39 Years Ago: Carrie Underwood Is Born in Muskogee, Okla.
Happy 39th birthday, Carrie Underwood! The singer was born on this date, March 10, in 1983, in Muskogee, Okla.
Underwood is the youngest of three girls born to Stephen and Carole Underwood. From an early age, the now-country superstar showed a propensity toward music and performed frequently at her family's church, the First Free Will Baptist Church, as well as at events in her hometown of Checotah, Okla.
"I had a very happy childhood, full of the wonderful, simple things that children love to do," Underwood says. "Growing up in the country, I enjoyed things like playing on dirt roads, climbing trees, catching little woodland creatures and, of course, singing."
When Underwood was 14 years old, she earned the opportunity to sing for executives at Capitol Records, which almost resulted in an early record deal, before personnel changes canceled those plans.
“I honestly think it’s a lot better that nothing came out of it now, because I wouldn’t have been ready then,” the artist later said (quote via Taste of Country). “Everything has a way of working out.”
Following graduation as salutatorian from Checotah High School in 2001, Underwood enrolled in Northeastern State University, studying mass communications, and put her dreams of being a singer to the side. But when offered the chance to audition for Season 4 of American Idol in St. Louis, Mo., she jumped at the chance. The then-21-year-old performed the Bonnie Raitt classic "I Can't Make You Love Me," impressing judges Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell, the latter of whom stated, "Carrie, I think you're very good.”
Underwood won her season of American Idol, thereby launching her superstar career. Her debut album, Some Hearts, released in 2005, has sold more than 8 million copies and includes the No. 1 singles "Jesus, Take the Wheel," "Before He Cheats" and "Wasted."
Underwood's sophomore record, Carnival Ride, was released in 2007, followed by Play On in 2009, Blown Away in 2012, Storyteller in 2015 and Cry Pretty in 2018. She has scored numerous chart-topping singles -- several of which she wrote -- including "So Small," "Cowboy Casanova," "Something in the Water" and "Smoke Break." In 2020, Underwood released a well-received Christmas album, My Gift, and in 2021, she followed up the project with a gospel album, My Savior.
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Underwood became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, three years after she made her Opry debut. She was invited to join by Randy Travis and inducted by fellow Oklahoma native Garth Brooks.
“This [award] is gonna hold a very special place in my awards case. I just want to thank everybody at the Opry for having me as a part of your family — because it really seems like a great family to be a part of,” Underwood said at the time. “It means a lot to me. I promise that I’ll do everything I possibly can to make you not regret it — and to make you guys not regret it!”
Underwood remains one of the most awarded female artists in country music, and is the reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year, having won the honor in 2020. In 2008, Underwood began co-hosting the CMA Awards with good friend Brad Paisley, and together, they co-hosted until 2018. Underwood co-hosted the show once more, in 2019, before retiring from the role.
In 2010, Underwood wed professional hockey player Mike Fisher, after meeting him in 2008, at one of her concerts. On Feb. 27, 2015, Underwood and Fisher welcomed their son, Isaiah Michael Fisher, into the world; their second baby boy, Jacob Bryan, arrived in early 2019.
“He brings out the best in me,” Underwood boasts to The Boot about her husband. “He’s a good person. I’ve felt myself grow with him. He’s one of those certain people in your life you come across for a reason. I’m very glad that I met him. He’s been a really positive influence on my life.”
Underwood is a vegan and an outspoken animal rights activist; she created the Checotah Animal, Town and School Foundation in 2009, to help her hometown. She also supports the Humane Society, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Save the Children, the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity, among other causes.
Underwood has also dabbled in acting: She starred in the film Soul Surfer in 2011 and appeared as Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music Live! in 2014. In 2020, she released her first book, Find Your Path, which is focused on fitness and eating habits.
WATCH: How Well Do You REALLY Know Carrie Underwood?