Copyright ©2006 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
January 28, 2006.
Carrie Underwood had over
29 million people show up at her coming out party. That day, when she and
rocker Bo Bice vied for the final slot on Fox-TV’s mega-hit talent contest
was the turning of a page for the young singer. Since
winning the season four crown, she has released a top-five debut
album called Some Hearts
and two smash hit singles
– “Inside Your Heaven” and “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” As far as she is
concerned, this is just the beginning.
Underwood sat down with us to discuss the
whirlwind ride she has been on for the past year.
How did you
originally get into music?
I always just sang around the house. I don’t
really know why. But, I started singing in church and when I got a little
bit older I’d do stuff like talent shows and little fairs and things like
How did you decide
to audition to American Idol?
I saw on the news where people were sleeping
outside in Cleveland. And I thought, hmmm, I wonder where they’re going
to be now? I got on the internet and found out they were going to be in
St. Louis and just decided to go.
A year ago you
were an unknown small town girl. Now you have been on the most popular
show on television, you have a top 10 album and have had hit singles and
your biggest musical heroes know you? How surreal has it been? Has it
been all you dreamed?
I never really knew what to expect, but it
really has exceeded any expectations I think I could have had. Sometimes
I have to sit back and think about all the stuff that I’ve done that day
or the past week. Yeah, it’s very surreal.
show tended to get lots of R&B and pop. Why do you think the show was so
open for different styles like your country and rock from Bo
(Bice) and Constantine (Maroulis)?
I think just to keep things interesting. My
year we had a very eclectic group of people. We had pretty much every
single genre of music represented on the show. I thought that was really
cool and I thought it was cool that America picked a country girl to win
I really loved
your performance of Heart’s “Alone” on the show. Any chance you’ll ever
officially record that?
Not record that, no, but I am doing a special
later on VH1, a tribute to Heart. There’s going to be a whole bunch of
people that are going to be involved with that. It’s going to be good.
Is Simon really as
cranky as he tries to get everyone to believe?
I think he’s just honest
about what he thinks. I think he just says what he thinks, whether it’s
right or wrong or (laughs)
whatever. He just says what he thinks.
How about Paula
and Randy? What were they like?
They seemed to be… I like seeing them now in
public for the different things that we’re doing. Because they always
come up to me and talk to me and ask me how things are going. So they
seem really nice.
I’m sure you’ve
heard this question a million times, but what was it like at that final
moment when your name was called as the next
It was one of those
moments I feel like I’ll remember forever. It was just awesome to have
all of those months of work and being on TV and doing stuff every single
week and all the nerves and everything – just, whew, it’s over.
I can move on and hopefully have an
incredible career. I was just an incredible moment.
Even before the
show was over you had recorded your first single, “Inside Your Heaven,”
which debuted at the top of the charts. I was kind of surprised that both
you and Bo released the same song as a single. In previous years each of
the top two recorded different songs. How did it come about that you both
did the same song?
Well, I think the year before us, I’m pretty
sure that Fantasia (Barrino) and Diana
(DeGarmo) recorded the same song.
Oh, okay, I’m
sorry, I didn’t realize that…
I just think Fantasia’s was the one that
everybody heard. But, yeah I think it’s been that way before I was.
You went down to
Nashville to work on the album. How did you decide which songs you were
going to do?
It was all about just listening to a whole
bunch of songs. There was no specific theme we were going into in the
beginning. We would just, you know, I’d pick out a few songs that I
really liked and definitely wanted to be on there. Other songs it was
kind of like had to like them and had to work with the other songs. So we
actually picked too many, were going to record too many, and we ended up
putting almost all of them on the album.
With the new album
you have released two separate singles for different formats, “Jesus Take
the Wheel” for country and “Some Hearts” for pop. Why did you guys decide
to do that?
I think just because of
the exposure I got on Idol,
just kind of to see what we could do with it.
“Jesus, Take the Wheel” did so much better so, I’m pretty sure
we’re going to stick with that side.”
There were a lot
of really nice country songs like “Wasted” and “I Just Can’t Live the
Well, we tried to out as much on there as we
could and as different on there as we could. Just so – for the listener
to sit down and listen to the CD. You know, that they wouldn’t get bored
Yeah, like I was
just going to say, musically the album is rather diverse, there is
pop-rockier stuff like “Some Hearts,” “We’re Young and Beautiful” and
“Lessons Learned,” more traditional country like “Wasted,” “I Just Can’t
Live A Life” is Adult Contemporary and “Don’t Forget To Remember Me” and
“The Night Before (Life Goes On)” is more AC with country elements. Were
you looking to experiment with styles on the album?
It just kind of came out the way it came
out. We didn’t really mean to, per se. It was just kind of listening to
songs and figuring out which ones I liked, which ones worked. We wanted a
diverse group of songs, but it was all about what worked together on an
In the album, when
the songs turn to love, it seem evenly split between a lot of the
relationships are in trouble or dying like in “Before He Cheats,” “Starts
With Goodbye” or “I Just Can’t Live A Life” and more positive things like
“Lessons Learned.” As a singer, do you find happy relationships more
interesting to interpret or troubled ones?
Of course I never… I mean
I’m singing a song and I try to put myself in a place so I can really feel
the song. I don’t know which ones are better.
I like happy songs, because they make me happy. But, also,
whenever you’re depressed or something and you sit down and listen to a
song that feels like you can relate to, then that’s good.
I really like the
song “Lessons Learned” about how all things, even the bad ones help to
define who we are. What lessons have you learned?
In relationships or life? All of the above?
However you’d like to answer it…
I think the most important thing that I’ve
learned is that things will work out. The most important thing is just to
be happy. It’s not what you do, it’s not how much money you make, it’s
just at the end of the day, if you can look back and think, okay, I’m a
happy person. There’s people around me that I love and love me. It’s
(producers) Mark Bright and Dann Huff like to
They were awesome. They had two completely
different producing styles. But they are both friends. It was just
all about figuring out what they meant when they said stuff. It was just
great to work with them. I thought it was great for me to work with two
different people. Get kind of two different takes on the album.
albums tend to have covers on them. While your cover of “Independence
Day” was on the American Idol album and the
single, why did you decide you didn’t want to have a better known song on
That’s not my song.
That’s Martina McBride’s song. That’s the song she’s most known for. So,
I personally didn’t feel like it should be on my album. When we were
discussing which ones were going to be on the album, I specifically said
that doesn’t really make sense to me. We have so many great songs that
people have never heard before. Why don’t we put those on there instead
of that one. Everybody agreed. You know, it’s just not my song.
In the end, how would you like people to see your music?
I really hope, obviously, I have a long and
successful career. I hope people look back and my music and say she’s
done this for a long time and she’s done it well. I want to form good
relationships with people and just do everything the right way.
Are there any misconceptions you'd like to clear up?
I think I have a problem
with conveying emotions. (laughs)
And whenever I’m doing interviews on TV
or something like that, I’m a funny person. I swear I am. My mom says I’m cool.
But, I don’t know, I think a lot of people, they don’t really know me and
they may think I’m a little more reserved than I actually am because I’m
trying to be all sweet and stuff on TV.