Ten years ago this week, Carrie Underwood became the winner of the fourth season of American Idol. Now in 2015, Carrie Underwood is celebrating having become the most successful post-Idol artist. With multiple awards including several GRAMMYS, Billboard, American Music Awards, CMAs and ACMs, and four multi-platinum albums to her credit, Carrie Underwood is indeed riding the wave of an incredible career.
Though Carrie Underwood has endeared herself to fans more times than can be counted, there are some moments that will forever stand out as highlights of her first ten years.
1. Performance with Vince Gill of “How Great Thou Art” on the 2011 ‘ACM Girls Night Out: Superstar Women of Country’ special. Carrie Underwood’s impassioned rendition of the classic hymn brought the audience–and Carrie–to tears.
2. 2012 CMA Awards performance of “Blown Away.” Carrie Underwood released all the emotion behind the dirtiness, shame, hopelessness and finally power of the story told in “Blown Away” with the help of some amazing special effects. A mini-tornado swirled confetti debri around her until she shut it off with one last jaw-dropping note.
3. 2006 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year win. After a stellar first year in which she took “Jesus Take the Wheel” to the top of the charts, Carrie Underwood gave a heartfelt and tearful speech at the CMAs. She expressed how she couldn’t believe that just two years prior she’d been at home watching other people win and have the best night of their life and now she was having the best night of her life.
4. Faith Hill and Tim McGraw barbie doll skit at 2011 CMA Awards. With the help of co-host Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood pulled off one of the funniest skits of all time when she was absolutely giddy over the chance to play with the new Faith Hill and Tim McGraw barbie dolls. Her reaction over the “unexpected discovery” on the Tim McGraw doll was priceless.
5. 2013 tribute to victims of Oklahoma tornado. At the CMT Awards, Carrie Underwood performed her song “See You Again” along with members of the Nashville Christ Church choir. With images of the tornado devastation in her home state playing behind her, she lost her battle with her emotions in the final notes of the song.
6. American Idol duet with Randy Travis. In 2009, American Idol brought Randy Travis in as a guest mentor. Carrie Underwood, who had re-recorded Randy Travis’ famous song “I Told You So” for her Carnival Ride album, teamed up to sing the song live with Randy Travis on one of the results shows. Randy Travis’ unique, timeless voice paired with the fresh breeze of Carrie Underwood’s vocals made for a memorable performance.
7. 2014 Billboard Music Awards debut of “Something Bad.” With studded leather jackets long, sculpted legs and a whole lot of sass, Carrie Underwood teamed up with Miranda Lambert to bring country music fans one of the hottest performances in country music history.
8. 2009 All Star Holiday Special duet with Dolly Parton. The pairing of Carrie Underwood and Dolly Parton to sing “I Will Always Love You,” was a very special moment in Carrie Underwood’s career. Sharing the stage with someone who has been such an integral part of country music for several decades was quite an honor. The well-known song was made popular by Whitney Houston, but was written by Dolly Parton.
9. 2008 and 2009 wins for ACM Entertainer of the Year. In 2008, a shocked Carrie Underwood accepted a hug from Kenny Chesney upon winning the ACM Entertainer of the Year award. Kenny Chesney had been a four-time winner of the award and newcomer Carrie Underwood had toured with him early in her career, obviously picking up a few pointers. The genuine awe by Carrie Underwood and sincere congratulations by Kenny Chesney was a moment to remember. In 2009, when Carrie Underwood won the award again, she became the only female artist to ever win the honor twice.
10. 2014 CMA Awards performance of “Something In the Water.” Carrie Underwood’s amazing, choir-backed performance was packed with power, both vocally and emotionally. The glowing, pregnant Carrie Underwood took on a Heavenly glow as well when she bared her soul for an ovation-garnering moment to remember.
Though these moments in Carrie Underwood’s career were pretty spectacular, there are far too many others to spotlight that are just as incredible. Carrie Underwood has proven herself to not only be a powerhouse vocalist but also an actress, comedian, philanthropist, and spokesperson. Since the sky already seems to be the limit, it’s impossible to imagine what she’ll accomplish in another ten years.