Carrie Underwood is one of the most successful winners of American Idol in the show’s history. But that sentence doesn’t even begin to explain the scope of her success within the genre of country music. Underwood has won seven Grammy awards and CMT’s Artist of the Year honor five times. In 2018 she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and she has sold over 60 million records worldwide. She’s also happily married to former hockey player Mike Fisher, with whom she has two sons — Isaiah and Jacob. But even the biggest stars fall, and Underwood knows what the impact feels like in a very literal sense.
Whether it’s because of the pressures of fame or more personal tragedies, Underwood has overcome many hardships in her life. You may not know many details about them because she consciously puts a smile on her face in public. So, let’s take a closer look at the sad details of Carrie Underwood’s life because what we’ve learned might surprise you.
A freak accident almost changed Carrie Underwood's life
Celebrities have freak accidents just like us. Carrie Underwood experienced one in November 2017 when she fell on the steps outside of her home in Nashville. She initially kept the fact that she injured her face private (only revealing a wrist injury) until a post on her fan club site in 2018 (via Variety). “In addition to breaking my wrist, I somehow managed to injure my face as well. I’ll spare you the gruesome details, but when I came out of surgery the night of my fall, the doctor told [Underwood’s husband] Mike [Fisher] that he had put between 40 and 50 stitches in,” the statement read in part. The “Cry Pretty” singer was worried about how fans would react if she looked different, but said, “I am grateful that it wasn’t much, much worse.”
“My face broke my fall,” Underwood joked months later on Sunday Morning. She recovered completely, and perhaps unless you live with her, it’s impossible to see much of a difference in her face. But appearance matters in all facets of the entertainment industry, so we can’t imagine the anxiety Underwood faced during this time. Her fall was just one event that inspired many songs on her 2018 album, Cry Pretty. Above, she’s pictured at a radio show just days after performing for the first time since her injury at the American Country Music Awards.
Carrie Underwood has had multiple miscarriages
Carrie Underwood has also opened up about having multiple miscarriages before giving birth to her son Jacob Fisher on January 21, 2019. “2017 just wasn’t how I imagined it,” she said on Sunday Morning. She planned on working on a new album and having another baby, but instead, Underwood revealed that she had three miscarriages between 2017 and 2018. Since she was writing the Cry Pretty album at the time, she wrote songs to process her feelings.
But one night, while her husband Mike Fisher was away, Underwood said she let herself get angry with God because she thought she had another miscarriage. While snuggling with her son, she began sobbing. “I was like, ‘why on earth do I keep getting pregnant if I can’t have a kid?'” she said. She prayed, ‘Do something. Either shut the door [to having a child] or let me have a kid.” After telling God exactly how she felt, a few days later, she went to the doctor to confirm her latest miscarriage and was told she was perfectly healthy and pregnant [with Jacob].
She only sleeps well in Checotah, Oklahoma
Carrie Underwood grew up in the “single stoplight town” of Checotah, Oklahoma, as she describes it in the song “I Ain’t In Checotah Anymore.” She returns often and helped fund Happy Paws, an animal shelter where her mom Carole even volunteered. But Underwood told Sunday Morning that there is a more important reason she needs to go home sometimes. “I feel like this is the only place that my soul can rest,” she said, becoming emotional as she walked the streets of Checotah. “It’s just when I come here I can turn off, and there’s no other place in the world that’s like that … I sleep when I’m here. Like, I sleep.”
Celebrities often feel pressure to appear happy and grateful for their lives all of the time. While Underwood is very grateful for her life, she said on Sunday Morning that it gets difficult to act, especially around the time she was having miscarriages. “I would literally have these horrible things going on in my life and then have to go smile and like do some interviews or like do a photoshoot or something.”
Sometimes Underwood can’t pretend, so we’re happy she has Checotah when she needs it. She’s pictured above at an event at Checotah High School in 2009.
A long road to stardom
Carrie Underwood was crowned the winner of American Idol on May 25, 2005. Immediately afterward, she skyrocketed to superstardom to become one of the most well-known names in country music. But, Underwood wasn’t just an aspiring journalist who decided to see how far her voice could take her in a singing competition one day.
In fact, she told The Guardian in 2019 that she had a development deal with a record company six years earlier when she was just 15 years old. “I just got my braces off, my acne had cleared up decently … but we had no idea what we were doing,” she said of herself and the band that she worked with. While She got to record some songs, nothing else happened for her. So, signing up for American Idol was Underwood’s way of silencing the question of “what if” that wouldn’t leave her alone. She definitely got one heck of an answer.
Don't put Carrie Underwood in a box
Carrie Underwood refuses to blindly conform to the expectations the country music business and fans sometimes put on female artists. She is mostly a vegan who never imagined she would marry a hunter before meeting her husband, Mike Fisher. She’s not predictable and likes it that way. That attitude translates to her business choices, too.
Underwood’s song “The Bullet” on Cry Pretty comments on the tragedy of mass shootings, but don’t make assumptions about her political beliefs because of it. Underwood told Entertainment Weekly it’s “timely but not political.” As the songstress added, “It doesn’t matter what the opinions or feelings are, it just matters that something happened, and it’s about the people that are affected by it at the end of the day.”
There is also a reference to a shooting in a song called “Love Wins” on the same album. “I know I have a couple of songs on this record that people try to make about something — it’s already happened,” the singer continued to Entertainment Weekly. She decided to speak because “If we don’t sing or write important songs, what’s the point?” and will continue to do things like take only female opening acts on the road with her because they’ve earned the spot. She’s not going to conform to the idea that she needs to hire men to open up for her because she’s a woman. “I hate being put in a box.”
The text message breakup
Carrie Underwood had a few high profile relationships with people like Tony Romo before marrying hockey player Mike Fisher on July 10, 2010. One of her ex-boyfriends is Gossip Girl actor Chace Crawford, who broke up with her via text. But it was mutual, so she didn’t have to announce it on The Ellen Degeneres Show like Taylor Swift infamously did. In fact, Underwood would rather not announce it at all.
“We broke up over text so… it’s like ‘peace out,'” Underwood told Extra in 2008. “I don’t know why it’s all out now.” At the time, she said that she didn’t like the fact that being famous forced her to relive unpleasant memories she’d put behind her. “When you break up with somebody and then like two months later it comes out, it’s like you’re rehashing old stuff.” It’s understandably annoying, so we’re happy Underwood probably won’t have to have another text message breakup in her future.
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