Carrie Underwood Opens Up About How Her Faith Influences Her Music
By Movieguide® Staff
It’s not just Christmas that reminds AMERICAN IDOL winner Carrie Underwood of her faith.
Even as Underwood caught her big break by going on the singing competition, she said that she relied on God and prayer.
“It would be easy to say the rest is history, that it was meant to be. But it didn’t feel like that at the time. Going through a slew of auditions in St. Louis, getting the “golden ticket” to Hollywood, every contestant’s dream, I was terrified. Every time I had to sing in front of the judges, I’d get nervous the way I did in church that first time. Then I’d say a prayer and leave it in God’s hands,” Underwood said.
Underwood insists that her humble background and family and church values provided a strong foundation for her to succeed in her musical career.
“Growing up on a farm with loving parents and our church family defined my values,” Underwood said. “A small town with good people helped form me. I was rooted in something solid before I got to spread my wings.”
Underwood said that she and her husband, Mike Fisher, now try to instill those same values in their children.
“Mike and I do all we can to raise our two boys with values like the ones I grew up with in Checotah,” Underwood explained. “Down-to-earth, church on Sundays, plenty of grass and trees and space outside for them to roam. At night, when we put the boys to bed, we pray out loud with them. Just talking to God, letting them know he hears their every word.”
Underwood noted that her love for music is rooted in her first experiences of singing solo in church.
“The first time I ever sang a solo in front of people was at church. I must have been six or seven years old. It was so scary, all those grown-ups listening to me. But the minute I opened my mouth, it wasn’t just me doing it. Something welled up inside me, something I couldn’t keep for myself. Sometimes you don’t realize how powerful a gift is till you share it,” Underwood recalled.
Underwood said that another factor in her outlook on life was the way she grew up.
“We lived in Checotah, Oklahoma, a small town—population 3,500, give or take—full of wide-open spaces, pastures and woods. The countryside is so flat that my husband, Mike, likes to say, ‘You could watch your dog run away for two days straight and still see them.’”
Underwood continued: “What I loved about Checotah besides the good people was the quiet. You could hear the birds, the cicadas, the breeze. … Every year, we sang all the traditional carols at church. We’d also go to the nursing home in Checotah and sing for the residents in their beds and wheelchairs, going up and down the halls, making music like the drummer boy. We weren’t allowed to give the folks any sweets, so we put apples, bananas and oranges in little paper bags to hand out. In a small town like Checotah, the Christmas spirit was contagious.”