Five years after she rocketed to musical superstardom on "American Idol," Carrie Underwood continues to keep her eyes and mind open for memorable opportunities, from soaring high above the crowds in the back of a suspended pickup during her concerts to making her acting debut playing a hot girl for the ages on the hit sitcom "How I Met Your Mother."
"If I hear about something and if I think it sounds like fun and it sounds interesting, then I'm up for it," Underwood said in a recent phone interview from Los Angeles, where she was in rehearsals for one of those new experiences: playing a sold-out show at the famed Hollywood Bowl.
"If you think too much about like what other people think or 'Will this help me gain or lose fans? What's gonna happen?' I think you can kind of drive yourself crazy doing that. So, I just do things that I can be proud of, and if people like it, that's awesome. And if not, maybe next time," she said.
The Checotah native will return to her home state Wednesday, when she will bring her wildly successful "Play On" tour to the Ford Center. The tour, which is supporting her 2009 platinum-selling album of the same name, will feature the country music star belting her many hits, zipping through numerous wardrobe changes and riding high above the stage in the back of a flying pickup.
"There's just a lot going on. I mean, definitely not too much to be able to take it all in, 'cause we didn't want to dazzle everyone to the point of them not paying attention to the music. I feel like we put together a really complete show. It's like a roller coaster, it kind of has quieter moments and it kind of has big, elaborate tricks up our sleeves. It's just a lot of fun," said Underwood, who played Tulsa's BOK Center last week.
Along with rollicking hits such as "Cowboy Casanova" and "Undo It," the concert will feature "Mama's Song," one of the most personal songs of her still-young career. In "Mama's Song," cowritten with Nashville, Tenn., songsmith Luke Laird, Marti Frederiksen and former "Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi, Underwood croons from the perspective of a bride addressing her mother on her wedding day. The singer wed professional hockey player Mike Fisher on July 10 in a grand ceremony at Georgia's Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Plantation resort.
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Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will co-host and perform on the 44th annual CMA Awards, which will air live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., from 7 to 10 p.m. Nov. 10 on ABC.
Underwood will compete for female vocalist of the year and album of the year for "Play On" during the Country Music Association's annual awards show.
For more information on the CMA Awards, follow BAM's Blog at blog.newsok.