When Simon Cowell predicted that Carrie Underwood would become the most successful artist American Idol produced, the show was just into its fourth season and the prediction seemed a bit premature (but not out of place for the brash contest judge). But since Underwood defeated Bo Bice to win the American Idol title, she has released three mega-hit albums, chalked up ten #1 Billboard Country Songs hits, been a video mainstay on CMT (Country Music Television) and other video venues, and has even scored a #1 Billboard Hot 100 single. And this past week, she was nominated for another Grammy Award and named one of the five CMT 2010 Artists Of The Year.
Love him or hate him, one has to give Cowell his due when it comes to choosing artistic talent…
Country music star Randy Travis, who appeared with Underwood during Season 7 of American Idol when he mentored the contestants during that season’s country tribute week, presented her CMT Artist of the Year award. American Idol host Ryan Seacrest was featured in a videotaped tribute and legendary Motown singer Smokey Robinson introduced her when she sang a medley of her hits.
It has been a great year for the 27-year-old Oklahoma native. Her latest album, “Play On,” which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 in November 2009, has produced three #1 singles (so far). The album was the biggest seller of all the American Idol alumni for the week, moving it ever closer to a double platinum (2 million albums sold) certification.
Her “Play On Tour,” which is winding down after over 100 shows, was named by Pollstar as the #15 biggest concert draw of the year.
Underwood is no stranger to awards, either. CMT has bestowed upon her nine awards since 2006, including this year’s “Video of the Year” and “CMT Performance of the Year” awards. She is nominated for three upcoming People’s Choice Awards awards, not to mention the aforementioned Grammy Award nomination for “Temporary Home” in the Best Female Country Vocal Performance category, which she has won three times. When she wasn’t accepting awards, she was hosting awards shows like the 2010 Country Music Association Awards.
Somewhere in all of that busy schedule, which includes countless interviews, photo ops, and press meetings and conferences, Carrie Underwood found the time to get married. She and beau Mike Fisher were married in July.
Carrie Underwood burst out of the gates with her first single, “Inside Your Heaven,” and watched it climb the pop charts, eventually landing at #1. Although the song, which was the winner’s song for American Idol Season 4, would peak at #52 on the Billboard Country Songs chart, it would be the only song she released to country music stations that did not reach the Top 10.
“Some Hearts,” her first album, holds the record for the fastest selling album in Nielsen Soundscan history. It has been certified 7-times platinum and continues to be a steady seller, re-entering the Billboard 200 again the second week of December 2010. Sales for that week also pushed Carrie Underwood over the 12 million mark in album sales (in the U. S.), the most of any American Idol alumnus.
Although the CMT 2010 Artists of the Year awards ceremony wasn’t broadcast until Friday evening, the event itself took place Tuesday, November 30. Hosted by “Dances With Wolves” actor and director Kevin Costner, the ceremony honored not only Carrie Underwood, but also Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band, and Jason Aldean.
Watch the entire show, “2010 CMT Artists Of The Year,” online at CMT.com.
“2010 CMT Artists Of The Year,” CMT.com