By Jessica Wheeler, AliveTampaBay Columnist
Since her debut on American Idol in 2005, Carrie Underwood has become one of country music’s biggest-ever stars. Her 15 No. 1 country hits make her the woman with the most country No. 1’s in the history of the chart. With songs drawing not just from country but also from pop, gospel, and rock, Underwood manages to please music fans across the board. In honor of her upcoming Nov. 16 show at Tampa’s Amalie Arena, let’s get to know Carrie Underwood in five songs.
When Underwood performed this classic Heart song on American Idol, judge Simon Cowell declared that she was the one to beat. “I will make a prediction—not only will you win this show, you will sell more records than any other previous Idol winner,” he told her. It was an accurate prediction, as her career would later show.
- Jesus Take The Wheel
A classic country story song, “Jesus Take the Wheel” grabbed the top spot on the country charts and was a huge crossover pop hit as well. It set a template for the rest of Underwood’s career, as she continued to appeal to multiple audiences.
- Last Name
Underwood has often made a point of recording songs that stand apart from traditional country fare, like this song that details the singer’s experience with a drunken one-night stand. A driving opening riff helped the song climb the pop chart as well as topping the country charts yet again.
- Cowboy Casanova
Underwood showed off her sassy side with “Cowboy Casanova.” Another country No. 1, the song was one of three No. 1’s from her album Play On.
Underwood’s latest album, Storyteller, was released in 2015 to the delight of her fans. The album has so far spawned two No. 1 singles, and if her career to this point is any indication, there will be more to come.