DIARY - 29 JANUARY 2007 - CARRIE UNDERWOOD
JESUS TOOK THE WHEEL FOR CARRIE
"Oh, Jesus take the wheel/ Oh, I'm letting go/ so give me one more
chance/ save me from this road I'm on/ from this road I'm on/ Jesus take
the wheel/ Oh, take it, take it from me/ Oh, why, oh." - Jesus
Take The Wheel - Hilary Lindsay- Brett James-Gordie Sampson.
is a story of two cultures where rewards are stark contrasts.
Carrie Underwood is an Oklahoma belle who defied the odds, winning
pop reality TV show, American Idol - because of her raw talent and
Her victory was unique - she cracked the mould as a country singer.
Despite healthy aversion to reality TV, I chanced on Carrie, now 23,
who landed a deal with Arista.
The Checotah chanteuse's fairy tale peaked as debut disc Some Hearts
(Arista-Sony-BMG) hit #1 on Billboard rock charts and topped country
sales for 8 weeks with two million plus sales.
Now, with five million albums sold in 14 months making it 2006's third
best-selling album of any genre, Underwood is hot.
So she is
recording her second album that will showcase her writing and prompt more
high profile tours.
And she has been nominated for two Grammies in March this year.
Underwood enjoyed high-profile producers Dann Huff (Faith Hill, Lonestar
and Keith Urban) and Mark Bright (Rascal Flatts and Jo Dee Messina) on
her debut disc.
Carrie's anthemic debut Jesus, Take The Wheel - a song of faith
and triumph - soared to chart tops.
It told of a young woman, baby in the back seat, was 50 miles from her
parents' home when she was returning home for a white Christmas.
But the young mother, low on petrol and faith, hits road ice and begins
to skid so she pleads to Jesus to take the wheel.
Now, if it had been a western swing song, she may have made her plea to
Ray Benson so she wouldn't die Asleep At The Wheel.
But it wasn't and it became her debut smash hit - vindicating her win
over rock and pop acts in the TV talent quest and the immediate success
with her debut album.
69 meets 40, there's a single stop light town/ and back when I was really
young, a part of that burned down/ on any given Friday night, we'd drive
a hundred miles/ between the Sonic and the Grocery Store/ laughing all
the while, with as many friends as I could pack/ in my daddy's Ford, but
I ain't in Checotah anymore." - Carrie Underwood-Trey Bruce-Angelo.
I Ain't In Checotah Anymore - penned with seasoned songsmiths
Trey Bruce, son of veteran writers Ed and Patsy, and Angelo - is her
Angelo wrote Starts With Goodbye with Hilary Lindsey who penned
Carrie's debut hit with Brett James and Gordie Sampson.
But Underwood also portrays a valiant victim in a triangle by meting
summary justice with a Louisville Slugger to a vixen in Before
He Cheats - her third smash single to be accompanied by a video
The single was #1 for five weeks, spent another five weeks in the
Top 5 and another five in the Top 10.
youthful exuberance prevails from assertive entrée Wasted
- "I don't want to spend my life jaded, waiting."
you hit the highway/ you better stop for gas/ there's a 50 in ashtray/
in case you run short on cash/ here's a map and here's a Bible/ if you
ever lose your way." - Don't Forget To Remember Me - Ashley Gorley-Kelley
into Don't Forget to Remember Me - tale of an 18-year-old who invades
the big city with a map, Bible and $50 bill from mama.
The sentiments are reminiscent of Catherine Britt's Too Far Gone
- mixed sentiments of homesickness in her success struggle.
And, of course, it was also an huge hit.
Carrie exudes credible passion - from ruptured romance in Just Can't
Live A Lie and Starts With Goodbye to hedonistic We're Young
There's suffice pedal steel, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, cello, violin and
viola but nothing to frighten radio horses.
Country writers penned most songs but the title track, Lessons Learned
and Whenever You Remember came from Dianne Warren's ballad factory.
AWARDS AND CHEATING
now he's probably slow dancing with a bleached-blond tramp/ and she's
probably getting frisky/ right now, he's probably buying her some fruity
little drink cause she can't shoot whiskey/ right now, he's probably up
behind her with a pool-stick, showing her how to shoot a combo/ and he
don't know/ that I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped
up 4 wheel drive/ carved my name into his leather seat/ I took a Louisville
slugger to both head lights/ slashed a hole in all 4 tyres/ and maybe
next time he'll think before he cheats." - Before He Cheats -
Chris Tompkins-Josh Kear.
success was accelerated by controversy on the internationally televised
CMA Awards in November.
And all because the TV cameras backstage zeroed in on Mississippi
born belle Faith Hill when Carrie was voted best female vocalist.
Underwood also beat Sara Evans, Martina McBride and Gretchen Wilson
for the long coveted award.
Hill was caught making a mock shock gesture backstage when Underwood's
win was announced.
She quickly issued a statement explaining that she was just joking
when she frowned and threw her hands up in the air after Underwood's
name was announced.
she didn't mean it," Carrie said of Hill who shares the same producer
- Dan Huff.
"So she called me immediately and said, 'It's no big deal. I'm so
sorry. I was just messing around, and it was sort of a joke gone bad,
and I would never disrespect you.'
Underwood was caught off guard by the media reaction.
"I was definitely surprised at how everything happened after the
CMAs as far as the Faith Hill incident goes," Underwood added.
"I mainly was just saddened because I knew it was going to be a big
thing for her. I knew she didn't mean it. I think Tim McGraw was sitting
at home watching, and as soon as she did that, I think he called her.
And she's always been so nice. She and Tim have always been really sweet
to me. I had no reason not to believe her. And I said, 'Thank you. It
means a lot to me that you called, and I really, really respect you for
calling as soon as possible to make things right, but I'm sorry for whatever's
about to happen.'"
During the awards show, Underwood was unaware of Hill's joke.
"Obviously, I was sitting in the audience," she said.
"I didn't see what happened - like everybody did at home - so I did
go to look it up afterwards just to see exactly what happened. I would've
thought she was joking, but I guess I could see where people like my fans
who were really protective of me, which is really awesome would think
she was being disrespectful. I just felt really bad for her that she was
just messing around back stage and it kind of got taken out of context."
in a world so wide/ It makes me feel small sometimes/ I miss the big blue
the Oklahoma kind/ where the Wildcats beat the Ironheads/ Old Settler's
day and the Okrafest/ after prom, down at the bowling lanes/ catching
crappy fish in Eufaula lake/
I ain't in Checotah anymore." I Ain't In Checotah Anymore - Carrie
Underwood says the CMA Awards fracas was nowhere as stressful as her American
"That's a whole other kind of dues, you know?" she said.
"And that's a whole other kind of stress. You know, I'll be the first
person to say I don't deserve to be where I am. I am so, so lucky to be
where I am, and I'm so thankful every single day that all this wonderful
stuff has happened to me, but I definitely went through a different kind
of 'dues-paying' portion of my life - and that was called American Idol."
She described her American Idol experience as "absolutely the most
stressful, intense time in my life."
"But also it was absolutely wonderful, and it landed me where I am
here now. It was so completely worth it, but people have their opinions.
And if that's the way they feel about it, that's fine, but I'm really
glad I'm here.
"It is really stressful going from nobody really paying attention
to you to all of the sudden millions of people out there. Not only are
they listening to you sing and critiquing you, you've got to stand up
there in front of the judges, and they could potentially say something
completely embarrassing. All your friends are watching. All your family
is watching back home. Nobody has to deal with that kind of scrutiny.
And, also, people are looking at what you're wearing, what you look like
and things like that. It's kind of hard to just be thrown into that kind
ROMANCE AT 40 PACES
is now famous enough to be romantically linked with other celebrities.
She says her success has resulted in false rumours including the report
that she's dating Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
"I have read some of the most ridiculous things about that,"
"The first time I ever met him was on Christmas, right there
on the field. Everybody was like, 'Ooh, they are together.' And then
I was blamed for Dallas not winning that game. He is a very nice guy
and I've talked to him a few times, but we are very much not together."
newspaper reported that Tony said it was true that the two were dating.
Her publicist, who says Carrie is not dating anyone, presumes Romo was
joking. "That was one person from one local newspaper that said that,
so whether or not,"
"I've read 'sources said' we met on Thanksgiving. I had no clue who
he was at that time.
He is probably getting a little tired of that one (the false rumour he
was dating Jessica Simpson) and now he's probably tired of this one, as
She says the press has also incorrectly reported on her weight loss and
products she uses. For the record, she now weighs 110 pounds, down from
125-130 pounds during her American Idol days.
There hasn't been a rumour bad enough for her to proactively correct,
and she now has a Web site to communicate directly with fans.
"It's really strange to read things about yourself because 90 percent
of the time they are not true," she said.
"But I am getting more used to it. The exposure is never bad, but
it's really interesting to pick up a magazine and they are critiquing
something or sources say, 'A pal says.' I don't have that many pals, and
any pals I have wouldn't really talk to people about my personal life."
With five million album sales and huge grossing tours this is small-spuds
for the girl from Okie town Checotah.
Well, there will be a street named after her, maybe name on the water
tower and at her old high school.
Yes, Carrie's not in Checota Anymore.
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