Carrie Underwood Explained How Looking Back at ‘American Idol’ Run is ‘Like a Cinderella Story’

by Chris Haney

During a Q&A session in 2016, country superstar Carrie Underwood compared her American Idol days to a Cinderella story.

Underwood competed on the singing competition show back in 2005 during American Idol‘s fourth season. The Checotah, Oklahoma native ended up winning the show that season, which gave the country singer unprecedented cross-over star power.

It didn’t take long for Underwood to shoot to fame following her time on the show. Her debut album, 2005’s Some Hearts, earned her rave reviews behind singles like “Jesus Take the Wheel” and “Before He Cheats.” She won multiple Grammy Awards for her work on the project. Additionally, her first album became the highest-selling solo female debut album in the history of country music.

While speaking to the Hartford Courant while on tour in 2016, the interviewer asked Carrie Underwood about her time on American Idol. He asked the singer how it felt to go from living in a small town to abruptly being famous overnight.

“Like a Cinderella story! I mean, I grew up in an Oklahoma town of 3,500 people. I’d never been on a plane before and was flying to L.A. by myself!” Underwood shared with the Hartford Courant. “I thought I had no chance of winning. I still don’t know why, but people — for some reason — voted for me, and it’s been crazy. It was like, in one day, my life completely changed.”

Carrie Underwood Played Two Sports Growing Up in Oklahoma, Talked Importance of Their ‘Life Lessons’

While speaking in the same interview, Carrie Underwood opened up about her humble upbringing in small-town Oklahoma. The singer revealed that growing up in Oklahoma, she was very involved with sports, and to this day she values their importance in kids’ lives.

Since Underwood grew up playing various sports, she’s been a vocal advocate for them. Her husband, Mike Fisher, is a former NHL player who is obviously big into sports as well. Plus Underwood is involved with the NFL because of her Sunday Night Football theme song.

So sports are for sure part of Carrie Underwood’s life. And she wants them to be part of children’s lives as well. In fact, she’s supported girls’ sports for years by promoting them and the importance of children staying active. Furthermore, Underwood donated $500,000 to the Sports Matter initiative, which promotes girls’ youth sports teams across America. During the interview, she opened up about playing sports at a young age and why she values them for the lessons they teach.

“I grew up playing softball and basketball and was a cheerleader briefly,” Carrie Underwood told the Hartford Courant. “But softball was the longest-running sport in my youth. We played from T-ball onward, and I grew up loving the whole team aspect. There’s so many life lessons that can be learned through sports.”