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.
Carrie Underwood Is 'SNF' Singer, Again, for 2021-2022 NFL Season
It'll be Underwood's ninth as the singer of the 'Sunday Night Football' theme.
WATCH: Carrie Underwood Gets Soaked Singing in New Jersey
Rain from Tropical Storm Henri threatened her set, but Underwood conquered.
How Many of These Country Music Ex-Couples Do You Remember?
Life isn't always a dream for a celebrity couple ...
Carrie Underwood Nominated for Two 2021 GMA Dove Awards
They're Underwood's first nominations at the gospel music-focused awards show in 15 years.
Country Music Memories: Carrie Underwood's 'Idol' Audition
She displayed more than one talent.
WATCH: Carrie Underwood Surprises CMA Summer Jam w/ Dwight Yoakam
Video from the show shows Underwood and Yoakam performing his 1983 hit "A Thousand Miles From Nowhere."
Carrie Underwood to Re-Release 'My Gift' With Three New Tracks
Savvy fans may recognize each of the three new songs.