How She’s Transformed Since ‘American Idol’


Carrie Underwood is one of the biggest country music stars of the last 20 years, selling millions of albums and performing to sold-out crowds on worldwide tours. Underwood has gone through plenty of changes over the years and has come a long way from her beginning on American Idol

She Won Season 4 Of ‘American Idol’ In 2005

In 2004, Underwood auditioned for American Idol, singing Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” While performing on the competition show, the country singer favored dressed-down looks like blue jeans and sparkly tops. Underwood also glammed up for some performances, wearing brightly colored sundresses and Southern-style big hair.

Closeup of Carrie Underwood smiling in pink tank top
Underwood in March 2005, just two months before her ‘Idol’ win. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Being on American Idol was a dream come true for Underwood, but there were also downsides. In a 2020 interview with Women’s Health, the singer revealed that online comments about her weight from viewers convinced her to rework her unhealthy diet. 

“I was tired, and I kept buying bigger clothes,” she shared. “I knew I could be better for myself, and I let my haters be my motivators.” After making changes to her diet and starting to work out more, Underwood said, “I was sleeping better, and I had more energy for our grueling schedule.”

On May 25, 2005, Underwood was named the winner of the fourth season of American Idol. From there, Underwood’s country career skyrocketed.

Her Debut Album, Some Hearts, Won 3 Grammys In 2006

Underwood released her debut album, Some Hearts, in 2006. The album has been certified nine times Platinum by RIAA and is the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history. 

Carrie Underwood speaking into a microphone while holding a Grammy award against a red backdrop
Underwood makes an acceptance speech for her second Grammy. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

The following year, the singer scored two Grammy awards: Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” She was only the second country artist to ever win the Best New Artist award in the 56-year history of the award show. Underwood picked up her trophies in a sparkly metallic gown, with her signature long, blonde curls.

She Was Inducted Into The Grand Ole Opry In 2008

In 2008, Underwood was invited to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry, one of country music’s greatest honors. She was inducted by Garth Brooks later that year. For the ceremony, Underwood showed off a new glamorous look, wearing a sparkly gold sheath dress and sporting a new hairstyle: bangs and big curls. 

She Married NHL Player Mike Fisher In 2010

Between hit singles and sold-out concerts, Underwood somehow found the time to fall in love, too. In 2008, the singer met NHL player Mike Fisher at one of her concerts and the pair started dating soon after. He popped the question a year later. 

Carrie Underwood (R) in white gown and Mike Fisher in black suit
Underwood and Fisher just a couple months ahead of their wedding. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

In 2010, she and Fisher finally tied the knot. They settled in Nashville, where Fisher soon scored a spot on the city’s hockey team. Underwood and Fisher share two sons: Isaiah, 7, and Jacob, 4. Becoming a mom meant some major changes for the country singer, especially when it came to her physical appearance. 

“For some reason, I feel leaner after,” Underwood said in an interview with People at the time. “It’s really strange the way my body has reacted to exercise after having him. I feel like my bum’s a little nicer than it used to be.”

Underwood also opted for shorter hair after the birth of her first son, chopping it to her shoulders. “I needed my life to be a little more simple,” Underwood explained. “It was taking too long to do things that shouldn’t take long. It keeps getting shorter!”

“It’s just easier to fix in the morning,” the country singer continued. “I found myself blowdrying my long hair trying to make it look decent while Isaiah is like, ‘Pick me up and play with me,’ and I would rather be doing that,” she explained. “I was just like, ‘Enough, no more extensions.’ It was a mess. It was enough. This is better. This is me.”

Underwood Made Her Film Debut In 2011’s Soul Surfer

Music isn’t the only industry Underwood has conquered. In 2011, the singer made her movie debut, appearing in Soul Surfer. The movie was based on the real-life story of Bethany Hamilton, a young surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack. Underwood played a church youth group leader who helped Hamilton come to terms with her loss and get back on the board. 

Carrie Underwood standing in tan dress with black accents, black shoes, and black clutch against blue backdrop
Underwood attends the Soul Surfer premiere in 2011. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

A 2017 Accident Made Her The Target Of Plastic Surgery Rumors

In 2017, Underwood’s reps announced that she had fallen outside of her Nashville home and had sustained serious injuries, including a broken wrist and 40-50 stitches on her face. She stayed out of the public eye for several months after the incident. 

“Plain and simple, it was just kind of a freak accident,” Underwood told Hoda Kotb while appearing on the Today show. “I just fell. I just tripped taking my dogs out to do their business. It could happen to anybody.”

She went on to say that she looks “the same” today, but Underwood was initially worried that her facial injuries would seriously change the way she looked. “In the beginning, I didn’t know how things were going to end up. It just wasn’t pretty,” she told Kotb. “I have a dedicated team of professionals who can spackle and paint and paste. Every day I’m feeling a little more back to normal.”

Underwood’s unchanged appearance led many to speculate that she had undergone some serious plastic surgery procedures, from derma fillers, to rhinoplasty. Some have pointed out that her face looked smoother than it did before the accident and that her nose is smaller. However, Underwood has consistently denied these rumors. 

She Hosted The 2018 CMA Awards With Brad Paisley

Carrie Underwood (L) in silver dress standing onstage next to Brad Paisley
A very pregnant Underwood hosts the 2018 VMAs alongside Brad Paisley. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

By 2018, the country star was back in the spotlight, hosting the CMA Awards with fellow country singer Brad Paisley. The pair had hosted the award show since 2008. At the 2018 ceremony, Underwood won Female Vocalist of the Year: her fifth CMA trophy. 

She Made The Most Of Quarantine By Releasing Her First Book, A Christmas Album, And A Gospel Album In 2020 And 2021

When the world shut down in 2020 for the COVID-19 pandemic, many used the time to kick back and relax. Not Underwood, though! In 2020, the singer released her first book, a health and wellness guide called Find Your Path. Later that year, she dropped My Gift, her first holiday album. In 2021, the country star released a gospel cover album called My Savior.

Carrie Underwood smiling in purple dress with black leopard print design
Underwood in April of 2022. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Underwood has also been performing in support of her ninth studio album, Denim & Rhinestones, and has gone through more style changes in the process. Today, Underwood typically takes the stage in something bold: a sparkly dress, denim cut-off shorts, boots, or a band t-shirt. 

The country superstar has had a long and impressive career in the music industry, and has also tried her hand at acting and writing. Underwood has come a long way from her days competing on American Idol and fans can’t wait to see what she does next! 


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