Carrie Underwood is one of the most successful country artists of the past decade.
She skyrocketed to stardom in 2005 after winning American Idol’s fourth season and has silenced naysayers with four top-selling albums and a string of hit singles, including “Jesus Take the Wheel,” “Before He Cheats,” “Cowboy Casanova” and “Good Girl.”
Her latest disc, Blown Away, was released this past spring, and the Nashville-based singer recently launched her first North American tour in two years.
Underwood talked to up! about writing from the heart, flying from the rafters and getting away with her hockey-playing hubby, Mike Fisher, of the Nashville Predators.
Congratulations on your fourth top-selling album. It probably doesn’t get old, does it?
It’s always what you hope for. You go in the studio, you work hard and that’s always what you’re shooting for. And no, it never gets old, if and when it actually happens.
You co-wrote eight of the 14 songs on Blown Away. Would you like to focus on writing more of your own songs in the future?
I absolutely love writing. But, at the end of the day, the best songs make it on the album. I always try to write as much as possible, but there are also some great songs on the album that I had nothing to do with.
How much input do you have in the design of your live show?
Oh, it’s everything and anything. I do rely on other people because I don’t know how to light things or any of that. But I try to get people who are really creative and fun to work with. During the Play On tour, there was a moment where I got to fly around the arena in a pickup truck, and that was so much fun. It was a creative way for me to see everyone’s face in the entire place. I’d like to do something like that again.
Touring can be a grind. How do you keep it enjoyable?
We keep the bus homey because that’s where we spend most of our time. I keep people around who are awesome and fun and work hard. I love to cook, so I’m always cooking on the bus. My dogs are on there, too. The little touches of home help.
Does your husband get to travel with you?
He doesn’t get out on the road too much. And he especially won’t this tour because it’s smack dab in the middle of his season… I imagine we’ll be iChat-ing a lot.
I love beaches. I love being out on the ocean somewhere. We went to Tahiti on our honeymoon, which was absolutely amazing. We got to go to Bora Bora. It was gorgeous. I’d love to go back there at some point.
Favourite holiday spot?
I’ve been to Italy a couple of times. I love it there. I’m really up for anything. I’d really like to go somewhere neither my husband nor I have been before.
Five-star treatment or camping out?
Either/or. I don’t get to vacation very often, so I love to be pampered. I want to go somewhere where I can lay around, eat, drink wine and enjoy myself.