Amazingly a decade has passed since Carrie Underwood soared to victory on the fourth season of American Idol. Since then she has been inundated with accolades and praise for her consistently strong new country releases.
Having taken something of a siesta after the release of her 2012 album Blown Away, Carrie thrilled fans with the release of the stunning single ‘Something In The Water’ to celebrate her first retrospective collection, Greatest Hits: Decade #1.
While she followed the single up with the compelling and deeply meaningful Little Toy Guns around the same time she gave birth to her first child, Isaiah, fans are currently on countdown to the release of her new album, Storyteller.
Having teased fans about the musical journey that has seen her arrive at Storyteller, the response to lead single Smoke Break has been nothing short of phenomenal. A country rock song that came about as the result of needing a release during the high-pressured recording sessions shortly after she became a first time mother, fans and critics applauded Underwood’s departure from her glossier, over polished earlier albums.
With expectations high, can Underwood deliver an album that meets the expectations of the critics and the demands of the fans? In one simple word, yes. Underwood has clearly matured as an artist and has wisely decided to use her Greatest Hits compilation as a breaking point between who she was once and who she now is as an artist.
Opening with the fiery Runaway Renegade, Underwood starts as she means to go one. With all guns blazing, Underwood is unafraid of showcasing her killer vocal but is equally prepared to throw some southern sass in to the mix. Far from proving herself the bland Mariah of country, she is instead a diverse songsmith who is unafraid of fusing her new country sound with elements of dirty americana, playful jazz and fiery pop.
The accusation laden Dirty Laundry keeps the feisty diva at the fore, while the explosive Church Bells has #1 single written all over it. While Heartbeat is a pretty enough mid-tempo, it gets lost in the build up to the aforementioned Smoke Break.
Fusing Janis Joplin, Shania Twain, Joan Jett and mid-period Christina Aguilera on the truly awesome Choctaw County Affair, Underwood delivers the finest song of her recording career to date and shows that for crossover success and international superstardom, there is no need compromise on your genre-leaning.
In the wake of Choctaw Country Affair, the pretty ditty Like I’ll Never Love You Again plays it far too safe to make any real impression and would have been more suited to once of Underwood’s first two releases. As the forceful Chaser and super catchy Relapse hit the right notes, it is with the demanding Clock Don’t Stop that Underwood wants again shakes up the formula and strikes gold. Allowing herself a chance to really show off her vocal tricks, she really shines.
With The Girl You Think I Am providing the album’s only skip ahead moment, Underwood packs a punch on Mexico before closing the album with the blissfully happy What I Never Knew I Always Wanted.
Storyteller marks a real departure for an artist who has reached a pivotal point in her career. Realising that if she didn’t take a risk at this stage, she would get stuck in one gear, Underwood revved it all the way up to fifth for what proves an exciting, addictive listen.
Credit – Yorkshire News
Carrie Underwood joined country music’s biggest stars and most loyal fans to celebrate the Grand Ole Opry‘s 90th birthday. Before taking the stage to perform her most recent hit “Smoke Break,” she took some time to answer some questions about her the Grand Ole Opry and what makes it so special to her.
Q: When you first came to Nashville, what made you want to be a part of this institution and family?
Carrie: It’s just such a part of country music. It’s like our church. It’s the heart of country music and people have such a love and respect for the Grand Ole Opry. I just knew the 1st that I came here I knew what a special place it was and that I wanted to be a part of it.
Q: What does it mean to country music and country music fans that this place is turning 90 and hopefully another 90?
Carrie: It’s about the staying power and the tradition of country music. It’s where an artist can have a long career and the fans can grow with the artist. They’re loyal and they stick with us. It’s amazing that people can come to the Opry and come see the Oak Ridge Boys and get a little Carrie Underwood thrown in there. It’s a great place for fans to come and see a little bit of everything.
Q: The most emotional moments for a lot of artists is when they’re asked to join and when they’re actually inducted. What were those 2 moments like for you? What do you remember most about it?
Carrie: The night I was asked to join it was a total shock and surprise. It was such a special evening and me singing “I told you so” and then Randy Travis walking out. It was, “Oh my gosh. Are you kidding me? Of course I’d like to be a part of this family.” And the night I got inducted for Garth Brooks of all people to be inducting me, it was such a special night. It will always be one of the greatest accomplishments of my career.
Q: What do you remember about your first performance here?
Carrie: It was a total whirlwind. It was incredible. I felt unworthy and still do to a certain extent just because it’s the Grand Ole Opry.
Q: Coming out of “American Idol,” were you nervous about being accepted by country music or by the Opry?
Carrie: That was a step to me because they wouldn’t have had me here. I felt that was step one. They let me in the doors; they let me on the stage; they let me sing. I was nervous people were like “she just came off this TV talent show. What’s she gonna do?” But that’s a part of the reason why I wanted to come to Nashville immediately and say, “This is what I want to do. This is where I want to be.”
Q: Do you remember what the audience reaction was?
Carrie: I remember there being a lot of people and a lot of young people. People come down from the audience and make their way to the stage and stand by the stage and I thought, “That’s so cool.” People get out of their seats and rush the stage just to be there.
Q: How will you explain how special this place is to your son?
Carrie: I think he’ll get it. You can feel it just walking up and down the halls and just looking at the pictures. It’ll be fun to explain who the people are in the pictures and seeing the light bulb going off in his head, “Oh mommy listens to that person at home.” It will be cool for him to realize how many incredible legends are members of the Opry and to think that his mommy is in that grouping, it’ll be special.
Q: Do you have any particular moments backstage?
Carrie: It’s just nice to see everybody in a more relaxed setting. At award shows and CMA Fest everything is just crazy. It’s just relaxed. It’s like you’re in your house jamming.
Q: Do you remember what it was like to see artists around the corner that you looked up to?
Carrie: That first trip here I ran into people that I listened to on the radio and they know my name. It was I kept thinking, “How am I here?”
Image Source: PR Photos, Instagram
Credit – Country Outfitter Life
Heading into its 10-year anniversary, the Stagecoach Country Music Festival is bringing back Eric Church and Luke Bryan, who headlined 2014’s bro-country blowout, but the male dominance at the top of the card is tempered by Carrie Underwood, who returns to top the Saturday night lineup of the three-day event scheduled for April 29 to May 1.
Along with the three headliners, the 2016 edition of what has become the largest country music festival in the world will feature relative newcomers including Sam Hunt, Dustin Lynch, the Band Perry, Eric Paslay, A Thousand Horses and Ray Lynn.
They’ll be complemented by country veterans including Emmylou Harris, returning for the first time since her headlining appearance a decade ago, as well as Marty Stuart, Lee Ann Womack, Billy Joe Shaver, Rodney Crowell, Robert Earl Keen and former SteelDrivers lead singer Chris Stapleton.
As usual, there are also some rockers whose music has included country strains, notably John Fogerty, the former front man and chief songwriter of Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Doobie Brothers and Southern rock group the Marshall Tucker Band.
Others on tap include Little Big Town, Joe Nichols, Chris Young, Sam Palladio, Dale Watson, the Turnpike Troubadours, Jerry Douglas and the Earls of Leicester (a tribute to the bluegrass duo Flatt & Scruggs), Sam Outlaw, Pokey LaFarge, Jana Kramer and Sugarland’s Kristian Bush.
Tickets go on sale Friday, Oct. 9, with three-day general admission passes being sold for $299. VIP packages are also being offered at higher prices.
Information is available at Stagecoach’s website. An advance sale of tickets ran for a week in June.
Credit – LA Times
Carrie Underwood donated her time Saturday night to perform at what became the most successful house concert in MusiCares history.
The fundraiser was held at the Arndt estate, the Brentwood vacation home of Beverly Hills jeweler Johnathon Arndt and his partner Newman Arndt, and raised more than $146,000 for the Recording Academy’s charity that provides financial support to members of the music community in need.
“The people who contact us, each need is so different and unique,” said MusiCares senior executive director Debbie Carroll. “One person can have a $300 need with a car repair that they don’t have the funds to do that and the next person can have a $10,000 need based on a medical condition. This money will go a long way to help lots and lots of people.”
In a move unprecedented for the Grammy’s charitable arm, the Arndts underwrote the cost of the fundraiser to allow every dollar raised benefit MusiCares.
“We want to try and make this an annual or a semi-annual event,” Johnathon Arndt said. “We said, ‘We’ll take care of everything. You enjoy the sales of the tickets.’ We truly believe in giving back to the community and giving back to the organization 100 percent.”
“For such a cause like this, it’s just an honor to be part of it,” said Newman Arndt.
Underwood mingled with guests on a patio at the expansive 18,000 square-foot home before attendees gathered inside to hear her perform.
“This is the Arndts’ thank you gift to Nashville,” said Grand Ole Opry vice president and general manager Pete Fisher. “They love this community. I really treasure the friendship that started 12 years ago when I first met them at the CMA Awards. They made a really special impact then and they continue to want to make an impact on our community.”
Credit – The Tennessean
Carrie Underwood thinks women in pop music need to be kinder to each other and insists there is no bad blood between female country stars.
The American Idol winner talked to Mirror Celebs about the ongoing beef with Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus, after the rapper called out the Wrecking Ball singer at this year’s VMAs for slamming her in an interview.
Carrie said: “I think country music is a bit more encompassing. I doubt you’d ever see anything like that at a country music awards show, because for the most part, everybody is friends, or at least supportive of each other.”
Asked if she would ever dare publicly have a pop at someone out if they spoke badly about her in the press, she replied: “No, I’m pretty passive, I’m drama free.” Wise woman.
Carrie Underwood at The Edition Hotel
Carrie is a huge star in America and already has big gigs lined up in the UK as she hopes to win over the Brits.
Talking about her filth album, Storyteller, she said: “Give it a chance. Everybody is influenced by everybody else, so there’s some rock in there, some R&B flair in there, some traditional country stuff. It’s really good.
“My album will be out in late October, hopefully it will do well over here. I’m excited to have new stuff to play.”
Carrie, 32, was discovered by Simon Cowell and fellow judges on American Idol back in 2005 and went on to win the show. She’s briefly kept in touch with the music mogul since and thinks he’s proud of how she’s become a global star.
“I haven’t seen him in a while but we’ve kept in touch through our ‘people’,” she said. “He was a supporter of mine from very early on, I’m sure that helped every step of the way.”
She disagreed with Louis Walsh’s comments that he’s getting too OLD to be on the X Factor panel and thinks it will make him ‘cranky’ and therefore a more honest and entertaining judge on the show.
Mirror Celebs was lucky enough to catch Carrie live at an intimate gig at The Edition Hotel on Tuesday night and she performed a number of tracks, including her fab new single Smoke Break.
The star also announced she will headline three performances at Country to Country 2016, playing The O2 Arena, Dublin 3 Arena and Glasgow’s Clyde Auditorium.
Credit – Daily Mirror UK
Carrie Underwood says her new album has a bit of “R&B flair”.
The 32-year-old country superstar will release her fifth studio LP ‘Storyteller’ on October 23 and as well as containing lots of songs that are true to her musical roots she has revealed there are also some songs on which she tries out new genres.
Speaking to BANG Showbiz at an exclusive show at The Edition Hotel in London – at which she performed her latest single ‘Smoke Break’ – on Tuesday night (22.09.15), Carrie said: “My album will be out in late October, hopefully it will do well, especially in the UK. I’m excited to have new stuff to play. “I want people to give it a chance. Everybody is influenced by everybody else, so there’s some rock in there, some
R&B flair in there, some traditional country stuff. It’s really good.”
The 2005 ‘American Idol’ winner has been in the UK to perform at the Apple Music Festival but although she would love to go sight-seeing in London she just hasn’t had time because she needs to get back home to the US to her husband Mike Fisher and their six-month-old son Isaiah. She said: “I love London, I would have liked to have stayed longer but I left my baby at home, so I’ve just wanted to do as much as I can in a short space of time. If I go to I’m touristy areas I do get recognised because there’s always Americans there! But I’ve done the whole double decker bus thing.”
Carrie has also announced three headline performances at Country to Country 2016.
Having performed at the inaugural event in 2013, Carrie will return to play all three nights of the festival with C2C being held at The O2 in London, the Dublin 3 Arena and for the first year at Glasgow’s Clyde Auditorium, the first time the festival has run for three nights.
Credit – Zap Gossip
Great news for all you UK Carrie fans, Carrie announced that she will be headlining the 2016 C2C Festival in March next year, the main festival it seems will be held in London but other C2C events with Carrie headlining will be happening as followed.
March 11 – Glasgow
March 12 – London @the O2
March 13 – Dublin
Photo Credit – PizzazzTV (Twitter)
Carrie Underwood turned up the heat on Monday as she performed at the Roundhouse in northwest London for the Apple Music Festival.
The superstar country singer sizzled as she sang, looking like a total knockout in a blac
Earlier this month, the former “American Idol” winner spoke to Taste of Country about the festival, calling it a “such a thrill” to play in the U.K.
“I’m really looking forward to heading back and being a part of such an amazing lineup at this year’s Apple Music Festival,” the 32-year-old told the website. “What a unique concert experience, not only for the fans at the Roundhouse, but also for fans across the globe who can stream it live!”
It’s been a busy year for Underwood, who became a first-time mom in February and has since released her first music video since giving birth. The singer looked like a total smoke show in the video for “Smoke Break,” which is off of her upcoming album “Storyteller.”
Credit – Huffington Post
Carrie Underwood is coming to Atlanta for one night only – and that night is tonight.
Yes, sorry, Music Midtown-ers who also happen to be fans of the lovely country belter, but Underwood’s pop-up “CMT Instant Jam” concert will take place tonight at 7 at the Variety Playhouse.
CMT began distributing wristbands at 10 a.m. at Central Park at Atlantic Station. The concert is free, but attendees must have the wristband to enter. As of 11 a.m., tickets were still available. Maybe 150 people showed up by 10:30 a.m., when CMT began the handing out the wristbands. CMT is planning to hand out about 600 tickets.
At 10 p.m. Oct. 17, CMT will premiere the special “CMT Instant Jam: Carrie Underwood.” Each episode of the series features a live performance and provides a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes action in the hours leading up to the concert.
This is Underwood’s first pop-up show. CMT has already aired an episode featuring Darius Rucker; an installment spotlighting Hunter Hayes will premiere at 10 p.m. Sept. 26.
Underwood isn’t the only artist to do a surprise gig in Atlanta. A couple of weeks ago. Janelle Monae played at The Tabernacle (the date and city was announced in advance, but not the location of the concert) and earlier this summer, Atlanta rapper Future caused a commotion with a pop-up hometown show at the Masquerade.
Credit – AJC.com