Rita Ora is best known for her debut album – “Ora”, which consisted of some no. 1 singles, “Hot Right Now”, “How We Do (Party)” and “R.I.P.” She rose to prominence in February 2012 when she featured on DJ Fresh’s single “Hot Right Now”, which reached number one in the UK. Her debut studio album, Ora, released in August 2012, debuted at number one in the United Kingdom. The album contained the UK number-one singles “R.I.P.” and “How We Do (Party)”. Ora was the artist with the most number-one singles on the UK Singles Chart in 2012, with three consecutive singles reaching the top position.
Years active: 1999–present
Age: 33 years and 9 months
Home town: Greater Napanee, Ontario, Canada
Website: avrillavigne.com, avrillavignefoundation.org
Musical career genres: Pop punk pop rock alternative rock post-grunge
Instruments: Vocals guitar piano drums
Labels:L Arista RCA Epic BMG
By the age of 15, she had appeared on stage with Shania Twain; by 16, she had signed a two-album recording contract with Arista Records worth more than $2 million. In 2002 she released her debut album, Let Go, emphasising a skate punk persona in which she has been often referred by critics and music publications as The “Pop Punk Queen” due to her achievement and impact in the industry. Lavigne is considered a key musician in the development of pop punk music since she paved the way for female-driven, punk-influenced pop music. Since her professional debut, Lavigne has sold more than 40 million albums and over 50 million singles worldwide, making her the 3rd-best-selling Canadian female artist of all time, behind Celine Dion and Shania Twain.
Let Go made Lavigne the youngest female soloist to reach number 1 in the UK. As of 2013, it has sold nearly 7 million copies in the United States and over 16 million copies worldwide. Her breakthrough single, “Complicated”, peaked at number 1 in many countries around the world, as did the album Let Go. Her second studio album, Under My Skin, was released in May 2004 and was her first album to peak at number 1 on the US Billboard 200, eventually selling more than 10 million copies worldwide.
The Best Damn Thing, Lavigne’s third album, was released in April 2007, becoming her third number 1 album in the UK Albums Chart and featuring her first US Billboard Hot 100 number 1 single, “Girlfriend”. Lavigne has scored six number-one singles worldwide, including “Complicated”, “Sk8er Boi”, “I’m with You”, “My Happy Ending”, “Nobody’s Home”, and “Girlfriend”. Lavigne is one of the top-selling artists releasing albums in the US, with over 12 million copies certified by the RIAA. Her fourth studio album, Goodbye Lullaby, was released in March 2011. Goodbye Lullaby gave Lavigne her fourth top 10 album on the US Billboard 200 and the UK Albums Chart and her third number 1 album in both Japan and Australia. Three months after the release of Goodbye Lullaby, Lavigne began work on her eponymously titled fifth studio album, which was released by Epic Records on 1 November 2013 following her departure from RCA Records in 2011.
Lavigne took a break from recording music, pursuing careers in feature film acting and designing clothes and perfumes. She voiced Heather, a Virginia opossum, in the animated film Over the Hedge in 2006. That same year, she made her on-screen feature film debut in Fast Food Nation. In 2008, Lavigne introduced her clothing line, Abbey Dawn, and in 2009 she released her first perfume, Black Star, which was followed by Forbidden Rose in 2010, and Wild Rose in 2011. In July 2006, Lavigne married her boyfriend of two years, Deryck Whibley, lead singer and guitarist for Sum 41. The marriage lasted four years. In October 2009, Lavigne filed for divorce. Whibley and Lavigne continued to work together, with Whibley producing her fourth album, as well as Lavigne’s single “Alice”, written for Tim Burton’s film Alice in Wonderland.
Early life and education
Lavigne was born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada. Her mother is of English, Scottish, and German descent, and her father, Jean-Claude Joseph Lavigne, is of French-Canadian origin. She was named “Avril” by her father after the French word for the month of April. He and Lavigne’s mother, Judy, recognized their child’s vocal abilities when she was two years old and sang “Jesus Loves Me” on the way home from church. Lavigne has an older brother, Matthew, and a younger sister, Michelle, both of whom teased her when she sang. “My brother used to knock on the wall because I used to sing myself to sleep and he thought it was really annoying.”
When Lavigne was five years old, the family moved to Greater Napanee, Ontario, a town with a population of approximately 5,000. In school, she was sometimes kicked out of class for misbehaving, her parents supported her singing. Her father bought her a microphone, a drum kit, a keyboard, and several guitars, and converted their basement into a studio; following his own love for music Jean-Claude led the family to church at Third Day Worship Center in Kingston, Ontario, where he often played bass. When Lavigne was 14 years old, her parents took her to karaoke sessions. Lavigne also performed at country fairs, singing songs by Garth Brooks, the Dixie Chicks, and Shania Twain. She also began writing her own songs. Her first song was called “Can’t Stop Thinking About You”, about a teenage crush, which she described as “cheesy cute”.
1999–2001: Early performances and record deal
In 1999, Lavigne won a radio contest to perform with the Canadian singer Shania Twain at the Corel Centre in Ottawa, before an audience of 20,000 people. Twain and Lavigne sang Twain’s song, “What Made You Say That”, and Lavigne told Twain that she was going to be “a famous singer”. During a performance with the Lennox Community Theatre, Lavigne was spotted by local folksinger Stephen Medd. He invited her to contribute vocals on his song, “Touch the Sky”, for his 1999 album, Quinte Spirit. She later sang on “Temple of Life” and “Two Rivers” for his follow-up album, My Window to You, in 2000.
In December 1999, Lavigne was discovered by her first professional manager, Cliff Fabri, while singing country covers at a Chapters bookstore in Kingston, Ontario. Fabri sent out VHS tapes of Lavigne’s home performances to several industry prospects, and Lavigne was visited by several executives. Mark Jowett, co-founder of a Canadian management firm, Nettwerk, received a copy of Lavigne’s karaoke performances recorded in her parents’ basement. Jowett arranged for Lavigne to work with producer Peter Zizzo during the summer of 2000 in New York, where she wrote the song “Why”. Lavigne was noticed by Arista Records during a trip to New York.
In November 2000, Ken Krongard, an A&R representative, invited Antonio “L.A.” Reid, then head of Arista Records, to Zizzo’s Manhattan studio to hear Lavigne sing. Her 15-minute audition “so impressed” Reid that he immediately signed her to Arista with a deal worth $1.25 million for two albums and an extra $900,000 for a publishing advance. By this time, Lavigne had found that she fit in naturally with her hometown high school’s skater clique, an image that carried through to her first album, but although she enjoyed skateboarding, school left her feeling insecure. Having signed a record deal, and with support from her parents, she left school to focus on her music career. Lavigne’s band was chosen by Nettwerk, as they wanted young performers who were up and coming from the Canadian punk rock scene who would fit with Lavigne’s personality.
2002–2003: Let Go
Reid gave A&R Joshua Sarubin the responsibility of overseeing Lavigne’s development and the recording of her debut album. They spent several months in New York working with different co-writers, trying to forge an individual sound for her. Sarubin told HitQuarters that they initially struggled; although early collaborations with songwriter-producers including Sabelle Breer, Curt Frasca and Peter Zizzo resulted in some good songs, they did not match her or her voice. It was only when Lavigne then went to Los Angeles in May 2001 and created two songs with The Matrix production team—including “Complicated”, later released as her debut single—that the record company felt she had made a major breakthrough. Lavigne worked further with The Matrix and also with singer-songwriter Cliff Magness. Recording of Lavigne’s debut album, Let Go, finished in January 2002.
Lavigne released Let Go in June 2002 in the US, where it reached number two on the Billboard 200 albums chart. It peaked at number one in Australia, Canada, and the UK—this made Lavigne, at 17 years old, the youngest female soloist to have a number-one album on the UK Albums Chart at that time. By the end of 2002, the album was certified four-times Platinum by the RIAA, making her the bestselling female artist of 2002 and Let Go the top-selling debut of the year. By May 2003, Let Go had accumulated over 1 million sales in Canada, receiving a diamond certification from the Canadian Recording Industry Association. By 2009, the album had sold over 16 million units worldwide, and the RIAA certified the album six-times Platinum, denoting shipments of over six million units in the US (it has sold 6.8 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundSca.
Lavigne’s debut single, “Complicated”, peaked at number one in Australia and number two in the US. “Complicated” was one of the bestselling Canadian singles of 2002, and one of the decade’s biggest hits in the US, where subsequent singles “Sk8er Boi” and “I’m with You” reached the top ten. With these three singles, Lavigne became the second artist in history to have three top-ten songs from a debut album on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 chart. Lavigne was named Best New Artist for “Complicated” at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, won four Juno Awards in 2003 out of six nominations, received a World Music Award for “World’s Bestselling Canadian Singer”, and was nominated for eight Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist and Song of the Year for “Complicated”.
In 2002, Lavigne made a cameo appearance in the music video for “Hundred Million” by the pop punk band Treble Charger. In March 2003, Lavigne posed for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, and in May she performed “Fuel” during MTV’s Icon tribute to Metallica. During her first headlining tour, the Try to Shut Me Up Tour, Lavigne covered Green Day’s “Basket Case”.
2004–2005: Under My Skin
Lavigne’s second studio album, Under My Skin, was released in May 2004 and debuted at number one in Canada, Australia, Japan, the UK, and the US. The album was certified five-times Platinum in Canada and has sold 10 million copies, including 3.2 million in the US. Lavigne wrote most of the album’s tracks with Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, and Kreviazuk’s husband, Our Lady Peace front man Raine Maida, co-produced the album with Butch Walker and Don Gilmore. Lavigne said that Under My Skin proved her credentials as a songwriter, saying that “each song comes from a personal experience of mine, and there are so much emotions in those songs”. “Don’t Tell Me”, the lead single off the album, reached the top five in the UK and Canada and the top ten in Australia. “My Happy Ending”, the album’s second single, was a top five hit in the UK and Australia. In the US, it was a top ten entry on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a number-one pop radio hit. The third single, “Nobody’s Home”, did not manage to make the top 40 in the US and performed moderately elsewhere.
During early 2004 Lavigne went on the ‘Live and By Surprise’ acoustic mall tour in the US and Canada to promote ‘Under My Skin’, accompanied by her guitarist Evan Taubenfeld. In late 2004, Lavigne embarked on her first world tour, the year-long Bonez Tour. Lavigne won two World Music Awards in 2004, for ‘World’s Best Pop/Rock Artist’ and ‘World’s Bestselling Canadian Artist’, and won three Juno Awards from five nominations in 2005, including ‘Artist of the Year’. She also won in the category of ‘Favorite Female Singer’ at the eighteenth annual Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.
Lavigne co-wrote the song ‘Breakaway’, which was recorded by Kelly Clarkson for the soundtrack to the 2004 film ‘The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement’. ‘Breakaway’ was released as a single in mid 2004 and subsequently included as the title track on Clarkson’s second album, ‘Breakaway’. Lavigne performed the Goo Goo Dolls song ‘Iris’ with the band’s lead singer John Rzeznik at Fashion Rocks in September 2004, and she posed for the cover of ‘Maxim’ in October 2004. She recorded the theme song for ‘The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie’ (released in November 2004) with producer Butch Walker.
2006–2008: The Best Damn Thing
In February 2006, Lavigne represented Canada at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics. Fox Entertainment Group approached Lavigne to write a song for the soundtrack to the 2006 fantasy-adventure film Eragon; her contribution, “Keep Holding On”, was released as a single to promote the film and its soundtrack.
Lavigne’s third album, The Best Damn Thing, was released in April 2007 and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, and subsequently achieving Platinum status in Canada. The album sold more than 1.7 million copies in the US. Its lead single, “Girlfriend”, became Lavigne’s first number-one single on the US ‘Billboard’ Hot 100 and one of the decade’s biggest singles. The single also peaked at number one in Australia, Canada, and Japan, and reached number two in the UK and France. As well as English, “Girlfriend” was recorded in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Japanese, and Mandarin. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry ranked “Girlfriend” as the most-downloaded track worldwide in 2007, selling 7.3 million copies, including the versions recorded in eight different languages. “When You’re Gone”, the album’s second single, reached the top five in Australia and the United Kingdom, the top ten in Canada, and the top forty in the US. “Hot” was the third single and charted only at number 95 in the US, although it reached the top 10 in Canada and the top 20 in Australia.
Lavigne won two World Music Awards in 2007, for ‘World’s Bestselling Canadian Artist’ and ‘World’s Best Pop/Rock Female Artist’. She won her first two MTV Europe Music Awards, received a Teen Choice Award for ‘Best Summer Single’, and was nominated for five Juno Awards. In December 2007, Lavigne was ranked number eight in Forbes magazine’s list of ‘Top 20 Earners Under 25’, with annual earnings of $12 million. In March 2008, Lavigne undertook a world tour, The Best Damn World Tour, and appeared on the cover of Maxim for the second time. In mid-August, Malaysia’s Islamic opposition party, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, attempted to ban Lavigne’s tour show in Kuala Lumpur, judging her stage moves “too sexy”. Her concert on 29 August was thought that it would promote wrong values ahead of Malaysia’s independence day on 31 August. On 21 August 2008, MTV reported that the concert had been approved by the Malaysian government.
2009–2011: Goodbye Lullaby
In January 2010, Lavigne worked with Disney clothing designs inspired by Tim Burton’s feature film Alice in Wonderland. She recorded a song for its soundtrack, “Alice”, which was played over the end credits and included on the soundtrack album Almost Alice. In February, Lavigne performed at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics closing ceremony. Lavigne’s song “I’m with You” was sampled by Rihanna on the track “Cheers (Drink to That)”, which is featured on Rihanna’s fifth studio album, Loud (2010). “Cheers (Drink to That)” was released as a single the following year, and Lavigne appeared in its music video. In December 2010, American singer Miranda Cosgrove released “Dancing Crazy”, a song written by Lavigne, Max Martin and Shellback. It was also produced by Martin.
Lavigne began recording for her fourth studio album, Goodbye Lullaby, in her home studio in November 2008, its opening track, “Black Star”, was written to help promote her first fragrance of the same name. Lavigne described the album as being about her life experiences rather than focusing on relationships, and its style as less pop rock than her previous material, reflecting her age. The release date for Goodbye Lullaby was delayed several times, which Lavigne said was because of her label. Goodbye Lullaby was released in March 2011, and its lead single, “What the Hell”, premiered in December 2010. Goodbye Lullaby sold 368,000 copies in the US and received Juno Award nominations for Album of the Year and Pop Album of the Year.
2012–2015: Avril Lavigne
Three months after the release of Goodbye Lullaby, Lavigne announced that work on her fifth studio album had already begun, describing it as the musical opposite of Goodbye Lullaby and “pop and more fun again”. In late 2011, she confirmed that she had moved to Epic Records, headed by L. A. Reid. Lavigne contributed two cover songs to the 2012 Japanese animated film One Piece Film: Z: “How You Remind Me” (originally by Nickelback) and “Bad Reputation” (originally by Joan Jett).
The lead single from Lavigne’s fifth studio album, “Here’s to Never Growing Up” (produced by Martin Johnson of the band Boys Like Girls), was released in April 2013 and reached top 20 positions on the Billboard Hot 100, Australia and the UK. The second single, “Rock n Roll”, was released in August 2013 and the third, “Let Me Go” (featuring Lavigne’s then-husband Chad Kroeger of Nickelback), was released in October 2013. The album, eponymously titled Avril Lavigne, was released in November 2013 and sold 125,000 copies in the US; in Canada, it was certified gold and received a Juno Award nomination for Pop Album of the Year. During mid 2014, Lavigne opened for boy band the Backstreet Boys’ In a World Like This Tour and played at the music festival Summer Sonic in Tokyo, Japan.
In an April 2015 interview with Billboard, Lavigne announced plans to release a new single titled “Fly”, which was released on 26 April in association with the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games, and to release a Christmas album.
2016–present: Sixth studio album
Lavigne features in the song “Listen” from Japanese rock band One Ok Rock’s eighth studio album, Ambitions, released on 11 January 2017. On 25 December 2016, Lavigne announced via her Instagram account that she was working on new music and would be releasing a new album in 2017. In March 2017, it was revealed that Lavigne has switched labels and signed onto BMG. Lavigne is also reported to be going back to her roots for her new album, releasing it before the end of 2017, and was working on finalizing the final few tracks on the new album.
Lavigne features in the song “Wings Clipped” by Grey with Anthony Green for the duo’s debut EP Chameleon, released on 29 September 2017.
Musical style and songwriting
Themes in Lavigne’s music include messages of self-empowerment from a female or an adolescent view. Lavigne believes her “songs are about being yourself no matter what and going after your dreams even if your dreams are crazy and even if people tell you they’re never going to come true.” On her debut album, Let Go, Lavigne preferred the less mainstream songs, such as “Losing Grip”, instead of her more radio-friendly singles, such as “Complicated”, saying that “the songs I did with the Matrix were good for my first record, but I don’t want to be that pop anymore.” Lavigne’s second album, Under My Skin, had deeper personal themes underlying each song, saying that “I’ve gone through so much, so that’s what I talk about Like boys, like dating or relationships”. Musically, it’s considered her heaviest album that showcased ballads and rocker songs with a more post-grunge sound that verged on nü-metal style. In contrast, her third album, The Best Damn Thing, was not personal to her. “Some of the songs I wrote didn’t even mean that much to me. It’s not like some personal thing I’m going through.” Her objective in writing the album was simply to “make it fun”. The style has been praised for her ability to combine bubblegum pop melodies with punk rock riffs. Goodbye Lullaby, Lavigne’s fourth album, was much more personal than her earlier records, with Lavigne describing the album as “more stripped down, deeper. All the songs are very emotional”. Ian McKellen defined her as “a punk chanteuse, a post-grunge valkyrie, with the wounded soul of a poet and the explosive pugnacity of a Canadian” on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in 2007.
Most critics and publications, such as The New York Times, Rolling Stone, NME, MusicMight, IGN and PopMatters, have identified Lavigne as a mix of alternative rock, pop rock and pop punk, influenced by a post-grunge sound.
While Lavigne denied being angry, her interviews were still passionate about the media’s lack of respect for her songwriting. She said “I am a writer, and I won’t accept people trying to take that away from me”, adding that she had been writing “full-structured songs” since she was 14. Despite this, Lavigne’s songwriting has been questioned throughout her career. The songwriting trio the Matrix, with whom Lavigne wrote songs for her debut album, claimed that they were the main songwriters of Lavigne’s singles “Complicated”, “Sk8er Boi” and “I’m with You”. Lavigne denied this, asserting that she was the primary songwriter for every song on the album, saying that “None of those songs aren’t from me”.111
In 2007, Chantal Kreviazuk, who wrote with Lavigne on her second album, accused Lavigne of plagiarism and criticized her songwriting, saying that “Avril doesn’t really sit and write songs by herself or anything.” Lavigne also disclaimed this, and considered taking legal action against Kreviazuk for “clear defamation” against her character. Kreviazuk later apologized, saying that “Avril is an accomplished songwriter and it has been my privilege to work with her.” Shortly after that, Tommy Dunbar, founder of the band the Rubinoos, sued Lavigne, her publishing company, and Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald for allegedly stealing parts of “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” for her song “Girlfriend”. Gottwald defended Lavigne, stating, “me and Avril wrote the song together… It has the same chord progressions as ten different Blink-182 songs, the standard changes you’d find in a Sum 41 song. It’s the Sex Pistols, not the Rubinoos.” In January 2008, the lawsuit was closed after a confidential settlement had been reached.
Lavigne’s earlier influences came from country music acts such as Garth Brooks, the Dixie Chicks and Shania Twain; and alternative singer-songwriters such as Alanis Morissette, Lisa Loeb, Natalie Imbruglia and Janis Joplin. By the time she left school to focus on her music career, Lavigne was musically more influenced by skate punk, pop punk and punk rock acts such as blink-182, Sum 41, NOFX, Pennywise, Dashboard Confessional, Green Day, the Ramones, the Distillers and Hole. She also enjoyed metal bands such as Marilyn Manson, System of a Down, Incubus and the Used; as well as alternative bands such as Nirvana, No Doubt, the Goo Goo Dolls, Radiohead, Coldplay, Oasis, Third Eye Blind and Matchbox Twenty.
Because of these influences, musical genres, and Lavigne’s personal style, the media often defined her as punk, something she denied being. Lavigne’s close friend and guitarist, Evan Taubenfeld, said, “It’s a very touchy subject to a lot of people, but the point is that Avril isn’t punk, but she never really pretended to claim to come from that scene. She had pop punk music and the media ended up doing the rest”. Lavigne also commented on the matter: “I have been labeled like I’m this angry girl, a rebel punk, and I am so not any of them.” Although she stated to have punk influences on her music: “I like to listen a lot to punk rock music, you can notice a certain influence of punk in my music. I like an aggressive music, but pretty enough heavy pop-rock, which is what I really do.”
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Avril Lavigne
In 2003, Lavigne won an International Achievement Award for the song “Complicated” at the SOCAN Awards in Toronto.
Lavigne received eight Grammy Awards nominations in two years, including Best New Artist. She has also received three American Music Awards nominations, one Brit Award nomination, and one MTV Video Music Award. She has received a total of 221 awards and 301 nominations.
By 2013, Lavigne sold more than 50 million singles and 40 million copies of her albums worldwide, becoming one of the top-selling artists releasing albums in the US, with over 12.4 million copies certified by the RIAA. In 2009, Billboard named Lavigne the number 10 pop artist in the “Best of the 2000s” chart. She was listed as the 28th overall best act of the decade based on album and single chart performance in the US.
Avril Lavigne is considered a highlight in the pop-punk and alternative pop-rock scene since she helped to paved the way for the success of female-driven punk-influenced pop music, such as Paramore, Skye Sweetnam, Fefe Dobson, Lillix, Kelly Osbourne, Krystal Meyers, Tonight Alive, Hey Monday, among others as being a direct result. She was compared to alternative female singer-songwriters of the 1990s such as Alanis Morissette, Liz Phair and Courtney Love and earned a reputation as the greatest female representative of pop-punk music, and also as one of the female singers who best represent 2000s rock music. Lavigne also was seen as a fashion icon for her skatepunk and rocker style. Songs like Sk8er Boi, He Wasn’t and Girlfriend are frequently listed as one of the best pop-punk songs of all time, by different critics.
Lavigne holds a Guinness World Record as being the youngest female solo artist to top the UK album chart, on 11 January 2003 at the age of 18 years and 106 days. The album Let Go reached number one in its 18th chart week. She also was the first to reach 100 million views on a YouTube video, with her 2007 single “Girlfriend”. Lavigne was the first western artist to do a full tour in China, with The Best Damn Tour in 2008; and is considered the biggest western artist in Asia, especially in Japan where her first three albums have sold more than 1 million copies, being the only Female Western Artist since 2000s to achieved it. Avril Lavigne is the only artist to have performed on three different multi-sport event, such as two closing ceremonies of Winter Olympic Games (Torino 2006 and Vancouver 2010) and in the opening ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games.
The singer’s influences extends beyond pop rock, pop punk and pop acts such as Aly & AJ, Busted, Hilary Duff, Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Kelly Clarkson, Charlotte Sometimes, Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, Vanessa Hudgens, Jessie J, Jonas Brothers, Brie Larson, Lesley Roy, Selena Gomez, Ashley Tisdale, Ariana Grande, Paramore, Amy Studt, Meghan Trainor, Hey Monday, Kelly Osbourne, Liz Phair, Amanda Palmer, Misono, YUI, Demi Lovato, Kirstin Maldonado, PVRIS, among others.
Other work – Film career
Lavigne became interested in appearing on television and in feature films. The decision, she said, was her own. Although her years of experience in making music videos was to her advantage, Lavigne admitted her experience in singing removed any fear of performing on camera. She specifically mentioned that the video “Nobody’s Home” involved the most “acting”. Her first television appearance was in a 2002 episode of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, performing “Sk8er Boi” with her band in a nightclub. She later made a cameo appearance in the 2004 film Going the Distance. The main characters bump into her backstage at the MuchMusic Video Awards after her performance of “Losing Grip”.
She moved into feature film acting cautiously, choosing deliberately small roles to begin with. In November 2005, after going through an audition to land the role, Lavigne travelled to New Mexico to film a single scene in the 2007 film, The Flock. She played Beatrice Bell, the girlfriend of a crime suspect, appearing alongside Claire Danes and Richard Gere. Gere gave Lavigne acting tips between takes. On her role in The Flock, Lavigne said, “I did that just to see how it was and to not jump into mainstream acting too fast”. The Flock was not released in American theatres, and because it was not released in foreign markets until late 2007, it is not considered Lavigne’s debut. The film made $7 million in the foreign box office.
Lavigne’s feature film debut was voicing an animated character in the 2006 film Over the Hedge, based on the comic strip of the same name. She voiced the character Heather, a Virginia opossum. Recording the characters’ voices was devoid of interaction with other actors. Lavigne stated, “All the actors went in individually, and director Tim and screenwriter Karey and directors were there with me every time I went in, and they made it go so smoothly; they made me feel comfortable That was the interesting part, going in by yourself, with no one else to kind of feed off of.” Lavigne found the recording process to be “easy” and “natural”, but she kept hitting the microphone as she gestured while acting. “I’d use my hands constantly and, like, hit the microphone stand and make noises, so Tim and Karey had to tell me to hold still It’s hard to be running or falling down the stairs and have to make those sounds come out of your mouth but keep your body still.” Lavigne believed she was hired to perform Heather because of her rock-star status. “The director thought I’d give my character a bit of attitude”. The film opened on 19 May 2006, making $38 million over its opening weekend. It went on to gross $336 million worldwide.
In December 2005, Lavigne signed to appear in Fast Food Nation, based on the book Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. The fictionalized adaptation, directed by Richard Linklater, traces fast-food hamburgers contaminated with cow feces back to the slaughterhouses. Lavigne played Alice, a high school student intent on freeing the cows. The film opened on 17 November 2006 and remained in theatres for 11 weeks, grossing $2 million worldwide.
Both Over the Hedge and Fast Food Nation opened at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, which Lavigne attended. Lavigne felt honoured to be able to attend and was proud of her work. When asked if she would pursue her film career, she stated that she wanted to take her time and wait for the “right parts and the right movies.” Lavigne was aware of the roles she had chosen. “I wanted to start off small and to learn that I wouldn’t just want to throw myself into a big part.” In August 2006, Canadian Business magazine ranked her as the seventh top Canadian actor in Hollywood in their second-annual ranking Celebrity Power List. The results were determined by comparing salary, Internet hits, TV mentions, and press hits.
In July 2008, Lavigne launched the clothing line Abbey Dawn, featuring a back-to-school collection. It is produced by Kohl’s, which is the brand’s exclusive US retailer. Named after Lavigne’s childhood nickname, Abbey Dawn is designed by Lavigne herself. Kohl’s describes Abbey Dawn as a “juniors lifestyle brand”, which incorporates skull, zebra, and star patterns, purples and “hot pinks and blacks”. Lavigne, who wore some of the clothes and jewellery from her line at various concerts before its official launch, pointed out that she was not merely licensing her name to the collection. “I actually am the designer. What’s really important to me is that everything fits well and is well-made, so I try everything on and approve it all.” The clothing line incorporates Lavigne’s musical style and lyrics, “after the release of my first album, I realized how much fashion was involved in my musical career”.
The designs were also featured on the Internet game Stardoll, where figures can be dressed up as Lavigne. On 14 September 2009, Lavigne took her then latest collection for her clothing line to be a part of the New York Fashion Week, returning in 2011. In December 2010, the clothing line was made available to over 50 countries through the line’s official website. “It’s fun to be a chick and design clothes and things I’d like for myself. I design things I can’t find.”
Lavigne released her first fragrance, Black Star, created by Procter & Gamble Prestige Products. The fragrance was announced on Lavigne’s official website on 7 March 2009. Black Star, which features notes of pink hibiscus, black plum and dark chocolate, was released in summer 2009 in Europe, and later in Canada and the USA. When asked what the name meant, Lavigne replied, “I wanted the bottle to be a star, and my colors are pink and black, and Black Star resembles being different, and standing out in the crowd, and reaching for the stars; the whole message is just about following your dreams, and it’s okay to be unique and be who you are.” Black Star won the 2010 Best “Women’s Scent Mass” by Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW). Black Star was followed by a second fragrance in July 2010, Forbidden Rose, which took two years to develop. It features notes of red apple, winepeach, black pepper, lotusflower, heliotrope, shellflower, praline agreement, sandalwood, and vanilla. Its message is an extension of Black Star’s “follow your dreams”, though the tagline for the new perfume is “Dare to Discover”. The commercial takes place in a gothic garden setting, where Lavigne, upon entering the garden, finds a single, purple rose. Lavigne launched a third fragrance, Wild Rose, in August 2011 and filmed the commercial for it in late 2010. The tagline for the fragrance is “Dare to discover more”. It features notes of mandarin, pink grapefruit, plum, orange blossom, frangipani, blue orchid, musk, sandalwood and crème brûlée.
In January 2010, Lavigne began working with Disney to incorporate Alice in Wonderland-inspired designs into her Abbey Dawn line of clothing. Her designs were exhibited at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in California beginning in May through September, alongside Colleen Atwood’s costumes from the 2010 film.
Lavigne has been involved with many charities, including Make Some Noise, Amnesty International, Erase MS, AmericanCPR.org, Special Olympics, Camp Will-a-Way, Music Clearing Minefields, US Campaign for Burma, Make-A-Wish Foundation and War Child. She has also appeared in ALDO ads with YouthAIDS to raise money to educate people worldwide about HIV/AIDS. Lavigne took part in the Unite Against AIDS concert presented by ALDO in support of UNICEF on 28 November 2007 at the Bell Centre in Montréal, Québec, Canada. In November 2010, Lavigne attended the Clinton Global Initiative.
Lavigne worked with Reverb, a non-profit environmental organization, for her 2005 east coast tour. She covered “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” for War Child’s Peace Songs compilation, and she recorded a cover of the John Lennon song “Imagine” as her contribution to the compilation album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. Released on 12 June 2007, the album was produced to benefit Amnesty International’s campaign to alleviate the crisis in Darfur.
On 5 December 2009, Lavigne returned to the stage in Mexico City during the biggest charity event in Latin America, “Teleton”. She performed acoustic versions of her hits “Complicated” and “Girlfriend” with Evan Taubenfeld and band member, Jim McGorman. In 2010, Lavigne was one of several artists who contributed their voices to a cover of K’naan’s “Wavin’ Flag” as a benefit single to help raise money for several charity organizations related to the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
On 14 September 2010, Lavigne introduced her charity, “The Avril Lavigne Foundation”, which aims to help young people with serious illnesses and disabilities and works with leading charitable organizations; The foundation partners with the Easter Seals, Make-A-Wish foundation and Erase MS, the latter two being charities Lavigne has previously worked with. Her work with the Make-A-Wish foundation was the inspiration behind her own charity, with Lavigne stating, “I just really wanted to do more”. Lavigne said on the foundation’s website, “I have always looked for ways to give back because I think it’s a responsibility we all share”. Philanthropist Trevor Neilson’s 12-person firm, “Global Philanthropy Group”, advises Lavigne with her foundation as well as several other celebrities, including musician John Legend.
In September 2014, she launched a personal fundraising campaign for Special Olympics as part of her birthday celebration. Proceeds from her “Team Rockstar” event helped sponsor athletes from around the world competing in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. According to an ABILITY Magazine interview with Lavigne, the athletes were the stars of the music video for “Fly”, which was shot in Canada.
Lavigne was featured in the 2003 game The Sims: Superstar as a non-playable celebrity.
In mid-2007, Lavigne was featured in a two-volume graphic novel, Avril Lavigne’s Make 5 Wishes. She collaborated with artist Camilla d’Errico and writer Joshua Dysart on the manga, which was about a shy girl named Hana who, upon meeting her hero, Lavigne, learned to overcome her fears. Lavigne said, “I know that many of my fans read manga, and I’m really excited to be involved in creating stories that I know they will enjoy.” The first volume was released in April 2007, and the second followed in July 2007. The publication Young Adult Library Services nominated the series for “Great Graphic Novels for Teens”.
In September 2011, Lavigne appeared on the Hub Network televised singing competition Majors & Minors as a guest mentor, alongside other singers including Adam Lambert and Leona Lewis.
When Lavigne first gained publicity, she was known for her tomboyish style, in particular her necktie-and-tank-top combinations. She preferred baggy clothes, skater shoes or Converses, wristbands, and sometimes shoelaces wrapped around her fingers. During photo shoots, instead of wearing “glittery get-ups”, she preferred wearing “old, crumpled T’s”. In response to her fashion and musical influences, the media called her the “pop punk princess” and the female answer to Blink-182. Press and fans regarded her as the “anti-Britney”, in part because of her less commercial and “real” image, but also because she was noticeably headstrong. “I’m not made up and I’m not being told what to say and how to act, so they have to call me the anti-Britney, which I’m not.” By November 2002, however, Lavigne stopped wearing ties, claiming she felt she was “wearing a costume”. Lavigne made a conscious effort to keep her music, and not her image, at the forefront of her career. “I’m just saying, I don’t want to sell sex. I feel that’s sort of lame and low. I’ve got so much more to say.”
Lavigne eventually took on a more gothic style as she began her second album, Under My Skin, trading her skating outfits for black tutus and developing an image marked by angst. During The Best Damn Thing years, Lavigne changed directions. She dyed her hair blonde with a pink streak, wore feminine outfits, including “tight jeans and heels”, and modelled for magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar. Lavigne defended her new style: “I don’t really regret anything. You know, the ties and the wife-beaters and all It had its time and place. And now I’m all grown up, and I’ve moved on”.
Lavigne has been the subject of a conspiracy theory that states that she committed suicide in 2003, and was replaced by a body double who had previously been recruited to distract paparazzi. This theory originated as a joke on a Brazilian blog, but has since been embraced by Internet trolls.
Personal life – Tattoos
Only a few of Lavigne’s tattoos are unique to her; the rest are matched with those of her friends. Lavigne had a star tattooed on the inside of her left wrist that was created at the same time as friend and musical associate Ben Moody’s identical tattoo. In late 2004, she had a small pink heart around the letter “D” applied to her right wrist, which represented her then-boyfriend, Deryck Whibley. Lavigne and then-husband Whibley got matching tattoos in March 2010, in celebration of his 30th birthday. In April 2010, Lavigne added another tattoo on her wrist, that of a lightning bolt and the number 30.
Her love of tattoos, however, gained media attention in May 2010, after Lavigne and Brody Jenner each got matching tattoos of the word “fuck” on their ribs. Lavigne appeared in the June/July cover story for Inked magazine, where she discussed and showed off her tattoos, including an “Abbey Dawn” on her left forearm and an “XXV” and star on her right. Although she confirmed the “fuck” tattoo verbally in the article (calling it her “favorite word”) she had it applied after the magazine’s photo shoot. She added that she eventually wanted to get a “big-ass heart with a flag through it with a name I’m going to wait a few years and make sure I still want it then. I have to wait for that special someone to come back into my life.” In July 2010, Lavigne had her boyfriend’s name, “Brody”, tattooed beneath her right breast. The couple announced that they broke up in January 2012.
Lavigne has been legally French from birth, because her father is French and France applies jus sanguinis. She applied for her French passport and received it in February 2011. In January 2012, Lavigne’s house in Bel-Air, on the market since May 2011, sold, and Lavigne moved to Paris, France, to study the French language. She rented an apartment and attended a Berlitz school. She later held her second wedding in the South of France.
Relationships – Deryck Whibley
Lavigne and Sum 41 lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Deryck Whibley began dating when Lavigne was 19 years old, after being friends since she was 17. In June 2005, Whibley proposed to her. The couple married on 15 July 2006 in Montecito, California. On 9 October 2009, Lavigne filed for divorce, releasing the statement, “I am grateful for our time together, and I am grateful and blessed for our remaining friendship.” The divorce was finalized on 16 November 2010.
Lavigne started dating The Hills star Brody Jenner in February 2010. After almost two years of dating, the couple split in January 2012.
Lavigne began dating fellow Canadian rocker Chad Kroeger, frontman of the band Nickelback, in July 2012. The relationship blossomed after they began working together in March 2012 to write and record music for Lavigne’s fifth album. Lavigne and Kroeger became engaged in August 2012, after one month of dating. The couple married at the Château de La Napoule, a reconstructed medieval castle on the Mediterranean in the South of France, on 1 July 2013 (which is Canada Day), after a year of being together. They had their honeymoon in Portofino, Italy. On 2 September 2015, Lavigne announced her separation from Kroeger via her official Instagram account.
In April 2015, she revealed to People magazine that she had been diagnosed with Lyme disease. In an interview with Billboard, Lavigne said that she was recovering.
She signed an endorsement deal with Canon Canada in 2008 to promote their Rebel digital SLR cameras and ELPH compact point and shoot cameras.
Best Known For
She got much attention after getting her single “Girlfriend” at no. 1 position at U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Some of her other singles, which got worldwide attention are – Complicated, Sk8er Boi, I’m with You, My Happy Ending, Nobody’s Home.
Lavigne’s debut album was “Let Go” released on June 4, 2002. It consists of 13 tracks plus 1 Japanese bonus track, making a total of 14 tracks. The total length of the album songs is exactly 48:41 minutes. It was certified as Diamond in Canada, 7x Platinum in Australia, 6x Platinum in US, etc.
First TV Show
Avril appeared on the American sitcom Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, based on the Archie comic book series of the same name. She had a cameo role as herself in 2002. She featured the song “Sk8er Boi” (no. 1 single worldwide) in that show.
Avril Lavigne Favorite Things
Favorite Food – Pizza
Favorite Colors – Black, and red
Favorite Song – Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls
Favorite Band – Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind
Avril Lavigne Facts
Avril started singing church songs with her mother at the age of 2.
‘Avril’ is a french word for English word ‘April’.
Her name was kept by her father.
www.avrillavigne.com is her official website.
Avril has 1 pet – a dog named, Sam of Miniature Schnauzer breed.
She was always supported by her parents for her singing career. Though, she didn’t pay much attention to school and was also dropped out of high school.
She has 2 siblings and is the second child out of 3 children.
Her favorite food is pizza and favorite pizza topping is olives.
Avril was originally pursuing a career in folk and country music. But, shifted to rock due to a bright scope in this field of music.
Lavigne was featured in the 2003 game – The Sims: Superstar, as a non-playable celebrity.
She launched the clothing line Abbey Dawn in July 2008. The brand’s exclusive U.S. retailer is Kohl’s.
Abbey Dawn is Lavigne’s childhood nickname, which is designed by herself.
The designs have also been featured on the Internet game – Stardoll.
Whenever she likes to cruise down in Beverly Hills, California, Lana Del Rey can be easily seen riding in her 1981 Mercedes Convertible. For a woman with great singing talent and bold fashion statements, it’s only appropriate that she arrives in style. Her ride comes with sporty underpinning and refined luxury, mixed with the V-8 power.
Nick Name: Lizzy, Lana Rey Del Mar, Lizzy Grant, May Jailer, Sparkle Jump Rope Queen
Occupation: Singer songwriter record producer model
Years active: 2005–present
Age: 33 years and 1 months
Height: 5 ft 6½ in or 169 cm
Measurements 34-26-34 in or 86-66-86 cm
Bra size 34A
Sun Sign Gemini
Hair Color She has naturally “blonde” hair. But, she likes to dye them to darker shades.
Eye Color Hazel
Father – Rob Grant (Grey Group copywriter turned entrepreneur)
Mother – Pat Grant (Former Grey account executive)
Siblings – Charlie Grant (Younger Brother), Caroline “Chuck” Grant (Younger Sister) (Lana Del Rey’s photographer)
Others – Madeleine (Grandmother)
Lana is of Scottish descent with Lanarkshire roots.
Hip-hop, alternative rock, Baroque pop, dream pop, indie pop, rock, trip hop
Vocals, guitar, keyboards
5 Points, Stranger, Polydor, Interscope Records
As a model, she was signed to these modeling agencies –
Next Model Management – London
Next Model Management – Paris
Next Model Management – New York
Next Model Management – Los Angeles
She has advertised for H&M, Mulberry, Jaguar (spokesperson) and others.
Del Rey had studied in Connecticut in Kent School, which is a boarding school for three years. Later, she attended Fordham University in the Bronx to study philosophy related subject known as metaphysics.
Lana Del Rey music has been noted by critics for its stylized cinematic quality, its preoccupation with themes of tragic romance, glamour, and melancholia, and its references to pop culture, particularly 1950s and 1960s Americana.
Raised in northern New York state, Del Rey embarked on a music career in 2005 after moving to New York City, and first received widespread attention in 2011, when the music video for her single “Video Games” became a viral Internet sensation.Del Rey received further recognition after her major-label debut Born to Die peaked at number two on the United States charts and was the fifth best-selling album of 2012. A remix of its single “Summertime Sadness”, produced by Cedric Gervais, peaked at number six in the United States, and her extended play Paradise followed that November, garnering Del Rey her first Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album. Three of the EP’s tracks were featured in her short film Tropico (2013).
In 2014, Del Rey released her third studio album, Ultraviolence, which became her first album to reach number one in the United States. In 2015, following a North American tour with Courtney Love and Grimes, Del Rey released her fourth studio album, Honeymoon. Both albums received positive critical response. Her fifth studio album, Lust for Life, was released in 2017. It received critical acclaim, and also became Del Rey’s second album to reach number one in the United States, while also reaching the top ten in almost every other country in which it charted. Lust for Life also earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.
Elizabeth Woolridge Grant was born in New York City on June 21, 1985 to Robert England Grant, Jr., a Grey Group copywriter turned entrepreneur, and Patricia Ann “Pat” (née Hill), a former Grey account executive turned high school teacher. She has one younger sister, Caroline Grant, and one brother, Charlie. Her paternal grandfather, Robert England Grant, Sr. was a Kidder, Peabody & Co. investment banker, a vice president for Plough, Inc and Textron, and venture capitalist. She has Scottish ancestry from both her mother and father.
Del Rey grew up in Lake Placid, New York, and was raised Roman Catholic. She attended a Catholic elementary school and for one year, a high school where her mother taught. She began singing in her church choir when she was a child, where she was the cantor. At age fifteen, she was sent to Kent School by her parents to resolve a budding drinking problem. Her uncle, an admissions officer at the boarding school, secured her financial aid to attend.
After graduating, Del Rey was accepted to the State University of New York at Geneseo, but she decided not to attend and instead spent a year living on Long Island with her aunt and uncle while working as a waitress. During this time, Del Rey’s uncle taught her how to play guitar, and she “realized that she could probably write a million songs with those six chords.” Shortly after, she began writing songs and performing in nightclubs around the city under various names such as “Sparkle Jump Rope Queen” and “Lizzy Grant and the Phenomena.” “I was always singing, but didn’t plan on pursuing it seriously”, Del Rey said. “When I got to New York City when I was eighteen, I started playing in clubs in Brooklyn—I have good friends and devoted fans on the underground scene, but we were playing for each other at that point—and that was it.”
The following fall, at age nineteen, she enrolled at Fordham University where she majored in philosophy, with an emphasis on metaphysics. Del Rey has said she chose to study the subject because it “bridged the gap between God and science. I was interested in God and how technology could bring us closer to finding out where we came from and why.” According to Del Rey, she had trouble making friends in both boarding school and college. She lived in The Bronx and later moved to New Jersey while attending Fordham. After graduating in 2005, she moved to Brooklyn, where she resided for four years.
In college, Del Rey did volunteer work at homeless youth and drug and alcohol outreach programs, as well as helping paint and rebuild houses on an Indian reservation in Utah. She would cite this trip as integral in her decision to become a songwriter: “I remember exactly when I decided that I wanted to be a singer. I was in college, and we went to the Indian reservation. That day I realized that I had only two options: either making music or volunteering for a good cause. I chose the first option. If it had not worked, I would have probably done social work in any small town.”
2005–2010: Career beginnings and Lana Del Ray
On April 25, 2005, a seven-track extended play was registered under Elizabeth Woolridge Grant with the United States Copyright Office. The application title was Rock Me Stable with another title Young Like Me also listed. A second extended play, titled From the End, was also recorded under Del Rey’s stage name at the time, May Jailer. Between 2005 and 2006, she recorded an acoustic album titled Sirens under the May Jailer project, which later leaked on the internet in mid-2012.
At her first performance in 2006 for the Williamsburg Live Songwriting Competition, Del Rey met Van Wilson, an A&R representative for 5 Points Records, an independent label owned by David Nichtern. In 2007, while a senior in college, Del Rey submitted a demo tape of acoustic tracks titled No Kung Fu to 5 Points Records, who subsequently offered her a recording contract for $10,000. Del Rey used the money to relocate to Manhattan Mobile Home Park, a trailer park in North Bergen, New Jersey, and subsequently began working with producer David Kahne, with whom she released a three-track EP titled Kill Kill in October 2008 as Lizzy Grant. She explained that “David asked to work with me only a day after he got my demo. He is known as a producer with a lot of integrity and who had an interest in making music that wasn’t just pop.” Her album, however, was shelved, causing her to shift her focus. Instead, she began to work in community service. “Homeless outreach, drug, and alcohol rehabilitation—that’s been my life for the past five years”, she told Vogue UK in 2012. Her debut full-length album, titled Lana Del Ray, was released in January 2010. Her father, Robert Grant, helped with the marketing of the album, which was available for purchase on iTunes for a brief period before being withdrawn.
David Kahne, who produced Grant and previous label owner David Nichtern have both stated that Grant bought the rights back from her label, 5 Points, as she wanted it out of circulation to “stifle future opportunities to distribute it—an echo of rumors that the action was part of a calculated strategy.
Del Rey met her current managers, Ben Mawson and Ed Millett, three months after Lana Del Ray and they helped her to get out of her contract with 5 Points Records, where, in her opinion, “nothing was happening.” Shortly after, she moved to London, England and moved in with Mawson “for a few years.” When choosing her stage name, she said: “I wanted a name I could shape the music towards. I was going to Miami quite a lot at the time, speaking a lot of Spanish with my friends from Cuba – Lana Del Rey reminded us of the glamour of the seaside. It sounded gorgeous coming off the tip of the tongue.” She has said her lawyers and managers made up the name Lana Del Rey and persuaded her to adopt the stage name. On September 1, 2010, Del Rey was featured by Mando Diao in their MTV Unplugged concert at Union Film-Studios in Berlin.
2011–2013: Born to Die and Paradise
After uploading them to her YouTube channel in 2011, Del Rey’s videos for the songs “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans” became viral internet sensations, and she was signed by Stranger Records to release “Video Games” as her debut single. She told The Observer, “I just put that song online a few months ago because it was my favorite. To be honest, it wasn’t going to be the single but people have really responded to it.” The song earned her a Q award for “Next Big Thing” in October 2011 and an Ivor Novello for “Best Contemporary Song” in 2012. The same month, she signed a joint deal with Interscope Records and Polydor to work on her second studio album Born to Die.
Del Rey built anticipation to the album by doing a number of live appearances, such as promotional concerts at the Bowery Ballroom and at the Chateau Marmont, and with performances at television shows such as De Wereld Draait Door, and Later with Jools Holland.
Del Rey also performed two songs from the album on Saturday Night Live on January 14, 2012 and received a negative response from critics and the general public. Del Rey’s performance was defended by the evening program’s guest host, actor Daniel Radcliffe, despite not having seen her performance. She had earlier defended her spot on the program, saying: “I’m a good musician I have been singing for a long time, and I think that SNL creator Lorne Michaels knows that it’s not a fluke decision.” The following week on SNL, Kristen Wiig impersonated Del Rey where she humorously defended herself during Weekend Update.
Born to Die was officially released on January 31, 2012 worldwide, and reached number one in 11 countries, though critical reaction was divided. The same week, she announced she had bought back the rights to her 2010 debut album, and had plans to re-release it in the summer of 2012 under Interscope Records and Polydor. Contrary to Del Rey’s press statement, her previous record label and producer David Kahne have both stated that she bought the rights to the album when she and the label parted company, due to the offer of a new deal, in April 2010. Born to Die sold 3.4 million copies in 2012, making it the fifth-best-selling album of 2012. In the United States, Born to Die charted on the Billboard 200 album chart well into 2012, lingering at number 76, after 36 weeks on the chart. In an interview with RTVE on June 15, 2012, she announced her new album would be out in November. Mid-September saw the official announcement of Paradise’s lead single, “Ride”.
On September 19, 2012, the music video for “Blue Velvet” was released through H&M. One day later, on September 20, “Blue Velvet” became available for purchase as a promotional single. “Ride” became available for purchase on September 25, 2012. The music video for “Ride” was premiered at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, California on October 10, 2012. Some critics panned the video as pro-prostitution and antifeminist, the latter being a word attributed to Del Rey’s work since “Video Games”.
Del Rey’s Paradise Edition of Born to Die was set to be released on November 12. With the release of her third EP, Paradise, Del Rey spawned her second top 10 album in the United States, debuting at number 10 on the Billboard 200 with 67,000 copies sold in its first week.
At the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards, Del Rey received nominations in the categories Best Alternative, Best Push, and Best New Act. Winning Best Alternative, Del Rey presented the award for Best Female to Taylor Swift. At the 2013 BRIT Awards, she won the award for International Female Solo Artist, making it her second BRIT Award to date. Her win surprised critics who highly anticipated Taylor Swift to win the award. In March 2013, she recited Walt Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself” for the French fashion magazine, L’Officiel Paris.
Del Rey’s seventh single, “Dark Paradise”, was released as a single in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland on March 1, 2013. Del Rey won the ECHO Awards for Best International Newcomer and Best International Pop/Rock Artist on March 21, 2013. A music video for Del Rey’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel#2” was released on March 27, 2013. The following month, in April 2013, another self-produced video was released; it showed Del Rey and her boyfriend, Barrie-James O’Neil, covering “Summer Wine”, by Lee Hazlewood. “Burning Desire” became available for purchase as a stand-alone download on March 19, 2013 as the second promotional single from Paradise; its music video was premiered the previous month on Valentine’s Day of 2013.
2013: Film projects and Tropico
After the release of Paradise, Del Rey penned the original song “Young and Beautiful” for the soundtrack of the 2013 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby with director, co-writer, and co-producer Baz Luhrmann.
Following the song’s release, it peaked at 22 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Del Rey’s highest peak on the chart. However, shortly after its release to contemporary hit radio, the label prematurely pulled it and decided to send a different song to that format; on July 2, 2013, a Cedric Gervais remix of Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” was sent there; a sleeper hit, the song proved to be a success, surpassing “Young and Beautiful”, reaching number 6 and becoming her first American top ten hit. The remix won the Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical in 2013.
Alongside Paradise, Del Rey announced plans to launch a short film titled Tropico. Tropico was filmed in late June 2013 and directed by Anthony Mandler.
On November 22, 2013, an official trailer for Tropico was released; at the end of the trailer, it was announced that the film would be uploaded to Del Rey’s official VEVO account on December 5, 2013. The short film premiered on December 4 at Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. Before showing the film, Del Rey told the audience “I really just wanted us all to be together so I could try and visually close out my chapter before I release the new record, Ultraviolence”. Journalists identified the phrase from the Anthony Burgess’ dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange (1962), but reports were conflicting as to whether or not the title was stylized as one or two words. On December 6, 2013, an EP, also titled Tropico, was made available for purchase via iTunes; it includes the film itself along with the three aforementioned songs.
2014–2016: Ultraviolence and Honeymoon
On January 23, 2014, it was announced that Del Rey would be covering the song “Once Upon a Dream” (from the 1959 film Sleeping Beauty) for the 2014 dark fantasy film Maleficent. The single was released on January 26.
On February 20, Del Rey posted a picture of herself and Dan Auerbach on Twitter with the caption “Me and Dan Auerbach are excited to present you Ultraviolence”.
The first single off Ultraviolence, “West Coast”, was released on April 14.
On May 23, Del Rey performed three songs at Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s pre-wedding celebration at the Palace of Versailles. West had previously played Del Rey’s “Young & Beautiful” during his proposal to Kardashian in October 2013. “Shades of Cool”, the second single, was released on May 26, 2014. The third single and title track, “Ultraviolence”, was released on June 4. June 8 saw the release of the fourth single, “Brooklyn Baby”.
Ultraviolence was released on June 13, 2014, and debuted at number one in 12 countries, including the United States and United Kingdom. The album sold 880,000 copies in its first week, worldwide. She described her third studio album as being “more stripped down but still cinematic and dark”.
A Rolling Stone article revealed that Del Rey would be a guest on Brian Wilson’s forthcoming studio album No Pier Pressure. Two new songs by Del Rey, “Big Eyes” and “I Can Fly”, featured in Tim Burton’s 2014 biographical film Big Eyes, which focused on the American artist Margaret Keane. “Big Eyes” was co-written by Daniel Heath, while “I Can Fly” was co-written by Rick Nowels.
In December 2014, Del Rey announced she would be headlining a tour in Summer 2015, deemed “The Endless Summer Tour”. Eight of the shows featured Courtney Love, and ten of the shows featured Grimes. Also in December 2014, in an interview with Galore Magazine, Del Rey revealed she began working on a new album, which she said would be released sometime in 2015. She told Grazia Magazine about how she wanted to introduce orchestrations with monumental choruses with a touch of subdued grunge for the album, “I played Mark Ronson ten songs that I have composed for this next album. It explores a sound close to the golden age of jazz”, she said. Earlier that month, Del Rey also mentioned to Galore Magazine that she is already at the recording stage for the album and that “she’s also always writing small pieces for independent films etc. Dan Heath and Rick Nowels are two of my dearest friends and producers and we are always up to something.” In January 2015, Del Rey stated in an interview with the LA Times that a song on her new record would be titled “Music to Watch Boys To”. The same month, a song she recorded for Emile Haynie’s album titled Wait for Life was released. She also recorded “Life is Beautiful”, a song featured in the trailer for the movie The Age of Adaline.
In June 2014, she said “I have this idea for this record called Music to Watch Boys To, so I’m just kind of thinking about that and what that would mean.” Del Rey later confirmed in an interview with Billboard that her new record would be entitled Honeymoon.
On January 15, 2015, Del Rey received a BRIT Award nomination for International Female Solo Artist, her second nomination in the category and third overall.
On July 14, 2015, Del Rey released “Honeymoon”, the first and title track from the album. She revealed that the album would contain fourteen tracks, describing the songs with “a muddy trap energy and some inspired by late-night Miles Davis drives”.
On August 4, 2015, Del Rey revealed the first single “High by the Beach”, which was released on August 10, 2015. On August 4, 2015, The Weeknd also revealed the track listing for his upcoming second studio album Beauty Behind the Madness which features a collaboration with Del Rey, entitled “Prisoner”. On August 21, 2015, she released “Terrence Loves You” as a promotional single, available instantly with the pre-order of the album. The title track was later released as a promotional single on September 7, 2015. Honeymoon was released on September 18, 2015 to general acclaim from music critics, who praised the music and Del Rey’s sophistication and vocal performance.
In November 2015, Del Rey executive produced a short film Hi How Are You Daniel Johnston, documenting the life of Daniel Johnston. For the film, she also covered one of Johnston’s songs, called “Some Things Last a Long Time”, from his album 1990. For the cover, she collaborated with producer Justin Parker. Also in November 2015, Del Rey received the Trailblazer Award at the Billboard Women in Music ceremony and won the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Alternative.
On February 9, 2016, Del Rey hosted a premiere for the music video of her song “Freak”. It was located at The Wiltern, in Los Angeles. The video debuted via Del Rey’s VEVO on the same date. In December 2015, Del Rey started announcing festival dates for Europe and North America to promote Honeymoon. She performed at these festivals from June 2016 to November 2016.
2017: Lust for Life
Main article: Lust for Life
In October 2015, Del Rey announced that she planned writing material for her new record. She stated that her last two albums had a “Californian” sound, but if she were to make an album with a “New York” sound it would be a little harder, faster, more upbeat, and less dreamy. In January 2016, Del Rey was nominated with the “Favorite Female Artist” award at the People’s Choice Awards, and she also received a Brit Award nomination for International Female Solo Artist, her third nomination in the category and fourth overall. In February and March 2016, Del Rey and her managers, respectively, officially revealed that she began working on her fifth studio album, just months after releasing her fourth.
In 2016, Del Rey performed on two songs on The Weeknd’s third studio album Starboy. She provided uncredited backing vocals on “Party Monster” and was featured on an interlude entitled “Stargirl Interlude”.
“Love”, the lead single off of Del Rey’s fifth studio album, Lust for Life, was released on February 18, 2017. The music video was directed by Rich Lee.
Soon after, Lust for Life was officially announced on March 29, 2017, when a trailer for the album was uploaded to Del Rey’s Vevo channel. The album includes collaborations with Stevie Nicks and other artists, and was released on July 21, 2017. About the album, Del Rey stated “I made my first 4 albums for me, but this one is for my fans and about where I hope we are all headed.”
During a livestream in February 2017, Del Rey described the aesthetic of the album as having a “retro sensibility with a futuristic flair”. She released the official cover art for Lust for Life on April 11, 2017. Her first collaboration, “Lust for Life” featuring The Weeknd, was released on April 19, 2017 as the second single from the album. Del Rey released the song “Coachella – Woodstock in My Mind” on May 15, 2017.
On July 12, BBC Radio 1 aired “Summer Bummer”, which features A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti, and “Groupie Love” which features Rocky as well. Lust for Life received widespread critical acclaim and became Del Rey’s third album number-one in the United Kingdom, and second album number-one album in the United States.
On September 27, 2017, Del Rey announced the LA to the Moon Tour, an official concert tour with Jhené Aiko and Kali Uchis to further promote the album. The tour is scheduled to begin in North America during January 2018. Further dates in South America, Australia, and Europe were also announced.
Lust for Life is nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album for the 60th Grammy Awards, it is Del Rey’s second nomination in this category, and third Grammy Award nomination overall as a lead.
Del Rey is set to feature on a track from Jonathan Wilson’s upcoming album Rare Birds. The track is entitled “Living with Myself”
Artistry – Musical style
Del Rey’s musical sound has been dubbed “Hollywood sadcore” by music critics. Her music has been repeatedly noted for its cinematic sound and its references to various aspects of pop culture, particularly that of 1950s and 1960s Americana. Del Rey elaborated on this in an interview with Artistdirect, saying “I wasn’t even born in the ’50s but I feel like I was there.”
Associated with several styles, Del Rey’s music has been tagged broadly as dream pop or baroque pop linked to various forms of rock, indie music, and trip hop, and often touching on styles such as hip hop, trap music, and psychedelic rock on particular releases. Of Born to Die, indie music journal Drowned in Sound wrote, “She likes that whole hip hop thing though, has this whole swagger thing going that not many girls like her got”, adding that it sounded like a poppier Bond soundtrack.
In “National Anthem”, “Off to the Races,” and “Diet Mountain Dew”, Del Rey employs this alternative rapping technique.
Del Rey’s subsequent releases would introduce variant styles, particularly Ultraviolence, which employed a guitar-based sound akin to psychedelic and desert rock. Kenneth Partridge of Billboard noted this shift in style, writing: “She sings about drugs, cars, money, and the bad boys she’s always falling for, and while there remains a sepia-toned mid-century flavor to many of these songs, Del Rey is no longer fronting like a thugged-out Bette Davis.” Upon the release of Honeymoon, one reviewer characterized Del Rey’s body of work as being “about music as a time warp, with her languorous croons over molasses-like arrangements meant to make clock hands seem to move so slowly that it feels possible, at times, they might go backwards.”
Del Rey has been described as a “self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra” and “Lolita lost in the hood.”
Prior to coming to prominence under the stage name Lana Del Rey, she performed under the names Lizzy Grant, Lana Rey Del Mar, Sparkle Jump Rope Queen, and May Jailer. Under the stage name Lizzy Grant, she referred to her music as “Hawaiian glam metal”, while the work of her May Jailer project was acoustic.
Del Rey cites a wide array of musical artists as influences, including numerous performers from the mid-twentieth century, including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Bobby Vinton, The Crystals, Miles Davis, The Shangri-Las, Janis Joplin, Axl Rose, The Eagles, Lou Reed, and Bruce Springsteen. “I really just like the masters of every genre”, she told BBC radio presenter Jo Whiley. Her favorite artists include Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Jeff Buckley, Joan Baez and Leonard Cohen. She covered Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel #2” in 2013. Janis Joplin’s live version of “Summertime” from the Cheap Thrills album is one of Del Rey’s favorite songs. Del Rey has also cited “Time of the Season” by The Zombies and “Hotel California” by The Eagles as favorites and inspirations.
Her favorite films, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, and American Beauty have also inspired her musical style. Inspired by poetry, Del Rey cites Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg as instrumental to her songwriting; specifically, she named Leaves of Grass by Whitman and “Howl” by Ginsberg. Her song, “Body Electric” from her third EP, Paradise, alludes to Whitman in the lyric, “Whitman is my daddy”. The song’s chorus of “I sing the body electric” is a direct reference to Whitman’s poem “I Sing The Body Electric”. She recited Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself” for the French fashion magazine, L’Officiel Paris. Del Rey has also cited the surrealist film directors David Lynch and Federico Fellini and the surrealist painters Mark Ryden and Pablo Picasso as influences. Lynch’s film Blue Velvet (1986) inspired both the imagery and style of Del Rey’s “Blue Velvet” cover.
Voice and timbre
Del Rey possesses an expansive contralto vocal range, which spans three-plus octaves and has been described as captivating and highly emotive, ranging from high notes in a girlish timbre to jazzy ornaments in her lower gesture with great ease. Following the release of Ultraviolence, which was recorded live in single takes and lacking Pro Tools vocal editing, critics fell into favor with Del Rey’s vocal ability, praising her large range, increased vocal confidence, and uniquely emotive delivery. When recording in the studio Del Rey is known for vocal multi-layering, which, as it has been noted, is difficult for her to replicate within a live setting, especially with the lack of backing singers to fill out the original vocal style. Stage fright has also been noted as a major contribution to Del Rey’s struggles with live performances. However, journalists noted in 2014 that her live performances had increased exponentially in confidence. Billboard deemed the Coachella debut of “West Coast” to be a “star-making performance” and lauded the singer’s vocal abilities. Contemporary music critics have called her voice “smoky”, “gravelly”, and reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe. Upon the 2015 release of Honeymoon, her voice was compared by Los Angeles Times critic Mikael Wood to those of Julee Cruise and Eartha Kitt.
Del Rey started the use of her lower vocals on the tracks from Born to Die, claiming that “people weren’t taking me very seriously, so I lowered my voice, believing that it would help me stand out. Now I sing quite low well, for a female anyway”.
“I sing low now, but my voice used to be a lot higher. Because of the way I look, I needed something to ground the entire project. Otherwise I think people would assume I was some airhead singer. Well, I don’t think I know. I’ve sung one way, and sung another, and I’ve seen what people are drawn to”, she said on the topic.
Critics have noted Del Rey for her typically simple, but authentic live performances. A September 2017 concert review published in The New York Times noted: “For more than an hour, Ms. Del Rey was eerily casual, singing and smiling with the ease of someone performing at singer-songwriter night at the local coffee shop.” Another review by Roy Train published in The Hollywood Reporter in 2014 noted “a distance in her bonhomie, obvious even from my perch at the opposite end of the stage high above the fray, the chill still palpable.”
n 2010, Del Rey acted in a short film called Poolside, which she made with several friends on a reported budget of $400.
On January 4, 2012, it was reported she had signed a deal with Next Model Management agency H&M confirmed that Del Rey would be modeling and recording a cover version of the popular 1950s prom anthem “Blue Velvet” for their 2012 Autumn Campaign. H&M’s 2012 Winter campaign, featuring Lana Del Rey, was released on October 12. This is the second H&M campaign Lana Del Rey is featured in.
On August 22, 2012, executives announced that Del Rey would endorse their new Jaguar F-Type which was unveiled by Del Rey at the Paris Motor Show in September 2012. Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s global brand director, explained their choice, saying Del Rey had “a unique blend of authenticity and modernity”.
The song “Burning Desire”, which was initially available for immediate digital download upon pre-ordering Del Rey’s third EP, Paradise, was later made available for purchase on Amazon.com and 7digital as a stand-alone download on March 19, 2013, one month after its music video hit YouTube. The song serves as the title track to a 13-minute promotional short film for the Jaguar F-Type, called Desire. The film, directed by Adam Smith, was produced by Ridley Scott and stars Damian Lewis.
Prior to the release of her debut major label album Born to Die in 2012, Del Rey was the subject of several articles discussing her image and career trajectory. One article by Paul Harris published by The Guardian just a week before the album’s release noted the differences between Del Rey’s perceived persona in 2008, when she performed under the stage name Lizzy Grant, and in the present, as Lana Del Rey. Harris wrote:
The internet has allowed figures like Del Rey to come rapidly to the fore of the cultural landscape, whether or not their emergence is planned by a record executive or happens spontaneously from someone’s bedroom. It has speeded up the fame cycle. It is worth noting that the huge backlash to Del Rey is happening before her first album has even been released. This reveals a cultural obsession with the “authenticity” that fans, artists and corporations all prize above all else.
Tony Simon, a producer who had worked with Del Rey in 2009, defended her against the public claims of inauthenticity and allegations that she was a product of her record label: “To be clear, all the detractors saying she’s some made-up-by-the-machine pop star are full of shit. While it’s impossible to keep the businesses’ hands out the pop when creating a pop star, the roots of where this all comes from are firmly inside of Lizzy Grant.”
Del Rey would later respond to this in a 2017 interview, stating: “I didn’t edit myself on Born to Die when I could have, because a lot of its just the way it was. I mean, because I’ve changed a lot and a lot of those songs, it’s not that I don’t relate but A lot of it too is I was just kinda nervous. I came off sort of nervously, and there was just a lot of dualities, a lot of juxtapositions going on that maybe just felt like something was a little off. Maybe the thing that was off was that I needed a little more time or something, and also my path was just so windy just to get to having a first record. I feel like I had to figure it out all by myself. Every move was just guesswork.”
Having been labeled as antifeminist multiple times in the past, Del Rey dismissed feminism in June 2014, telling The Fader: “For me, the issue of feminism is just not an interesting concept. I’m more interested in, you know, SpaceX and Tesla, what’s going to happen with our intergalactic possibilities. Whenever people bring up feminism, I’m like, God. I’m just not really that interested.”
She also defended herself against the accusations of antifeminism, saying “For me, a true feminist is someone who is a woman who does exactly what she wants. If my choice is to, I don’t know, be with a lot of men, or if I enjoy a really physical relationship, I don’t think that’s necessarily being anti-feminist. For me the argument of feminism never really should have come into the picture. Because I don’t know too much about the history of feminism, and so I’m not really a relevant person to bring into the conversation. Everything I was writing was so autobiographical, it could really only be a personal analysis.”
In February 2017, Del Rey implied she had plans to take part in a magic binding ritual against Donald Trump on or about February 24, March 26, April 24, May 23, which she again confirmed in July 2017.
Del Rey stated that she suffered from alcoholism at a young age, but has been sober since 2004. In September 2012, she told GQ:
I was a big drinker at the time. I would drink every day. I would drink alone. I thought the whole concept was so fucking cool. A great deal of what I wrote on Born to Die is about these wilderness years. When I write about the thing that I’ve lost I feel like I’m writing about alcohol because that was the first love of my life. My parents were worried, I was worried. I knew it was a problem when I liked it more than I liked doing anything else. I was like, ‘I’m fucked. I am totally fucked’. Like, at first it’s fine and you think you have a dark side – it’s exciting – and then you realise the dark side wins every time if you decide to indulge in it. It’s also a completely different way of living when you know that a different species of person. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me.
She was in a relationship with Kassidy member Barrie-James O’Neill from August 2011 until June 2014. Previously, she was in a relationship with alternative rock and antifolk musician Steven Mertens, who produced her debut album, Lana Del Ray, before it was re-recorded by David Kahne.
Del Rey moved to a home near Hancock Park in June 2014 (after living in New York City and London, England in the previous years), and she resided there with her siblings, Caroline and Charlie, for some time. She relocated to a secluded beach-front home in Malibu, California, in June 2015, after dealing with trespassers at her former house. She also purchased two adjacent mansions (in addition to her Malibu home) in Studio City, Los Angeles in September 2016. Del Rey is Roman Catholic.
Del Rey’s left hand is tattooed with the letter “M”, referencing her grandmother, Madeleine, and the word “paradise”. Her right hand is tattooed with the phrase “trust no one”.
Contralto singing voice
Beauty queen hairstyle
Varies from very low to very high notes within one song
Beauty mark on her right cheek.
Best Known For
Her debut single Video Games in June 2011 and also “Born to Die” single.
Lana released her debut album Lana Del Ray A.K.A. Lizzy Grant on January 4, 2010 under 5 Points Records. It was only available in the form of digital download. It did not chart at any of the major music charts in any of the countries.
First TV Show
In 2010, she wrote as well as performed in the TV series 90210 in just 1 episode titled “I See London, I See France”.
Lana Del Rey Favorite Things
Artists – Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Jeff Buckley and Leonard Cohen
Song – Summertime (By Janis Joplin), Time of the Season (By The Zombies), Hotel California (By The Eagles)
Movies – The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, American Beauty
Lana Del Rey Facts
She signed her first recording contract in 2007 (when she was 22) with 5 Points Records.
Lana started writing songs at the age of 18.
As a teenager, she had suffered from alcohol dependence. As a result, she was sent to a boarding school, Kent School.
Lana aka Lizzy is an avid fan of English Premier League team Liverpool and Scottish Premier League side Celtic.
She describes herself as a writer first and a singer second.
Her stage name “Lana Del Rey” comes from American actress Lana Turner and a car Ford Del Rey. The name was thought by her managers.
She credits many singers and performers as her music influences like Antony and the Johnsons, Britney Spears, Eminem, Elvis Presley, Kurt Cobain, and Thomas Newman.
She has a tattoo on her left hand as “M”.
Jessica Simpson signed a recording contract with Columbia Records when she was sixteen, and released her debut studio album in 1999. The album sold over four million copies worldwide, and spawned the top three hit “I Wanna Love You Forever” (1999). Hoping to achieve further success with her second album, Simpson adopted a more mature image for the release of Irresistible (2001). The album’s title track, which served as the lead single, became her second top twenty hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The album itself earned a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Simpson married singer Nick Lachey on October 26, 2002 after four years of dating. The couple starred in the reality television series Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica (2003–05) on MTV, chronicling their marriage and careers. The show became a pop culture phenomenon and made Simpson and her husband household names. The marriage did not last, however, and by November of 2005 Simpson and Lachey confirmed they were separating; Simpson filed for divorce the following month citing irreconcilable differences.
Years active: 2005–present
Age: 35 years and 4 months
Instruments: Vocals guitar harmonica
Labels: Arista Records, Arista Nashville 19 Recordings, Capitol Nashville
Associated acts: Brad Paisley Miranda Lambert Keith Urban
Height: 5 ft 3 in or 160 cm
She rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol in 2005. Her debut album, Some Hearts, was released in 2005. Bolstered by the huge crossover success of the singles “Jesus, Take the Wheel” and “Before He Cheats”, it became the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history, the fastest-selling debut country album in Nielsen SoundScan history and the best-selling country album of the last 14 years. Underwood won three Grammy Awards for the album, including Best New Artist.
Her second album Carnival Ride followed in 2007. It had one of the biggest ever opening weeks by a female artist and earned Underwood two Grammy Awards. Her next album, 2009’s Play On, was a commercial success led by the single “Cowboy Casanova”. Underwood’s fourth album, Blown Away (2012), earned her a Grammy Award and was that year’s second best-selling release by a female artist. Her first compilation album (2014) was a chart and sales success and earned her a Grammy Award. Her fifth album, Storyteller (2015), made her the only country artist to have all first five studio albums reach either numbers one or two on the Billboard 200.
One of the most successful artists in any musical genre, Underwood has sold more than 65 million records worldwide. Recognized by Billboard as Country Music’s reigning Queen and by Rolling Stone as “the female vocalist of her generation of any genre”, she was listed by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014. Underwood is the top country artist of all-time on the RIAA’s Digital Singles ranking and the highest certified country album artist to debut in the 21st century. She is the only solo country artist in the 2000s to have a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100, the only country artist to debut at number one on the Hot 100, and the woman with most number-one hits in the history of the Billboard Country Airplay chart . She is the most successful American Idol winner of all time, per Forbes. Billboard named Some Hearts the number-one country album of the 2000s and her as top female artist on their’s Best Country Artists of the 2000s list. She has been inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grand Ole Opry, Oklahoma Hall of Fame and Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and received numerous accolades including 7 Grammy Awards, 15 Billboard Music Awards, 12 ACM Awards, 12 American Music Awards, 8 CMA Awards and a Guinness World Record.
Underwood was born March 10, 1983, in Muskogee, Oklahoma, to Carole (Shatswell) and Steve Underwood. She is the youngest of three daughters and was raised on her parents’ farm in the nearby rural town of Checotah. Her father worked in a sawmill while her mother taught elementary school. She has two older sisters, Shanna and Stephanie. Extremely hyperactive, she was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at age five and was prescribed Ritalin and Dexedrine, medicines she still takes as an adult. During her childhood, Underwood performed at Robbins Memorial Talent Show, and sang at her local church, First Free Will Baptist Church. She later sang for local events in Checotah, including Old Settler’s Day and the Lion’s Club.
A local admirer arranged for her to go to Nashville when she was 14 to audition for Capitol Records. In 1996, Capitol Records was preparing a contract for Underwood but canceled it when company management changed. Underwood said of the event, “I honestly think it’s a lot better that nothing came out of it now, because I wouldn’t have been ready then. Everything has a way of working out.” While at Checotah High School, she was an Honor Society member, a cheerleader, and played basketball and softball. Underwood graduated from Checotah High School in 2001 as salutatorian. She chose not to pursue singing after graduation. She said, “After high school, I pretty much gave up on the dream of singing. I had reached a point in my life where I had to be practical and prepare for my future in the ‘real world'”. She attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, graduating magna cum laude in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and an emphasis in journalism. She spent part of one of her summers as a page for Oklahoma State Representative Bobby Frame. She also waited tables at a pizzeria, worked at a zoo, and at a veterinary clinic. Underwood is an alumna of the Alpha Iota chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority.
For two years during the summer, she performed in Northeastern State University’s Downtown Country show in Tahlequah. She competed in numerous beauty pageants at the university and was selected as Miss NSU runner-up in 2004.
2004–2005: American Idol
In the summer of 2004, Underwood auditioned for American Idol in St. Louis, Missouri, singing Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me”. After she sang “Could’ve Been” by Tiffany on the top 12 girls night, judge Simon Cowell commented that she would be one of the favorites to win the competition. During the top 11 finalists’ performance on the March 22, 2005, Idol episode, Underwood sang a rendition of the number-one 1980s rock hit “Alone”, made famous by Heart, and Cowell predicted that Underwood would not only win the competition, but she would also outsell all previous Idol winners. One of the show’s producers later said she dominated the voting, winning every week handily. She gained a fan base known as “Carrie’s Care Bears” during the course of the show. During the final, she sang with Rascal Flatts on “Bless the Broken Road.” On May 25, 2005, Underwood became the season four winner. Her winnings included a recording contract worth at least a million dollars, use of a private jet for a year, and a Ford Mustang convertible.
2005–2007: Some Hearts and breakthrough
Underwood’s music career began with the release of her first single, “Inside Your Heaven”, on June 14, 2005. The song debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, with Underwood becoming only the third artist to bow in the top slot since chart policy changed in 1998. She also broke Billboard chart history as the first country music artist ever to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100 and the song became the first song from a country artist to go to No. 1 on the Hot 100 since country group Lonestar’s “Amazed” did so in 2000. “Inside Your Heaven” is the only single by a solo country artist in the decade of 2000-2009 to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Pop 100 and on the Canadian Singles Chart, topping it for seven consecutive weeks, becoming the longest-running single of 2005 in Canada. It sold nearly one million copies and was certified gold by the RIAA and double platinum by the CRIA.
Underwood’s debut album, Some Hearts, was released on November 15, 2005, entering the Billboard charts with 315,000 copies sold, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums and at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The large first week sales of Some Hearts made it the biggest debut of any country artist since the advent of the SoundScan system in 1991. Some Hearts became the best-selling album of 2006 in all genres in the United States. The album was also the best-selling country album of both 2006 and 2007, making Underwood the first female artist in Billboard history to earn back-to-back honors for Top Country Album. Additionally, it was the best-selling female country album of 2005, 2006, and 2007. Some Hearts has since become the fastest-selling debut country album in the history of the SoundScan era, the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history, the best-selling Country album of the last 14 years, and the best-selling album by an American Idol alumni in the US. The album is certified eight times platinum by the RIAA, the highest album certification of any country artist to emerge since 2000.
The album’s second single, “Jesus, Take the Wheel” was released to radio in October and later peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, topping it for six consecutive weeks, and at number twenty on the Hot 100. The song sold over two million copies and was certified double Platinum by the RIAA. Underwood’s third single, “Some Hearts”, was also released in October, but exclusively to pop radio. “Don’t Forget to Remember Me”, her fourth single, also proved successful, reaching No. 2 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Later that autumn, Underwood’s third country single, “Before He Cheats”, hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs, staying there for five consecutive weeks. The song peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, achieving the slowest climb ever to the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, breaking the record that was previously held by Creed from July 2000. In February 2008, when it was certified double Platinum, “Before He Cheats” became the first country song to ever be certified multi-platinum. It has now been certified five times Platinum, selling more than four million copies, and is the fourth best-selling country digital song of all time. On April 11, 2007, Underwood continued her streak of top Country singles with the release of “Wasted”, which peaked at No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, sold more than one million copies and was certified Platinum by the RIAA. In August 2008, the “Jesus, Take the Wheel” ringtone was reported to have been certified Platinum, making Underwood the first country artist ever to have two songs hit Platinum Mastertone status together with “Before He Cheats”, which had been certified earlier in 2007. Underwood started her first headlined tour, Carrie Underwood: Live 2006, with dates across North America.
At the 2005 Billboard Music Awards, her hit song “Inside Your Heaven” won the coveted Top-Selling Hot 100 Song of the Year award and also Top-Selling Country Single of the Year award, and she won Country Single Sales Artist of the Year. At the 2006 Academy of Country Music Awards, she won Top New Female Vocalist and Single of the Year, for “Jesus, Take the Wheel”. At the 40th Annual Country Music Association Awards, she won both the Horizon Award (now New Artist of the Year) and Female Vocalist of the Year. At the 2006 CMT Awards, Underwood won both the Breakthrough Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year for “Jesus, Take The Wheel”. She later won the Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award at the American Music Awards, and was also nominated for Favorite Female Country Artist. She won five awards at the 2006 Billboard Music Awards, including the coveted Album of the Year, Top 200 Female Artist of the Year, Female Country Artist, New Country Artist, and Country Album of the Year. That year, Underwood also won a Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Award for Country Recorded Song of the Year, for “Jesus, Take The Wheel”. At the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2007, Underwood won Album of the Year, Video of the Year, and Female Vocalist of the Year. She was nominated for “World’s Best Selling New Artist” at the 2006 World Music Awards. At the 2007 CMT Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, on April 16, Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” won three awards, including Video of the Year, Female Video of the Year, and Video Director of the Year. Underwood won two awards at the 2007 CMA Awards: Female Vocalist of the Year, for the second consecutive time, and Single Record of the Year, for “Before He Cheats”.
In 2007, at the 49th Grammy Awards, Some Hearts received four Grammy nominations and Underwood won her first two Grammy Awards: Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Jesus, Take the Wheel. By winning the Best New Artist Grammy Award, Underwood became only the second country artist to ever win the award in the 56-year history of the Grammy Awards, following LeAnn Rimes (1997). She sang the Eagles song “Life in the Fast Lane” alongside Grammy nominees Rascal Flatts. She also sang the Eagles’ “Desperado” to honour Don Henley of The Eagles. She also paid tribute to Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys by performing “New San Antonio Rose”. At the 50th Grammy Awards, in 2008, Underwood was nominated for two more Grammys: Best Female Country Vocal Performance, for “Before He Cheats” and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals, for “Oh, Love” a duet with Brad Paisley. She won one Grammy Award that night, for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, and performed the song at the ceremony.
In December 2005, Underwood was named Oklahoman of the Year by Oklahoma Today. In December 2006, Underwood joined Tony Bennett, Michael Bublé, and Josh Groban to sing “For Once in My Life” on The Oprah Winfrey Show. That same month, she paid tribute to Dolly Parton, by singing “Islands in the Stream” with Kenny Rogers (originally by Parton and Rogers) at the Kennedy Center Honors, which honored Parton that year. Underwood performed with the USO Christmas Tour in Iraq during the 2006 Holiday season. Underwood also performed at the 2007 Idol Gives Back concert, singing “I’ll Stand By You”, a cover of The Pretenders hit. Her version of the song debuted at No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs.
In 2007, Forbes reported that Underwood earned over $7 million between June 2006 and June 2007. Also in 2007, Victoria’s Secret named Underwood the Sexiest Female Musician.
2007–2009: Carnival Ride and commercial success
Underwood’s second album, Carnival Ride, was released in October 2007. On Carnival Ride, Underwood was more involved in the songwriting process; she set up a writers’ retreat at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium to collaborate with such Music Row tunesmiths as Hillary Lindsey, Craig Wiseman, Rivers Rutherford, and Gordie Sampson. Carnival Ride moved over 527,000 copies in its first week, debuting at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums, as well as No. 1 on the Canadian Albums Chart, one of the biggest first-week sales by a female artist. Carnival Ride was certified double platinum in just two months after its release in December. The album is now certified four times Multi-Platinum by the RIAA. “So Small”, the first single from the album, was released in July 2007 and reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs, topping it for three consecutive weeks. “All-American Girl”, the second single, also reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart. The next single, “Last Name”, reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Song chart as well. This made Underwood the first female artist to have two consecutive albums each release three number ones on this chart since Shania Twain in 1998. “Just a Dream”, the album’s next single, was released on July 2008 and later peaked at No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, staying there for two consecutive weeks. With that, Underwood became the first solo female artist to pull four number one’s from one album since Twain did it with The Woman in Me. The album’s fifth single, “I Told You So”, a duet with the original singer of the song, Randy Travis, was released in February 2009. It peaked at No. 2 on the Country charts and No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. All singles from Carnival Ride were certified Platinum by the RIAA, for selling more than one million copies each. In January 2008, Underwood embarked on a joint tour with Keith Urban named the Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Carnival Ride Tour, with dates fixed nationwide that continued through April. She then started her headlined tour, the Carnival Ride Tour, in February 2008, with dates across all North America, and ended it on December 14, 2008, playing to 1.2 million fans throughout the tour and being named the top-selling country female touring artist of 2008.
At the end of 2007, Underwood topped five Billboard Year-End charts, including Billboard 200 Artist of the Year and also Country Artist of the Year. Also in late 2007, she won three American Music Awards: Artist of the Year, Favorite Female Country Artist, and Favorite Country Album, for Some Hearts. At the 2008 Academy of Country Music Awards, she won Female Vocalist of the Year, for the 2nd consecutive time. She received two nominations for the 2008 Country Music Association Awards. Underwood and Brad Paisley co-hosted the awards show and she walked away with the Female Vocalist of the Year award for the third consecutive time but lost the Album of the Year award to George Strait. At the 2008 American Music Awards, Carnival Ride won the Favorite Country Album award, thus making that her 2nd consecutive win in such category.
In 2008, Underwood won her first international award, which was “Female Vocalist of the Year” at the European Country Music Association Awards. For the 44th Academy of Country Music Awards, in 2009, Underwood was nominated for four major awards. Underwood won for Female Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year, thus making her the first woman to win the award in ten years and the 7th female to take it in the award show’s four-decade run. Underwood was nominated for Video of the Year at the 2009 CMT Awards for “Just A Dream”. In 2009, at the 51st Grammy Awards, she won, for the third year in a row, the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, for “Last Name”, and performed the song at the ceremony. At the 52nd Grammy Awards in 2010, Underwood won her fifth Grammy Award: She won the Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for “I Told You So” with Randy Travis and was also nominated again for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, for “Just A Dream”. At the ceremony, she performed with Celine Dion, Usher, Smokey Robinson, and Jennifer Hudson during the 3-D Michael Jackson tribute. Grammy Awards producer Ken Ehrlich stated that Michael Jackson greatly admired Underwood, which is why she was hand-picked to perform during his tribute.
On May 13, 2008, Underwood was invited by Randy Travis to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Later that month she was officially inducted by Garth Brooks into the Grand Ole Opry. A few months earlier, she sang Julie Andrews’s classic, the title song from The Sound of Music, at the 2007 Movies Rock: A Celebration Of Music In Film. On October 22, 2008, Underwood unveiled her wax figure at Madame Tussauds New York. In 2008, it was reported by Forbes that Underwood earned over $9 million between June 2007 and June 2008, being No. 79 on the Top Celebrity 100 list. In 2009, Forbes reported that Underwood was the top earning American Idol alumnus from June 2008 to May 17, 2009. She earned more than twice as much as the second-place finisher, with estimated earnings of $14 million during this time period. She appeared on the holiday CD Hear Something Country Christmas 2007 with a rendition of “Do You Hear What I Hear?”. The song reached No. 2 on the AC Chart and remained there for three consecutive weeks. She recorded the song “Ever Ever After” for the soundtrack of the 2007 Walt Disney film Enchanted. Underwood co-wrote a song for Idol alum Kristy Lee Cook’s major-label debut album Why Wait. At the 2008 Idol Gives Back, she sang George Michael’s classic “Praying For Time” and later recorded it. In November 2008, Underwood recorded a virtual and posthumous duet with Elvis Presley, on his classic “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”, for his 2008 album Christmas Duets. Elvis’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, herself asked Underwood to do the duet: “Priscilla wanted me to do ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas'”, she says. “I couldn’t say ‘no’.” In March 2009, she tracked a cover of Mötley Crüe’s ballad “Home Sweet Home” for the American Idol season eight farewell theme.
2009–2012: Play On and collaborations
Underwood released her third studio album, Play On, on November 3, 2009. The album debuted atop both the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums, selling over 318,000 copies in its first week, and became, upon its release, the top-selling release of the year by a female artist, but was later overtaken by Susan Boyle’s I Dreamed a Dream and finished the year as No. 2. Underwood wrote a song with pop/R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo for the album, the song, however, did not make the album. The first single from the album, “Cowboy Casanova”, co-written by Underwood, Brett James and hip hop producer Mike Elizondo, was released in September 2009. It was a huge success, jumping from No. 96 to No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its second week, one of the biggest single-week upwards on the chart of all time. It later peaked at No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart in just ten weeks, the year’s fastest chart-topper by a country female and the fastest number one of her career at that time (her 2014 single “Something in the Water” topped the Hot Country Songs chart in its seventh week). “Cowboy Casanova” has sold over 2 million copies, being certified double Platinum. Second single, “Temporary Home” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and the RIAA certified it Platinum. “Undo It”, Underwood’s third single from “Play On”, was released to radio in May. It was later certified Platinum and hit No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, giving Underwood her tenth number-one single on the Hot Country Songs. The 4th single from Play On, “Mama’s Song”, was released to country radio in September, peaked at two on the Hot Country Songs and was certified Gold by the RIAA. The album is certified Triple Platinum.
Underwood’s Play On Tour started its first leg on March 11, 2010, in Reading, Pennsylvania. The second leg of the tour started on September 25, 2010, in Portland, Oregon, and ended January 1, 2011, in Detroit. Underwood sold out the prestigious Hollywood Bowl on October 2, 2010.
In December 2010, Pollstar.com ranked the Play On Tour one of the Top 50 tours of 2010, at No. 1 on the North American raking, and No. 31 worldwide. Billboard also ranked Underwood’s tour at No. 24 for all worldwide tours of 2010. On January 4, 2011, official statistics revealed that Underwood played to over 1 million fans throughout the tour, resulting in her being named again as the top-ranked female country touring artist of the year.
At the 2009 CMA Awards, she received two nominations and co-hosted the ceremony with Brad Paisley. Underwood was nominated for six Academy of Country Music Awards. At the show, Underwood was named Entertainer of the Year, making her the first woman in history to win this award twice. Host Reba McEntire presented Underwood with the “ACM Triple Crown Award” signifying her winning Top New Artist, Top Female Vocalist, and Entertainer of the Year during her career. She was only the second Female to win the coveted “Triple Crown Award”, the first being Barbara Mandrell. At the CMT Music Awards, Underwood walked away with Video of the Year for “Cowboy Casanova” and also won CMT Performance of the Year for “Temporary Home” from CMT: Invitation Only presents Carrie Underwood. Underwood won two international awards at the 8th French Country Music Awards, which were Best Female Vocalist and Video of the Year, for “Cowboy Casanova”. At the 2010 American Music Awards, she won “Favorite Country Album”, for “Play On”, making her the only artist in the American Music Award history to have all albums awarded in such a category. She co-hosted the 2010 CMA Awards with Brad Paisley for the third year in a row. At the 2011 Grammy Awards, Underwood was nominated for ‘Best Female Country Vocal Performance’ for “Temporary Home”. Underwood was honored by the CMT Artists of the Year special as one of the 5 top Artists of the year in 2010 in country music. The event aired on CMT on December 3, 2010. At the 2011 Academy of Country Music Awards, Underwood sang with Steven Tyler both her song “Undo It” and Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way”.
In May 2011, Underwood was one of the seven women to be honored by the Academy of Country Music at the Girls’ Night Out: Superstar Women of Country special. She was recognized for being the first and only female artist in the Academy’s history to ever win Entertainer of the Year twice. At the ceremony, Vince Gill introduced Underwood and presented her with the special award. He sang one of her hits, “Jesus, Take The Wheel”, and joined Underwood on a rendition performance of “How Great Thou Art”. The video of the performance turned into a viral sensation, reaching 3 million views on YouTube within two days.
In December 2009, Some Hearts was named the number-one Country Album of the 2000 Decade by Billboard and Underwood was the top-ranked female artist on Billboard’s Best Country Artists of the 2000 Decade list. Overall, she was ranked No. 50 on the Artists of the Decade list by Billboard. Also in late 2009, Underwood had her very own CMT Invitation Only and also hosted a Christmas special, Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special, a two-hour variety show on Fox that featured Dolly Parton (with whom she sang a rendition duet of “I Will Always Love You”) season seven American Idol champion David Cook, Kristin Chenoweth, Brad Paisley and others. In May 2010, Underwood was selected on People Magazine’s 100 Most Beautiful People List for 2010. This was the 4th year in a row that she was selected for the list. Also in May, Victoria’s Secret named her legs the Sexiest Legs in Hollywood. In June 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Underwood as the No. 11 Queen of Pop, based on a lot of criteria from 2009 until 2011. Underwood co-wrote and recorded a song titled “There’s a Place for Us”, the lead single from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Underwood and songwriters, David Hodges and Hillary Lindsey, received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. In March 2011, Underwood sang John Lennon’s “Instant Karma!” at the NBC’s special All Together Now – A Celebration of Service, which honored former President George H. W. Bush. At the season ten finale of American Idol, Underwood selected a song for contestant Lauren Alaina to sing.
Underwood is featured on “Remind Me”, a duet with Brad Paisley that reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, giving Underwood her eleventh number-one single on such chart and fourteenth overall. She has also a duet with Tony Bennett on his 2011 album Duets II and another duet with Randy Travis on his 2011 Anniversary Celebration album. Underwood was one of the headliners of the iHeartRadio Music Festival. The event took place on September 23 and 24, 2011.
On September 19, Underwood performed “You Really Got a Hold on Me” in order to honor Smokey Robinson, as he was presented with the Ella Award at the Society of Singers annual dinner. Robinson returned the favor to Underwood by singing “My Girl” to her. At the same event, they sang together with Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole and other artists a medley of multiple songs. In 2010, Underwood was reported by Forbes to have earned over $13 million from May 2009 to May 2010, being the top-earning Idol. In July 2011, Forbes reported that Underwood earned over $20 million between May 2010 and May 2011, being the top-earning American Idol alumnus for the fourth consecutive year.
On February 4, 2012, Underwood joined Steven Tyler to record CMT’s Crossroads at the Pepsi Coliseum during the Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam of Super Bowl XLVI. It was the highest-rated episode in seven years.
On February 12, 2012, Underwood and Tony Bennett performed their duet “It Had to Be You” at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. They also sang the song on the season two premiere of Blue Bloods in September 2011.
2012–2013: Blown Away and global tour
Blown Away, Underwood’s fourth album, was released on May 1, 2012. Underwood has said that this album features songs with a “darker storyline”. “Blown Away” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the Country Albums Chart and the Digital Albums chart in the US, selling more than 267,000 in its first week. The first single, “Good Girl”, was released to the iTunes Store on February 23, 2012. It was officially released to Country radio on February 27, 2012. The music video for “Good Girl” premiered on Entertainment Tonight and on VEVO on March 12, 2012. The song peaked at No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, giving Underwood her twelfth number-one on the chart, and was certified Double Platinum and has sold over two million copies. The song “Blown Away” was released as the second single from the album on July 9, 2012. It was a massive success, selling over 2 million copies, being certified Triple Platinum, reaching the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, the number-one spot on the Billboard Country Airplay and the Top 2 of the Top Country Songs, where it became Underwood’s 16th Top 10 hit on Hot Country Songs chart, a record among women in the tally’s 68-year history. The album was the 7th best-selling album of 2012, the second best-selling country album of the year and the second best-selling release by a female artist in 2012. It has been certified Double Platinum by the RIAA and sold over 1.7 million copies in the United States alone. In August 2012, it was announced that Underwood would have her very own VH1 Unplugged (called “VH1 Presents: Carrie Underwood Unplugged”) and VH1 Behind The Music episodes. “Two Black Cadillacs”, the third single from the album, was released on November 26. It became Underwood’s 17th top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, extending her own record, later peaking at No. 2 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart and certified Platinum. In March 2013, “See You Again” was released as the album’s fourth single; it has peaked at number 2 on Country Airplay chart and has been certified Platinum by the RIAA.
At the 2012 CMT Music Awards, Underwood won the awards for Video of the Year, for “Good Girl”, and Collaborative Video of the Year, for “Remind Me”, her duet with Brad Paisley. She also performed “Good Girl” at the ceremony. At the 2012 American Music Awards, she won the award for Favorite Album – Country, for Blown Away, and performed “Two Black Cadillacs”. In early 2013, Underwood won the prize for Top Selling International Album of the Year at the 41st Country Music Awards of Australia, held by the Country Music Association of Australia. Also in February 2013, Underwood won her sixth Grammy Award, for Best Country Solo Performance, for “Blown Away”. She performed a medley of “Blown Away” and “Two Black Cadillacs” at the awards show. On February 13, Underwood received two nominations for the Academy of Country Music Awards. She won International Album of the Year at the 2013 British Country Music Awards. At the 2013 CMT Music Awards, Underwood won her 10th award, becoming the most awarded artist ever in CMT Music Awards history. She won Video of the Year for “Blown Away” for the fourth time, which also makes her the artist with the most wins ever in the category. During the ceremony, she paid tribute to tornado victims in Oklahoma, by performing “See You Again” backed by a choir from Nashville’s Christ Church.
On May 1, 2012, Underwood announced her international arena tour, the Blown Away Tour. The first leg consisted, besides the North American dates, of concerts in the UK, at the Royal Albert Hall in London on June 21, 2012, which sold out in 90 minutes, and five shows in Australia, including a sold-out date at the Sydney Opera House, on July 2. The first leg of the Blown Away Tour made Underwood the best-selling female country touring artist of 2012, grossing over $29.2 million and bringing her career tour revenues to over $95 million. The tour had its own exhibition at the Country Music Hall of Fame, called “Carrie Underwood: The Blown Away Tour Exhibition”, which ran from June 5 through November 10, 2013. The second leg of the tour started in February 2013, with shows in Ireland, an additional show in England, as part of the C2C: Country to Country festival, and several shows in North America. All dates of the second leg of the Blown Away Tour were sold out, breaking records. Underwood wrapped the Blown Away Tour in late May 2013, playing to one million fans across three continents and six countries. Her three headline arena tours have played to over 3.2 million fans combined. On May 31, it was announced on Underwood’s official site that she would release The Blown Away Tour: LIVE, a DVD with nearly 100 minutes of performance footage, behind-the-scene looks, interviews, and music videos from the album Blown Away. The DVD was released on August 13, 2013, and is Underwood’s first official DVD concert.
On February 22, 2013, Billboard ranked Underwood as the 16th money maker for the period from February 2012 to February 2013. She earned close to $12 million, being American Idol’s Top Earner and second for female country artists. In June 2013, Forbes placed Underwood at No. 46 on The Celebrity 100 list, reporting that she earned more than $31 million between June 2012 and June 2013, being the top-earning American Idol.
On January 21, 2013, “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You”, a song by rock band Aerosmith with featured vocals by Underwood, was released as a single.
On May 25, Underwood joined The Rolling Stones onstage during the stop of the band’s 50 and Counting Tour in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They performed “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)”. On September 22, 2013, at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, she was part of the Emmy Awards’ special tribute honoring the 50th Anniversary of 1963 Television Milestones, which includes the assassination coverage of President John F. Kennedy and The Beatles’ first US appearance. She performed one of The Beatles’ iconic songs, “Yesterday”.
2014–2015: Greatest Hits: Decade #1
Underwood confirmed that she began planning a new album in August 2013 and would start prep work sometime in 2014. Underwood told Billboard, “After The Sound of Music, I feel like I can really buckle down and start working on the next album.” Underwood also stated she has been planning another tour, which might be toned down from her earlier ones, stating, “I haven’t thought about it much because I don’t know what the next album is going to sound like, but I like just standing there and singing, too. I may take a different approach, a more simple approach on the next one. I loved the energy that rock concerts had,” Underwood told Billboard. Underwood is featured on Miranda Lambert’s album Platinum, on a song called “Somethin’ Bad”. Released as a single, “Somethin’ Bad” reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, becoming Underwood’s 13th number-one on the chart. The same week, the song vaulted to No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In early 2014, she performed on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, paying tribute to Linda Ronstadt. Her performances were highly acclaimed by critics and even by Stevie Nicks, who performed with Underwood. In September, Underwood headlined the 2014 Global Citizen Festival, alongside Jay-Z, No Doubt and other music acts. Her cover of R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” during her performance was highly praised. She headlined the 2014 Concert for Valor in November, alongside Eminem, Metallica, Foo Fighters, and other music acts, where she was backed by the Singing Sergeants of the US Air Force during the performance of “Something in the Water”. Underwood was asked by Bono himself to front U2’s World AIDS Day (RED) Concert, alongside U2, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, and Kanye West, on December 1, 2014. She was joined on stage by U2 guitarist The Edge during a performance of her song “Change”, which received acclaim.
The Academy of Country Music awarded Underwood the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award, for her widespread exposure through NFL Sunday Night Football, the live NBC broadcast of The Sound of Music, her worldwide Blown Away Tour and her charity work with the American Red Cross and her C.A.T.S. Foundation. At the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, Underwood won the Milestone Award, for which she had been nominated due to her chart success, especially her record of having the best starting run ever by a woman on the Country Airplay chart (18 top ten hits on the chart). Time listed Underwood as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, placing her in the “Icons” category. She won the award for Favorite Female Country Artist at the American Music Awards, marking her eighth career AMA. She was named 2014’s top female Christian artist by Billboard. In 2015 at the 57th Grammy Awards, Underwood won Best Country Solo Performance for “Something in the Water”, marking her seventh career Grammy Award. At the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, she won the award for Top Christian Song for “Something in the Water”. At the 2015 CMT Music Awards, Underwood won three awards, including Video of the Year for “Something in the Water”. She won her ninth American Music Award in 2015, winning Favorite Female Country Artist.
In September 2014, Underwood appeared on The Today Show, where she announced her first greatest hits compilation, Greatest Hits: Decade #1, which was released on December 9. The album’s lead single, “Something in the Water”, became a crossover success. It reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, becoming her fourteenth number-one hit on that chart and her second in 2014. With fourteen number ones, she holds the record as the female country artist with the most number-one hits on the Hot Country Songs chart in the Nielsen SoundScan era (since 1991) in the Guinness Book. The song topped the Hot Christian Songs chart and has held the top spot for multiple consecutive weeks. It debuted at No. 24 on the Hot 100 chart as well. The song set and broke multiple airplay records on Country radio in its first week. In February 2015, “Little Toy Guns” was released as the second single from the compilation. The track peaked at number six on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs, number two on the Country Airplay Chart and number 47 on the Hot 100. The song was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance at the 58th Grammy Awards. The compilation debuted with the biggest sales debut for a hits collection in any genre of music in more than six years and the biggest first-week sales for a female hits album in any genre in over nine years.
2015–present: Storyteller and label change
Underwood returned to the studio to finish her fifth studio album in the spring of 2015. On August 20, 2015, via live Facebook stream, Underwood announced her album would be titled Storyteller and was scheduled to be released on October 23, 2015. The lead single, “Smoke Break”, was serviced to radio immediately following the announcement. Storyteller debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, making Underwood the only country artist to have their first five studio albums debut at Nos. 1 or 2 on the Billboard 200. In addition, the album debuted at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart, earning Underwood another record as the only artist to score six consecutive number-one albums on that chart. Storyteller has since been certified Platinum by the RIAA.
The album’s second single, “Heartbeat”, became Underwood’s 14th leader on the Country Airplay while the album’s third single, “Church Bells”, became her 15th career No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart, both extending her record for the most number one’s among women in the history of the chart. Underwood became the first female artist to score two number one hits on the Country Airplay chart in 2016. A fourth single, “Dirty Laundry”, was released from the album in August 2016. Billboard ranked Underwood as the top female country artist for the year, and fifth overall.
Underwood launched the Storyteller Tour, her fifth headlining tour, in January 2016, with a second half picking up in August. The tour has since played to over 1 million fans, completing 92 shows across 7 countries while being named by Billboard the top country tour for the first half of the year.
In June 2016, Underwood received three nominations from the CMT Music Awards, taking home two honors for “Smoke Break”, expanding her CMT Music Award total to 15—the most among all acts. She was named Female Vocalist of the Year by the American Country Countdown Awards in 2016, and also received the CMA Chairman’s Award. In July, she picked up her fifth Teen Choice Award, for Choice Country Artist. Underwood also received two nominations from the Billboard Music Awards, including Top Country Artist. In September 2016, Underwood was the first artist to receive the ACM Lifting Lives Gary Haber Award, for her continuous work with charities.
On October 20, 2016, Underwood was honored as one of CMT Artists of the Year, marking her third year to receive the award. Underwood received four nominations for the 50th annual Country Music Association Awards, including her first nomination for Entertainer of the Year. She walked away with Female Vocalist of the Year, her fourth time to win the award. She further received three nominations for the 2016 American Music Awards, including the top prize for Artist of the Year. She won Favorite Female Country Artist for the fourth time and Favorite Country Album (for Storyteller) for the fifth time, expanding her record as the only artist to win the award for all albums released.
Underwood was one of 30 artists to perform on “Forever Country”, a mash-up track of “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, “On the Road Again”, and “I Will Always Love You” celebrating 50 years of the CMA Awards. The single debuted at number one on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs. In December 2016, she joined Keith Urban for a series of concerts in Australia and New Zealand.
In January 2017, she received her ninth People’s Choice award, winning Favorite Female Country Artist. Underwood received one nomination – Best Country Solo Performance – for her single “Church Bells” for the 59th annual Grammy awards. She and Keith Urban performed their new single, “The Fighter,” at the Grammy ceremony. Their joint single peaked in the top two of the Hot Country Songs and top twenty of the adult contemporary chart and sold nearly a million copies within the same year.
She presented two awards for the musical categories with Sting at the 74th annual Golden Globe awards. She received two nominations for the 52nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards, including Entertainer of the Year. She scored three more nominations for the 2017 CMT Music Awards in June, including Video of the Year for “Church Bells.” She won Female Video of the year, extending her record for most wins in the show’s history. Underwood scored two nominations for the 2017 Teen Choice awards, including Choice Country Artist, which she won for a third consecutive year. She received one nomination from the 45th annual American Music Awards in the Favorite Female Artist – Country category, which she won for the fourth year in a row, bringing her total to twelve American Music awards.
Underwood announced in early 2017 that she would be taking some time off at the beginning of the year to spend time with family, and would then, possibly, begin to write for her next album. On March 28, 2017, it was announced that Underwood had signed with Universal Music Group’s Capitol Records Nashville after being with Arista Nashville for nearly twelve years.
Madame Tussauds unveiled a new figure of Underwood when the Nashville location opened in April 2017.
Christian singer Matthew West revealed Underwood collaborated with him for his 2017 album All In, on a song called “Something Greater.”
The Country Music Association announced that Underwood and Brad Paisley would be returning to host the CMA Awards in November, marking their 10th consecutive year as hosts. Underwood again received a nomination in the Female Vocalist category, her twelfth nomination to date. She performed “Softly and Tenderly” as part of a tribute to the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival shooting, and the performance received widespread acclaim.
In October 2017, Underwood announced via Instagram that she would be releasing her second concert experience – The Storyteller Tour: Live from Madison Square Garden. It was made available digitally on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and Qello Concerts on November 17.
Artistry – Voice
Underwood has been highly acclaimed for her vocal talents. David Wild of Rolling Stone has praised her voice, saying that “she can hit any note”. Her vocal range has been described as “enormous”, with critics highlighting her ability to hold notes for an extended period of time. Billboard describes her vocal ability as “freakish”. Concert critics have pointed out that “she’ll let loose with an improbably long note that runs through more octaves than you knew existed”. When asked if it ever becomes difficult to belt at such high intensity during her 90–120 minute live shows, Underwood responded, “I’m too proud to drop keys. I won’t do it. Maybe the older I get, I’ll write some songs in lower keys so it’ll be easier. I’ve always been pretty good as far as stamina onstage. Being able to work out and stay physically strong is important So far, it’s worked for me. I’m just blessed at being able to be loud for long periods of time.” Fellow country music singer Randy Travis paid high praises to Underwood’s voice when asked about her cover of his 1988 hit song “I Told You So”, saying that “her voice is so much better suited to the song. I have a baritone voice, and her soprano voice really fits well with the range of the song. Her ability to get into the upper register of her voice and just hold those high notes is great.” Her voice has also been praised as “versatile”. She has indeed performed live versions of gospel songs like “How Great Thou Art”, in which Yahoo! critics noticed her ability to move an audience with a “powerful performance”, and Rock songs like Guns N’ Roses’ “Paradise City”, with Rolling Stone critics saying it was a “standout performance”, adding that “when the song reached its crescendo, the singer went right over the edge with it, twirling like a tornado and tossing in more than a few banshee wails” and even saying “if the original members of Guns N’ Roses ever wanted to reunite without Axl Rose, they might be wise to ask Carrie Underwood to fill his bandana”.
Underwood has credited “music as a whole” as her major influence, since she “grew up listening to music” and “there were songs, different kind of songs coming at me from everywhere”. But she has occasionally mentioned Rock acts like Queen, George Michael, The Rolling Stones, and My Chemical Romance as influences. Among Country artists, she has listed George Strait, Dolly Parton, Randy Travis, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, and Garth Brooks as influences. Although never publicly mentioning Faith Hill and Shania Twain as musical influences, critics have linked Underwood’s musical style to those of Hill and Twain. Her music is generally Country pop with Rock influence similar to that of Kelly Clarkson, as noticed by Rolling Stone. She has also released songs with Christian music influence.
Since her debut in 2005, Underwood has been praised by both veteran artists and music critics. Rolling Stone describes Underwood as “the female vocalist of her generation of any genre”, while Billboard magazine refers to her as Country Music’s reigning Queen.
Grady Smith of The Guardian has praised her, saying “Carrie Underwood has emerged as the leader of country music”. Time listed her in their 100 most influential people in the world in 2014, in which Brad Paisley wrote “not only has she earned her place, she’s also raised the bar: she’s a prolific songwriter, a trendsetter and an Opry member”, and further considers her to be “the best singer in any format of music.” Vince Gill has also stated: “The possibility of Carrie’s longevity is through the roof. There are fine singers, and there are gifted, great singers, and she’s one of those. Her vocal skills are off the hook”. Melissa Etheridge also adds saying “she has a power in her country music, in her singing. She can crossover to Rock in a second”. She has further received public commendation from Stevie Nicks, Steven Tyler, Tony Bennett, Dolly Parton, and Loretta Lynn. David Wild of Rolling Stone has stated that “Carrie Underwood is the greatest thing that American Idol ever gave us”. She was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2017, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018, for her achievements in music.
Underwood has influenced pop girl group Fifth Harmony, singer Mollie King of British pop girl group The Saturdays, singer Kelsea Ballerini, The Voice winner Danielle Bradbery, American Idol runner-up Lauren Alaina, and singer and actress Lucy Hale.
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Carrie Underwood
Underwood has been the recipient of seven Grammy Awards, fifteen Billboard Music Awards, twelve Academy of Country Music Awards, twelve American Music Awards, eight Country Music Association Awards, six Teen Choice Awards, three CMT Artists of the Year awards, and seventeen CMT Music Awards, among others. As a songwriter, she has also received a Golden Globe Award nomination h and won ten BMI Awards. Underwood was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, for her many accomplishments in country music, and into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2009. Further, she was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2017, the highest honor one can receive from the state. In December 2009, she was awarded the prestigious Harmony Award from the Nashville Symphony Orchestra for her achievements in music across many genres. In 2013, she received Artist Achievement Award at the 38th Annual New York Honors Gala held by the T.J. Martell Foundation. In 2014, she was honored by the Country Radio Broadcasters’ Board of Directors with the CRB Artist Humanitarian Award at the 2014 Country Radio Seminar.
Regarded as one of the most successful artists in any musical genre, As of 2015, Underwood has sold more than 65 million records worldwide. In the US, she has sold 16.3 million albums and over 34.8 million digital songs, making her the best-selling artist in history of the American Idol franchise, with Billboard calling her the ultimate Idol success story. Forbes has declared Underwood the most successful American Idol winner of all time, with more albums sold and more revenue generated than any of the other contestants in the show’s 15 seasons. Underwood had a fast commercial impact on the music industry, with her debut album, Some Hearts, becoming the fastest-selling debut country album in the history of the SoundScan era, the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history, the best-selling Country album of the last 14 years, and the best-selling album by an American Idol alum in the US. With her debut single, “Inside Your Heaven”, she also broke Billboard chart history as the first country music artist ever to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100 and the song became the first song from a country artist to go to No. 1 on the Hot 100 since country group Lonestar’s “Amazed” did so in 2000. “Inside Your Heaven” is the only single by a solo country artist in the 2000 decade to reach No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart. With the singles from her second album, Carnival Ride, she became the first female country artist since Shania Twain in 1995 to pull four number-one’s from one album. In 2010, with the singles of her third album, Play On, she achieved ten career number-one singles on the Hot Country Songs, an achievement for which she was named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the female country artist with the most number-one hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart (since accurate sales records were introduced in the US in 1991), tied with Reba McEntire. With such a feat, she became the only female artist in country music history to have eleven consecutive top two singles; at that time, she had twelve official country singles: ten number-ones. She also became the first woman to score ten number-ones on such a chart since Rosanne Cash in 1988. She then broke and expanded her Guinness Book record by scoring four more number-one singles on the Hot Country Songs between 2011 and 2014, for a total of fourteen number-ones. She is also the woman with the most number-ones in the history of the Billboard Country Airplay chart, having had 15 leaders. Notably, Underwood’s first twenty-six singles promoted to country radio all reached the top 10 of both the Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts, the longest streak of top ten singles by a country artist. The Recording Industry Association of America recognizes Underwood as the Top Country Artist of all time and the fifth highest-certified female artist on its Top Artists (Digital Songs) raking, with 30 million certified units. Underwood is also the highest certified Country album artist to debut in the 21st century. Since May 2011, Underwood is the Biggest American Idol Earner, with, at the time of the press release, over $66 million in tour revenues, besides her records sales. She is the fourth biggest album seller of the past 10 years in the United States.
Other ventures – Product endorsements
Underwood has had many endorsements throughout her career. She has signed multimillion-dollar deals with Skechers, Target, Nintendo, Olay, Nicole by OPI, Hershey’s. In 2005, Underwood appeared in a Skechers global advertising campaign. In 2008, Underwood worked with Nintendo for the launch of their Nintendo DS appearing in various television commercials. In 2007, Underwood appeared in Target advertisements promoting her album Carnival Ride. The limited edition of the album which included a behind the scenes DVD was exclusively sold at Target. In 2008, Underwood became the spokesperson for Vitamin Water starring in television and magazine advertisements. Underwood also hosts a guide to a healthy lifestyle on Vitamin Water’s website. In 2010, Underwood became the spokesperson for the Pedigree adoption drive. In 2011, she became the first celebrity brand ambassador for Olay skin care. Underwood has appeared in the global advertising campaign for their facial wash.
In January 2014, Underwood signed a deal with Nicole by OPI to launch 14 new nail lacquers. In the same month, Almay announced Underwood had signed a deal to serve as Almay’s global brand ambassador, where she would appear in TV and print advertisements for the brand later that month.
In March 2015, Underwood released a fitness clothing line named CALIA by Carrie Underwood. In collaboration with Dick’s Sporting Goods, the line features clothing that is intended to be suitable for both active and casual wear.
Underwood established the Checotah Animal, Town, and School Foundation in 2009. The foundation helps with general causes, needs and services in the area of Checotah to directly impact the community. “My hometown is extremely supportive of me and I feel blessed to be able to create something as a way of giving back; to say thank you,” said Underwood.
Underwood is a supporter of arts education. In 2009, Underwood’s foundation “Checotah Animal, Town & School Foundation” and the Academy of Country Music foundation “ACM Lifting Lives” partnered to give students in Checotah, Oklahoma a gift valued at more than $120,000 in new instruments for their music programs. Underwood held a surprise concert at a local high school and then unveiled the gifts. The instruments will be shared throughout the Checotah school district and were ordered through Yamaha Corporate Artist Affairs at a special philanthropic price. During the 2011 holiday season, her foundation donated $350,000 to the Checotah schools.
Underwood is a supporter of animal rights. Underwood is a supporter of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and has done several public service announcements for the organization. Underwood has also done a “Protect Your Pets” public service announcement for Do Something. In 2010, Underwood became the official spokesperson for the Pedigree adoption drive. On March 29, 2010, Underwood and Pedigree partnered to donate $10,000 to a New York City Animal Shelter. In April 2011, Underwood opened the Happy Paws Animal Shelter in her hometown. On January 10, 2012, it was reported but had previously been blogged by Underwood herself on her official fan-site, that the singer rescued an abandoned dog along highway.
Underwood and her husband made a video for the “Do It for Daron” campaign urging young people to stop bullying. In July 2012, she publicly endorsed same-sex marriage. She told the British newspaper The Independent, “As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love and want to marry,” she said. “I can’t imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love.” Underwood went on to say, “Our church is gay-friendly. Above all, God wanted us to love others. It’s not about setting rules, or ‘everyone has to be like me’. No. We’re all different. That’s what makes us special. We have to love each other and get on with each other. It’s not up to me to judge anybody.”
Underwood launched the Academy of Country Music Lifting Lives Temporary Home Fund in 2010. The Fund specifically benefits victims of the Tennessee floods of early 2010 and it was kicked off with grants that Underwood received from ACM as Entertainer of the Year. She also teamed up with Brooks and Dunn to support the new Fund by recording a Public Service Announcement (PSA).
Underwood is involved with several organizations that benefit children. In January 2010, she partnered with Country Cares for St. Jude Kids visiting the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In February 2011, Underwood donated $140,125 to Save the Children. This charitable initiative was inspired by the “36 cents” written in the lyrics of Underwood’s album track “Change” on her album Play On, which addresses how even the smallest bit of spare change that one might have can add up to make a difference and help “change” the world.
Underwood is a supporter of the United Service Organization, Clothes off our back, and Habitat For Humanity. To benefit cancer research, in August 2008, Underwood joined Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Miley Cyrus, and other female artists to record the song “Just Stand Up!” The proceeds benefited Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C). As a result of their fund raising efforts, the SU2C scientific advisory committee, overseen by the American Association for Cancer Research was able to award $73.6 million towards novel, groundbreaking research. The song peaked at No. 11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs.
In May 2012, Underwood announced that she would donate $1 of every ticket sold on Blown Away Tour to the American Red Cross. On May 24, 2013, Underwood announced that she would be donating $1 million in proceeds from her recent Blown Away Tour to the Red Cross for relief efforts in response to the Oklahoma tornado. “I have watched the devastation in my home state of Oklahoma over the past several days with great sadness,” Underwood said in a statement. “With the help of my fans who attended my concerts over the past year, we can offer the Red Cross a little extra help in comforting those affected by the recent tornados.” Neal Litvack, chief development officer for the Red Cross, said, “The impact of the tornados in Oklahoma and the Midwest was devastating and the road to recovery will be long for many families. Through the generosity of Carrie, the American Red Cross can quickly respond with shelter, food and comfort now, and with lasting help as they move toward recovery.”
Underwood appeared on How I Met Your Mother in March 2010. She played the role of Tiffany, a medical sales rep that forms a relationship with Ted. This was the second highest rated episode for season five, gaining 10.48 million viewers. Brian Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 8.5 out of 10. He was surprised how well Underwood performed in her first acting role. A few months earlier, she appeared in an episode of the PBS children’s television series Sesame Street, performing a voice-over as “Carrie Underworm” a worm who sings a song about worm pride before an auto race Sesame street is holding.
Underwood made her film debut in Soul Surfer in April 2011. She played Sarah Hill, the church youth leader who helped Bethany Hamilton overcome the obstacles she faced after the shark attack.
NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt announced on November 30, 2012, that Underwood would star in the coveted role of Maria von Trapp in NBC’s live broadcast of The Sound of Music, based on the original Broadway musical. The three-hour telecast aired on December 5, 2013, partnering NBC with the producing team of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “To have a star like Carrie Underwood perform Maria in The Sound of Music, and in such a very special and unique production, is exciting beyond words,” said Ted Chapin, President of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. “Part of the magic of Rodgers and Hammerstein is how their work has adapted itself to so many different incarnations, and I am certain the fresh spirit Underwood brings to her own songs will transition into exciting versions of the classic songs we all know and love.”
Personal life – Relationship
Underwood began dating NHL player Mike Fisher after they met at one of her concerts in late 2008, and she became engaged to him in December 2009. On July 10, 2010, Underwood and Fisher wed at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia, with more than 250 people in attendance. The couple son’s Isaiah was born February 27, 2015. Fisher retired from professional hockey on August 3, 2017.
On February 11, 2011, an Ottawa radio station, 105.3 CISS-FM, stated that it would ban the playing of Underwood’s music because her husband, Mike Fisher, was traded to the Nashville Predators the day before. Due to Underwood’s fans’ threats on Facebook to never tune into the radio station, the station later modified its statement. It apologized for its actions, saying that its statements were meant to be taken as a joke, as it does not play Underwood’s country songs anyway, and it was its tongue-in-cheek way of wishing Fisher the best of luck in Nashville. Fisher later criticized the station saying “obviously Carrie had nothing to do with the move or the trade or anything so to imply something like that was just wrong”, and noting that both he and Underwood were disappointed in the negativity that was created by the radio station. Underwood was selected by The Hockey News on its annual list of the 100 People of Power and Influence in Ice Hockey. For the 2012 list, Underwood ranked at No. 85.
According to Forbes, Underwood earned $7 million between 2006 and 2007, $9 million between 2007 and 2008, $14 million between 2008 and 2009, $13 million between 2009 and 2010, $20 million between 2010 and 2011, $5 million between 2011 and 2012, $31 million between 2012 and 2013, $10 million between 2013 and 2014, $8 million between 2014 and 2015, $26 million between 2015 and 2016, and $20 million between 2016 and 2017, totalling $166 million in her career. She had earned over $83 million by 2014, being named the top-earning Idol alum of all time.
In 2010, Underwood and Fisher bought a mansion on eleven acres near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in the luxurious Spruce Ridge district. The couple later put the mansion up for sale at an asking price of $2.2 million. In 2012, the couple bought a cottage outside of Nashville. They use the cottage for weekend getaways. Oprah toured the cottage and interviewed Underwood and Fisher there for their appearance on Oprah’s Next Chapter.
In January 2014, it was reported that Underwood topped the 2013 list of the highest-paid American Idol alumni, reportedly earning $31 million. Not only more than any other American Idol contestant, this total also exceeded the annual earnings of 2013 judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban.
Underwood is a practicing Christian. Underwood is an animal lover and a vegan. She stopped eating meat at the age of thirteen because she could not stand the thought of eating one of her own animals. She was voted “World’s Sexiest Vegetarian” by PETA in 2007 for the second time, the first being in 2005 alongside Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, who was himself a vegetarian at the time.
In a 2007 interview with PETA, Underwood stated, “Ever since I was little I loved animals If you told me I could never sing again, I’d say that was horrible, but it’s not my life. If you told me I could never be around animals again, I would just die.”
In April 2013, Underwood spoke out with disapproval regarding the Tennessee “Ag Gag bill”. The bill makes it a crime to videotape animal cruelty or abuse and then fail to turn in the evidence to authorities within 48 hours. This is to stop animal rights activists from accumulating enough documentation to prove that animal cruelty is routine in big agribusiness. Underwood tweeted, “Shame on TN lawmakers for passing the Ag Gag bill. If Gov. Bill Haslam signs this, he needs to expect me at his front door. Who’s with me?” State Rep. Andy Holt responded to her tweet, saying, “I would say that Carrie Underwood will stick to singing, I’ll stick to lawmaking.” Underwood later responded via Twitter, “I should stick to singing? Wow…sorry, I’m just a tax paying citizen concerned for the safety of my family. #NoAgGag”. She also tweeted Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, saying “Please don’t sign the Ag Gag bill. Think about the welfare of the animals as well as the consumers. I’m begging you…
Underwood has stated that she has a great interest in sports. She has participated in the annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball tournament for charity for many years. The event takes place in Nashville, Tennessee, and benefits research for life-threatening diseases. In 2005, she performed the “Star-Spangled Banner” at Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons, and in 2006 at the NBA All-Star Game. She performed at halftime of the 2006 Thanksgiving Day football game at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, and was friends with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. She also performed the “Star-Spangled Banner” at the NFC Championship Game between the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers in 2006, as well as at the 2006 edition of NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600, the MLB All Star Game in Pittsburgh, and at Game 3 of the 2007 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies. On February 7, 2010, Underwood performed the National Anthem for Super Bowl XLIV.
On May 7, 2013, it was announced that Underwood will perform the opening theme song for NBC Sunday Night Football, replacing Faith Hill. Hill later expressed full support for Underwood, congratulating her via Twitter and stating that it was “an awesome choice” by NBC/SNF and that Underwood “will rock it”. She sang the National Anthem for the Nashville Predators prior to their 3-2 overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Best Known For
Winning the fourth season of American Idol in 2005.
Underwood released her debut album Some Hearts on November 15, 2005 under the label Arista, Arista Nashville, 19. It was able to sell 9 million copies worldwide. It was certified as 7x Platinum in USA.
She starred in her debut 2011 biopic drama film Soul Surfer for her role as Sarah Hill.
First TV Show
Obviously, her debut TV appearance was with American Idol in 2005 as a contestant. She won that season.
Carrie Underwood Favorite Things
Food – Cheese pizza
TV Show – Desperate Housewives (2004-2012)
Judge in American Idol – Simon Cowell
Actor – Johnny Depp
Carrie Underwood Facts
She has 2 pet dogs and 2 pet cats.
After finishing high school, she thought of giving up her dream of singing and thought of choosing her career seriously and practically.
She is the winner of American Idol season four in 2005.
She really likes watching horror movies, which is also her favorite genre.
Carrie’s fans call themselves as Care Bears.
She is also Olay’s first ever U.S. brand ambassador.
George Huff is one of her favorite contestants in the American Idol’s first three seasons.
She is a big philanthropist. In February 2011, she donated $140,125 to an NGO Save the Children. She donated $1 million to Red Cross Society, generated from the Blown Away Tour in May 2013, in response to Oklahoma tornado. There are numerous other stories of her.
Pink is on her 2018 Beautiful Trauma Tour and plays concerts across North America.
Pink is ready to take her upcoming Beautiful Trauma album on the road with a full-fledged world tour. The trek kicks off on March 1 in Phoenix before hitting cities like Chicago, Toronto, Orlando and Houston. The tour then ends on June 2 in Los Angeles. Oh, Bleachers is coming along for the ride as the supporting act!