “Some Hearts,” which I found to be a surprising but well-executed tribute.
Carrie, who has sold more than 65 million records worldwide in less than 10 years, rose to fame in 2005 when she won the top spot in “American Idol.” She went on to win seven Grammy awards, 17 Billboard Music Awards, 11 Academy of Country Music Awards and eight American Music Awards.
Her early singles include “Jesus, Take The Wheel” and “Before He Cheats.” Later hits include “Cowboy Casanova” and “Something In the Water.” She performed all of these songs tonight.
In 2008, she was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry and in 2009 into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. Time Magazine listed her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
She is the only solo country artist in the 2000s to have a No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the first and only country artist to ever debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100. She is also the female artist with the most No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with 14 hits total (and 21 number one hits on the country charts).
Carrie was dressed in a long, white fringe vest, brown cowgirl boots and black leather pants – a potential foreshadowing choice of fashion considering she has already described her upcoming new album, which is almost finished and does not yet have a release date, as a collection with a “rock twang.” Although she is enamored with her new son, she has made it clear she is not going to release songs primarily about motherhood. She has, however, joked it will be “the most awesome album of all time.”
She also recorded a new theme song for Sunday Night Football and has been promoting her new women’s workout clothing line, “Calia by Carrie Underwood,” which is available exclusively at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Carrie’s gratitude also shined through tonight, as she often waved and acknowledged the audience. She made numerous positive comments, like “I have been blessed and I am extremely grateful,” as well as, “I have been lucky enough to do what I love.”
1. Blown Away
2. Two Black Cadillacs
4. Undo It
5. I Told You So
6. Good Girl
7. Little Toy Guns
8. Cowboy Casanova
9. Don’t Forget to Remember Me
10. Leave Love Alone
11. I Know You Won’t
12. Flat on the Floor
13. See You Again / See You Again (Wiz Khalifa cover)
14. So Small
15. Jesus, Take the Wheel
16. Some Hearts (Marshall Crenshaw cover)
17. All-American Girl
18. Cupid’s Got a Shotgun
19. Last Name
20. Something in the Water
21. Before He Cheats
Credit – On Milwaukee
Carrie Underwood has solidified her “All-American Girl” title with so many gorgeous Almay shoots (there was the one for Smart Shade lipstick and then her Simply American beauty ad!) that we couldn’t wait to catch up with her for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at her new commercial for the cosmetic label’s Intense i-Color shadows.
In the clip she explains that she’s a total “eye girl,” and that any hint of sparkle makes her feel special, especially for a dramatic party look. “I like things that shimmer, I like things that sparkle,” she explains. “A little more eyeliner, a little more mascara. And just kind of zhuzh it a little bit.” And the finishing touch to any look? A pair of heels, which make her feel “more fabulous!”
As far as her beauty advice goes, she advises people to not play around with makeup. “Have fun with it. Try something a friend told you about; try something that you saw in a magazine. Be creative!”
But the best thing about Almay? It’s great for busy moms, according to Underwood, who says the brand “makes it easy, and makes you feel good.” And being an extremely busy new mom herself (in February she welcomed a son with husband Mike Fisher) she knows a thing or two about multitasking.
Check out the behind-the-scenes video below! What you think of her latest campaign? Sound off below!
— Colleen Kratofil
RELATED VIDEO: Carrie Underwood Behind-the-Scenes at Almay Shoot
Credit – People Style
Carrie Underwood’s “Little Toy Guns” becomes the #1 song at country radio. Jason Aldean goes Top 5.
Amid intensified conversation about the gender disparity on country radio, a female artist tops the Mediabase country radio singles chart for a second straight week.
Seizing the throne from Kelsea Ballerini, whose “Love Me Like You Mean It” slips to #5 this week, is Carrie Underwood. Up two places this week, Underwood’s single “Little Toy Guns” reaches the apex of the listing.
Not simply the leader in Mediabase chart points, “Little Toy Guns” also received the most tracking week airplay. Its weekly spin count of ~8,019 tops the ~7,865 mark garnered by Blake Shelton’s #2 “Sangria.”
Shelton’s tune, however, reached a larger audience during the June 21-27 tracking week. It received ~57.131 million audience impressions, while “Little Toy Guns” scored ~56.155 million.
In addition to receiving the greatest number of audience impressions from Mediabase stations, “Sangria” is also the real-time leader on the Billboard panel. It thus appears poised to reach #1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and thus render “Little Toy Guns” a Mediabase-only #1.
That fate is nothing new for Underwood, whose recent singles “See You Again” and “Two Black Cadillacs” (among others) topped only the Mediabase listing.
“Little Toy Guns” becomes Underwood’s eighteenth career #1 hit on Mediabase (including the “Remind Me” duet that initially appeared on Brad Paisley’s “This is Country Music”). With Hot 100 #1 “Inside Your Heaven” and Hot Country Songs #1 hits “Somethin’ Bad” and “Something in the Water” included, Underwood can claim a total of 21 career chart toppers.
— Also in this week’s Mediabase Top 5: Tim McGraw’s #3 “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools (with Catherine Dunn)” and Jason Aldean’s #4 “Tonight Looks Good on You.” The latter is making its first Top 5 appearance.
Credit – Headline Planet
Credit – YouTube (Kurt Bardella)
Carrie Underwood says she was trying to avoid that cheesy Mommy-moment on her upcoming studio album, but she couldn’t help it. The singer tells Taste of Country Nights radio show that she’s written a song about 3-month-old Isaiah, and she’s wanting to share it.
“I’d be very willing to put money that it will be on there,” Underwood says of the tune, which has a title she wouldn’t reveal. She does tell ToC Nights host Sam Alex that one day during a songwriting session, the song just kind of came pouring out of her. It’s not simply called “Isaiah,” that much we know. Fans will have to wait until the project is released to see if the song makes the cut, and to learn what it’s all about.
As for motherhood in general, Underwood is still living under the new mommy glow. “He’s just this gift and such a smiley baby and so easy to be around,” she describes, almost smiling through the phone. “I’m a grouch in the morning and I wake up and he wakes up and he’s just smiling at me. So he just makes my life better.”
Underwood is still in studio working on the new album. In fact, she missed the clinching game of the Stanley Cup finals earlier in the week. The Chicago Blackhawks — the team that knocked husband Mike Fisher’s Nashville Predators from the playoffs earlier this year — won, but she was blissfully unaware until her husband told her the news. Her head is down … unless she’s looking up to see that baby smile.
Sam Alex is the host of Taste of Country Nights radio, a syndicated night show which airs on more than 60 Townsquare Media Group stations nationwide.
Credit – Taste Of Country
Carrie Underwood is giving fans a little insight into what they can expect from her upcoming album.
The new mom has “more than a good start” on her next release, and she says that it’s likely that the project will include a song inspired by her son, Isaiah.
“I kind of tried to stay away from it,” she tells USA Today. “I didn’t want to force anything or have anything be cheesy or weird, like, ‘Oh, she had a baby, so she’s singing about her baby.’ It just kind of happened one day.”
Underwood gave birth to her son Isaiah in February, and she’s been staying relatively out of the limelight since then, making her first red carpet appearance at Wednesday’s (June 10) CMT Music Awards, where she took home three trophies. The “Little Toy Guns” singer says that even though the song about her son will most likely be on the album, she’s not 100 percent sure what will make the final cut.
“I’ll cut anything,” she says. “I have no loyalties to any song, even if it’s one I wrote. But I think it’ll make it on there.”
As she’s making progress on the new record, Underwood says that she’s careful to work on only a few songs at a time, and while the album will have some new ideas represented, it won’t be a huge departure for her stylistically.
“We’re taking things in sections,” she says. “it’s like, with these three songs, we know we’re good, so let’s do those. We’ll do those, I’ll vocal them, then we’ll pick another group of songs. I’m figuring out the last few, I think.
“There are some things on there that are definitely familiar, but there’s a lot of growth that has happened, as well. It’s going to sound a little bit different — still the things that fans will obviously know is me. I’m not going crazy or anything , but it’s a little bit of a shift.”
“I think I honestly expected — it’s gonna sound weird — but I expected the worst,” she tells PEOPLE, fresh off her history-making sweep at Wednesday’s CMT Music Awards. “I’ve never been around babies before, to be honest, but he’s so laid-back!”
The country singer says both she and husband Mike Fisher have been pleasantly surprised by how easily the three and a half months since their son’s birth have gone.
“We’re laid-back parents and he’s a laid-back baby and … it surprised me that it’s a little easier than I thought it was gonna be,” Underwood, 32, says. “I think I just expected, like, screaming, crying baby all the time, and he’s just happy and smiley and gorgeous.”
Credit – People Magazine
Motherhood sure looks good on Carrie Underwood!
Just three months after welcoming baby Isaiah Michael Fisher, the 32-year-old singer showed off her slim, post-baby body at Wednesday’s CMT Music Awards. Because Carrie had a C-section delivery, she couldn’t immediately get back in the gym. But, as she told E! News’ Alicia Quarles, she found other ways to get back down to her pre-pregnancy weight.
It helped, of course, that Carrie didn’t pack on too many excess pounds while she was expecting. “While I was pregnant, I did everything I could to try and make smart choices,” she explained. “And if I couldn’t really like work out, work out, I’d go walk, and I just tried to stay active.”
PHOTOS: Look back at Carrie Underwood’s chic pregnancy style
And after she had Isaiah? “I couldn’t work out for a few weeks because I ended up having to have a cesarean—blah, blah, blah, too much information,” she said with a laugh.
In any case, Carrie didn’t lose her cool when she couldn’t hit the gym right away. Instead, she “kind of alter(ed) my diet,” she said..
Then once Carrie’s body healed and she got the go-ahead to work out again, she got right back into it! Being a new mom with a crazy busy schedule doesn’t leave a ton of time to schedule in those sweat sessions, though, but Carrie’s learned to be flexible with her workouts. “I made it happen where I can, when I can pretty much,” she told E! News.
VIDEO: See why Erin Andrews is freaking out over Carrie Underwood!
This doting mama is never too far from Isaiah in anything she does. “I schedule things around feedings and stuff like that,” she said. “Anything I do I’m like, every three hours, ‘I gotta go feed my baby!'”
And what a precious baby he is! Carrie couldn’t help but gush over her adorable, “super cuddly” little man. So what’s the best part about being Isaiah’s mommy? And how does mom already know her son is “going to be a sweet, sweet, guy”? Watch the clip above to find out!
For more 2015 CMT Awards coverage, tune in to E! News Thursday at 7 and 11 p.m.
Credit – E! News
“Isaiah’s first band rehearsal … as you can see he and his daddy were totally into it!” the country star, 32, captioned a Saturday photo of husband Mike Fisher with their son, who was sporting a pair of oversized blue headphones — presumably for the noise.
They looked like they were working: Both boys are sound asleep in the pic.
Credit – People