Carrie Underwood grew up in Checotah, Okla., as the youngest of three sisters. She performed in local talent shows, earning the attention of Capitol Records when she was just 14 years old, although she never actually signed a contract. After becoming salutatorian of her high school class in 2001, Underwood attended Northeastern State University, majoring in mass communications, and graduated magna cum laude in 2006, one year after being crowned the Season 4 winner of 'American Idol.' When Underwood was auditioning for 'Idol,' judge Simon Cowell predicted she would outsell every previous winner of the competition -- and she remains the best-selling contestant on the show, with more than 14 million albums sold in the United States.
Every ACM Awards Album of the Year Award Winner Ever
All 50-plus of 'em.
Country Stars With the Most ACM Awards Wins [PICTURES]
Which country artists have received the most ACM Awards? Here's the answer.
20 Hit Songs That Were Almost Sung By Other Artists
Did you know that these well-known country songs were almost hits for other artists?
Country Music Memories: Carrie Underwood Makes Her Movie Debut
She hasn't done that much acting, but what she's done, she's made it count.
Carrie Underwood Knocks Morgan Wallen Off the Top of Albums Chart
It's also the No. 4 album on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart.
WATCH: Carrie Underwood's Easter Livestream Raises $100K
The hour-long performance featuring songs from Underwood's new 'My Savior' album is still available on Facebook.
'Idol' Hopeful Alyssa Wray Sparkles w/ a Carrie Underwood Cover
Wray's Easter Sunday cover of 'Something in the Water' wowed the judges.
Hillary Scott Almost Recorded a Carrie Underwood Hit
Sometimes things just work out the way they're supposed to.