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Carrie Underwood Official News

Friday, October 8, 2010

Carrie Underwood talks music, marriage, Oklahoma shows and more


From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.

Carrie Underwood to “Play On” back to Oklahoma

Even when she returns to her native state just long enough to play a show, Carrie Underwood still feels like she has come home when she arrives in Oklahoma.

“I’m always excited to come and play hometown shows, and I’ll probably know half the people in the audience. It just makes me feel really cool because I used to play places in Oklahoma when there’d be about five people listening. So this is pretty special,” Underwood said in a phone interview last week from Los Angeles, where she was rehearsing for her sold-out show last Saturday at the celebrated Hollywood Bowl.

The Checotah native, 27, has become accustomed to much larger crowds since she won “American Idol” five years ago. She is bringing the fall leg of her hugely successful “Play On Tour” Sunday to Tulsa’s BOK Center and Oct. 20 to Oklahoma City’s Ford Center.

Touring in support of her platinum-selling album “Play On,” which debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums charts last November, the country music superstar will play more than 100 shows by the end of the year. The tour’s three-month spring leg sold out all 54 shows and played for nearly 400,000 North American fans.

But the perpetually in-demand Oklahoman isn’t just busy touring. This year, she made her acting debut on the hit sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” and filmed her first movie, the upcoming drama “Soul Surfer,” in Hawaii. She performed the National Anthem at the 2010 Super Bowl, the most-watched event in TV history. In April, she made history at the Annual Academy of Country Music Awards when she became the first woman to capture the entertainer of the year title twice.

And on July 10, Underwood became Mrs. Mike Fisher, marrying the professional hockey player at a lavish ceremony at a Georgia resort. Although the couple already has revisited their wedding day in the music video to her autobiographical “Mama’s Song,” the newlywed singer said they still are adjusting to their divergent schedules.

“It’s not hard to get back to work, but it is hard once you’re both going. Because it’s all gung ho in the beginning, you know, you’re gearing up and you’re packing, and he’s going to his hockey training camp,” Underwood said as her rat terrier Ace barked in the background.

“But then once you get out on the road it’s like once I’m done, he’s asleep because I’m on one coast and he’s on the other. Then, when he has time, I’m working. So it all becomes very difficult to have our schedules click to where we can like have a date night on the phone or something.”

While she is busily touring, her husband’s Ottawa Senators are dropping the puck on regular season play today. Underwood hopes in the future to tour more in the summer and avoid traveling so much during hockey season.

“I think it takes time. You know, we have friends that are in the business that both parties are very busy, and they make it work. I don’t know, you just gotta figure it out,” she said.

Of course, concerts aren’t the only events on Underwood’s fall agenda. For the third year, she and fellow star Brad Paisley will co-host the CMA Awards, which will air live from Nashville Nov. 10 on ABC. She also will perform at the Country Music Association big event, where she is nominated for female vocalist and album of the year for “Play On.”

Many passionate fans in “Carrie’s Army” took to the Internet to expressed outrage when the CMA failed to nominate Underwood for entertainer of the year. an honor she has won twice at the rival ACM Awards. The singer admitted she would have liked a chance at the CMA’s top prize.

“I’m not gonna lie: It would have been really awesome,” she said with a laugh. “I feel like we’ve worked really, really hard on this tour and this whole year. But you know, that’s when you run into the problem: Everybody else works really hard, too, and you just never know how things are gonna shake out. You know, you keep your fingers crossed, and no matter what happens, you count your blessings.”

Although she won’t have time to do much more than her scheduled soundchecks, meet-and-greets and performances, her blessings this month include two trips back to Oklahoma.

“My parents are still there and one of my sisters is still there, so I definitely still have ties to Oklahoma,” she said. “I definitely miss it when I’m away.”

In concert

Carrie Underwood with Billy Currington and Sons of Sylvia

When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Where: BOK Center, 200 S Denver, Tulsa.

Information: (866) 726-5287 or www.bokcenter.com.

When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20.

Where: Ford Center, 100 W Reno.

Information: (800) 745-3000 or www.okfordcenter.com.

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