Since being crowned American Idol 2005, Carrie Underwood has sold more than 10 million albums in the U.S. Her third CD, Play On, earned the highest first-week sales of 2009 by a solo Country artist.
Carrie Underwood's new album, Play On, is her third consecutive collection to debut at Number One on the Country chart, and second to enter the Billboard 200 in the top spot.
Carrie co-wrote seven of the album's 13 tracks. During an appearance on a national TV news show, she described herself as a private person who finds it's difficult to allow personal emotions to show through in her songs.
"I definitely think, as far as my writing goes, I kind of opened myself up a lot more than I normally have," Underwood said. "I'm a kind of pretty quiet, private person, and it's hard for me to share with others. But, I think I managed to do that, a lot more than I ever have, on this album. And, I also think just [the] songs that I picked were all over the place. It's so versatile. There's something for everybody."
Carrie's songs often cross over onto the pop charts, but she's not comfortable being labeled a pop artist. She prefers to be known as a contemporary Country singer.
"Right now in Country music is a great time for a lot of different kinds of Country music," Carrie said. "If you turn on the radio you can find something you like, whether you like things that are more contemporary Country, or you find more things that are traditional Country or more rock-influenced."
Carrie's peers are clearly proud of her contributions to Country music. In 2008, the 26-year-old from Checotah, Oklahoma became the youngest artist invited to become a member of Nashville's famous Grand Ole Opry. This year, she was also inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
"Cowboy Casanova" was the first single released from Play On. The song, which Carrie wrote with Nashville songwriter Brett James and hip-hop producer Mike Elizondo, recently became her eighth Number One Country hit. Carrie also collaborated with hitmakers Max Martin and Kara DioGuardi, and Country star Vince Gill. Although the songs Vince wrote with Carrie didn't make the album, he joined her in the studio to sing harmony on one of the tracks.
Carrie's upcoming plans include hosting her own one-hour Country Music Television special on December 1. She'll also make an appearance on Faith Hill's 10th annual Christmas show, "A Home For the Holidays."
Carrie has been dating Canadian professional hockey player Mike Fisher for the past year. It was Mike who came up with the idea for Carrie to write the latest single from Play On.