To mark the release of Carrie Underwood's first gospel album, "My Savior," on March 26, 2021, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at the singer's career highlights. Join us as we take a stroll down memory lane in this "American Idol" winner's photo flashback… starting with this photo from the very start of her professional journey… Back in 2004, 21-year-old Carrie Marie Underwood from Checotah, Oklahoma, auditioned for a little show on FOX called "American Idol." The college student, who'd previously auditioned for Capitol Records as a teen and landed a record contract before it was later canceled, tried out with the Bonnie Raitt song "I Can't Make You Love Me" and easily flew through the competition — with judge Simon Cowell calling her a favorite early on. Keep reading for more…
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Carrie Underwood was crowned the winner on the "American Idol" season 4 finale in May 2005. She beat runner-up Bo Bice, solidifying herself as America's favorite singer and collecting a recording contract in the process.
Just a month after winning "American Idol," Carrie Underwood released her first single, "Inside Your Heaven." The song set a record, making her the first country singer to debut a No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100. That same month, she performed on NBC's "Today Show" (seen here).
In July 2005, Carrie Underwood embarked on her first tour! She co-headlined the "American Idols LIVE!" concert trek alongside fellow top 10 contestants from the reality show's fourth season (which she won). She's pictured here on stage during the tour's opening night in Sunrise, Florida.
Carrie Underwood's debut album was released in November 2005. Titled "Some Hearts," it debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and No. 2 on the Billboard 200. It would later become the bestselling album of 2006 across all genres. The country music community was embracing Carrie with open arms too: She's seen here debuting her single "Jesus, Take the Wheel" at the CMA Awards that same month.
Time to tour! In April 2006, the country crooner went out on her first headlining concert trek, the "Carrie Underwood: Live 2006" tour. That same month, she also attended the CMT Awards in Nashville where she picked up trophies for breakthrough video of the year and best female video of the year for "Jesus Take the Wheel."
Another month, another award show! May 2006 marked the Academy of Country Music Awards, and despite being a newcomer, Carrie Underwood won big! The star took home the top new female vocalist and single of the year (for "Jesus, Take the Wheel") awards at the annual event.
"Before He Cheats" was the fifth single released off "Some Hearts." It came out in August 2006 and turned into one of Carrie Underwood's biggest hits to date. The track about a woman's revenge on an unfaithful lover had genre-crossing appeal and became the first country song to sell more than 2 two million digital copies. It was also at one point the bestselling country song of all time.
Carrie Underwood wasn't just cleaning up at country music award shows. In December 2006, she attended the Billboard Music Awards where she impressively picked up prizes for album of the year, Top 200 female artist of the year, female country artist, new country artist and country album of the year!
A Grammy is the most prestigious award in music, so it was impressive that less than two years after winning "American Idol," Carrie Underwood picked up two at the 2007 Grammys ceremony that February — one for best new artist and the other for best female country vocal performance for "Jesus, Take the Wheel."
The 2007 CMT Music Awards proved Carrie Underwood was here to stay. "Before He Cheats" earned prizes for video of the year, female video of the year and video director of the year at the show that April (pictured). A month later, Carrie won even more trophies when she attended the 2007 Academy of Country Music Awards that May: She took home statues for top female vocalist, album of the year and video of the year for "Before He Cheats."
Carrie Underwood's second album, "Carnival Ride," came out in October 2007. By December, it was certified double platinum. In between. she attended the American Music Awards in November and picked up the artist of the year and favorite country female artist trophies.
November 2007 also saw Carrie Underwood winning big again at the Country Music Association Awards, where she also performed. She picked up best female vocalist of the year and best single of the year for her tune "Before He Cheats." She headed out on a joint tour with fellow country superstar Keith Urban a few months later in January 2008.
February 2008 saw Carrie Underwood pick up another Grammy! The star won best female country vocal performance for "Before He Cheats" at the annual award show.
Seeing double! Carrie Underwood posed with her very own wax figure in October 2008 when the New York City Madame Tussauds debuted her impressive waxwork.
In what would become a tradition for 12 straight years, Carrie Underwood hosted the CMA Awards in November 2008 alongside Brad Paisley. Aside from running the show, she picked up female vocalist of the year honors as well. Later that month, she also won favorite country album at the American Music Awards for the second year in a row.
Winning Grammys was becoming a yearly occasion for Carrie Underwood by 2009! The star picked up a Grammy for best female country vocal performance for "Last Name," which she also performed that night.
Carrie Underwood's third album, "Play On," came out in November 2009 (she's seen here promoting it on "Good Morning America"). Among the hits it spawned? "Cowboy Casanova," "Temporary Home" and "Mama's Song." She headed out on the "Play On" tour a few months later in March 2010.
Time for No. 5! In January 2010, Carrie Underwood picked up her fifth Grammy Award, taking home the best country collaboration with vocals prize for her song "I Told You So" with legend Randy Travis. But the night was big for another reason too: It marked Carrie's red carpet debut with beau Mike Fisher! The couple started dating after meeting in 2008 and got engaged in December 2009.
Carrie Underwood was tasked with the great honor of singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl in Miami in February 2010.
A married lady! Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher tied the knot in Georgia in July 2010 seven months after getting engaged. Carrie's seen here showing off her new wedding band while performing during the "Today" show's summer concert series a few weeks after saying "I do."
On the road again! Carrie Underwood's "Play On" tour ran nearly the entire year in 2010, wrapping up on New Year's Day 2011 in Atlantic City.
In April 2011, Carrie Underwood joined other major names in country music for the "ACM Presents Girls' Night Out: Superstar Women of Country" event. The star was saluted alongside biggies Miranda Lambert, Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire, Jennifer Nettles and Martina McBride.
April 2011 also marked Carrie Underwood's big-screen debut! The singer made the transition to film with a small role in "Soul Surfer," which is based on the life story of surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack. Carrie played Sarah Hill, a church leader who helped Bethany get through the traumatic event.
May 2012 was a big month for Carrie Underwood! She released her fourth album, "Blown Away," and brought husband Mike Fisher along to the Billboard Music Awards, where she performed the title song — the second single off the album. A month later, she headed to London to kick off the "Blown Away" tour.
Carrie Underwood won her sixth Grammy Award in February 2013! The country crooner picked up best country solo performance for "Blown Away" at the ceremony that night.
The hills are alive! Carrie Underwood took on the iconic role of Maria von Trapp in NBC's "The Sound of Music Live!" in December 2013.
Check out that bump! Carrie Underwood showed off her first burgeoning baby bump while in concert in September 2014.
Baby makes three! Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher welcomed their first child, son Isaiah, in February 2015. That same month, she also won her seventh Grammy — for best country solo performance for "Something in the Water" — but she didn't attend since she was in her ninth month of pregnancy. (She and Mike are seen here at the 2014 Time 100 Gala.)
Branching out! Carrie Underwood launched her own fitness clothing line, CALIA by Carrie Underwood, in March 2015. It's still thriving today.
Another fashion moment for Carrie Underwood! The singer took part in the season finale of "Project Runway" in September 2015 as a guest judge. But a month later, it was back to the music world — her fifth album, "Storyteller," was released in October.
Carrie Underwood was a supportive wife in March 2016 when she joined hubby Mike Fisher as he was honored for his 1,000th NHL game with the Nashville Predators. And check out who came along for the big event — their adorable 13-month-old son, Isaiah! Carrie attended on a day off from her fifth headlining tour — the "Storyteller" tour.
2017 saw Carrie Underwood take some time off to be with her family, though she did attend some big events like the Grammys. That year, she was on hand as a nominee for best country solo performance for "Church Bells."
The 2017 CMA Awards marked the 10th time Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley shared hosting duties for the award show. Shortly after it aired, Carrie suffered some serious injuries in an outdoor fall at her home that resulted in a broken wrist that required surgery and severe lacerations on her face that required more than 40 stitches. She stayed out of the public eye for months as she healed.
Following her fall, Carrie Underwood made her first public appearance in April 2018 at the ACM Awards. She not only attended but debuted new single "Cry Pretty" at the annual event.
In August 2018, Carrie Underwood announced that, after multiple miscarriages, she and hubby Mike Fisher were expecting another baby. The following month, she released her sixth studio album, "Cry Pretty." She's seen here that November at the 2018 American Music Awards.
In September 2018, Carrie Underwood received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! Husband Mike Fisher and son Isaiah were on hand for the star's big day.
Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher welcomed their second child, son Jacob, in January 2019 — just four months before Carrie's "Cry Pretty" tour was scheduled to kick off. She and Mike are seen here at the 2019 ACM Awards just a few months after she gave birth.
The 2019 CMA Awards in November saw Carrie Underwood host for the first time in 12 years without Brad Paisley! Instead, the star shared hosting duties alongside two living legends in country music — Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton!
Stunning! In December 2019, Carrie Underwood attended the 42nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. That evening, she performed honoree Linda Ronstadt's song "When Will I Be Loved."
While promoting her first book, "Find Your Path," in February 2020, Carrie Underwood was surprised with the news that "Cry Pretty," her latest album, had gone platinum.
In March 2020, Carrie Underwood stopped by "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" to discuss the release of her book, "Find Your Path: Honor Your Body, Fuel Your Soul, and Get Strong with Fit52 Life."
In September 2020, Carrie Underwood took the stage at the Grand Ole Opry during the 55th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Carrie performed a beautiful medley of famous tracks by female country artists from Martina McBride to Patsy Cline.
Not only did she perform — she won big too! At the Academy of Country Music Awards in September 2020, Carrie Underwood took home the honor for entertainer of the year, tying with Thomas Rhett. It was the first time there'd ever been a tie for the show's biggest prize in the ACM Awards' 55-year history.
Gorgeous! In November 2020, Carrie Underwood attended the 54th Annual CMA Awards in Nashville. That night, she was up for two trophies — entertainer of the year and female vocalist of the year — but went home empty-handed.
In December 2020, Carrie Underwood performed during the televised "Global Citizen Prize Awards Special Honoring Changemakers Shaping the World We Want." The country star sang "Hallelujah" alongside John Legend, who also hosted the event.