At the beginning of her interview in American Idol Legends & Icons, Underwood shared she never had plans to pursue a career in music.
“I don’t know if I ever legitimately thought I could be a singer,” Underwood said. “I always liked it. You know, I’d sing at talent shows and people would always be like ‘Carrie, sing for us’ or things like that. But I don’t know if I ever really completely took it seriously.”
She continued, “Because I’m such a practical person. I’m a planner. I’m a thinker. I’m a ‘go to college, get a degree, you know, go start my career, go start my job.’ And I probably never would have actually given myself the chance to make this my career if it hadn’t been for American Idol.”
Carrie Underwood won ‘American Idol’ at 22 years old
Carrie Underwood grew up in rural Checotah, Oklahoma, and discovered from a young age that she loved singing. She sang at many events around the Checotah community and was even a regular part of school choirs.
Despite her love for singing, though, when Underwood graduated high school, she decided to leave singing behind. “I pretty much gave up on the dream of singing,” she once shared. “I had reached a point in my life where I had to be practical and prepare for my future in the ‘real world.’”
However, when she was in college and just a few credits short of graduating, Carrie Underwood took a leap of faith and auditioned for American Idol. Little did the small town girl know, the audition would change her life forever.
American Idol took Carrie Underwood to Hollywood and she competed against many other talented singers. She quickly stood out with her amazing voice and powerful range, which earned her lots of fans and praise from the judges.
At 22 years old, Carrie Underwood was crowned the fourth American Idol and she won a recording contract that would allow her to have a real singing career.
Carrie Underwood could have had a record deal long before ‘American Idol’
It’s hard to imagine Carrie Underwood not winning American Idol, but a long time ago, that was a real possibility as she could have had a different path to the music industry.
When she was only 14 years old, Underwood went to Nashville and had a chance to sign with Capitol Records. However, the deal fell through and she went home empty-handed. No doubt the young Carrie Underwood was devastated, though looking back, she is glad that life worked out differently.
Speaking to Parents.com, she shared that getting to experience more of life before earning a record deal gave her a much better outlook on everything.
“I had the opportunity to pay my own bills and I had jobs and I got to struggle a little bit and grow up before [I won American Idol],” Underwood said. “I’m so glad that didn’t work out for me when I was younger. I don’t think I’d be where I am now and I don’t think I would’ve been able to emotionally handle that.”