CARRIE Underwood may have won seven Grammy Awards since winning TV talent show American Idol, but has vowed never to forget where she came from.
While some struggle to shake off the label of TV talent contest winner even becoming bitter and resentful, the bubbly 33-year-old is the complete opposite.
Recently named as show host Ryan Seacrest’s “ultimate American Idol winner,” it’s a badge she wears with honour.
I feel like shows like Idol were made for people like meCarrie Underwood
Speaking at the Country 2 Country Music Festival at the London’s O2 Arena which she headlined at the weekend, she told The Sun Online: “I feel like shows like Idol were made for people like me. [People] that love to sing, but don’t really know what to do with it.
“I grew up in a really small town and had sang everywhere that I possibly could – bars and church and everywhere between, but obviously that [American Idol] is what led me here and I’m so grateful for it.”
Nor would Carrie, who released her fifth album Storyteller last year, dissuade others from following in her footsteps.
She explained: “There’s no one way to get into the entertainment world.
“I think you just look for the opportunities that are open to you, look for the open doors and open windows and try to meet everybody that you can because there are no rules anymore – I don’t know if there ever were, but there certainly aren’t any now.
“I would recommend that anybody looking to be actors, musician or whatever, do the thing you love as much as you possibly can.”
Carrie topped the bill on the inaugural Country 2 Country line-up back in 2013.
Since then the annual event has gone from strength-to-strength as has the UK’s obvious passion for country music.
C2C is now three days, there are more performance spaces within the O2 and this year also saw it extend to Scotland as well as Ireland.
Reflecting on her part in that, Carrie said: “I think there’s a group of us that are really making an effort to meet our fans in other places and of course if the end result is other people being interested and lovers of country music then that’s wonderful.
“We were here a few years ago and look how far it has come. How many more people are going to be in that audience and there’s more people on the bill, it’s three days here that’s incredible.
“Hopefully we can all run with it and grow it even more.”