She's already a five-time Grammy-Award winner, with three multiplatinum albums under her belt and currently the most successful TV talent show winner ever. Now chart-topping country singer Carrie Underwood is bringing her all-American sound to the UK with her first show and debut UK album release.
Since her American Idol win seven years ago, Underwood has sold more than 14 million albums and racked up eleven number one hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
Now, following in the footsteps of other country stars who've tried to crack the UK market, Underwood is set to release her fourth album, Blown Away, on 18 June and will perform at the Royal Albert Hall on 21 June.
Underwood, despite being hugely talented, has a challenge ahead of her. Many US country music stars have sold millions of albums in their native land without raising an eyebrow of recognition in the UK. On the other hand, below is a quick round-up of just some of the country stars whom the UK has taken to its heart. Can Carrie Underwood match up to this lot and make country in-roads into our affections? Have your say below...
Brooks helped make country music a worldwide phenomenon in the early nineties. In the US he is, according to RIAA, the second best-selling solo albums artist in the United States of all time behind Elvis Presley, with a massive 128 million units sold. In the UK his biggest chart success was at number 13 with The Red Strokes/Ain't Going Down in 1994. The good news... his 1989 song If Tomorrow Never Comes eventually made it to number one in the UK. The bad news... it was in 2002, when Ronan Keating covered it.
Canadian country-pop crossover queen Twain divided her fans with the album Come On Over. Country music purists sniffed at her recording the album twice, one with its native country twangs replaced by a much more pop-friendly arrangement, under the aegis of her hit-maker then-husband Mutt Lange, but it worked.
The album shot to number one for 11 weeks and became the biggest selling album of the year, selling nearly four million copies in the UK alone. Hit singles That Don't Impress Me Much and Man! I Feel Like A Woman both peaked at number three in the UK and established Twain's place in British music fans' record collections.
One of the founding queens of country music, Parton had huge success in the UK with her hits Jolene and 9 to 5 , and Islands in the Stream (written by the ever-versatile Bee Gees) remains a staple of karaoke bars around the world. Parton has capitalised on her popularity in the UK, accepting in good spirits comedic parodies of her comely form, courtesy of Kenny Everett, and continuing to tour here through the decades, despite her I Will Always Love You writing royalties mean she need never get out of bed again, let alone cross the Atlantic.
The Dixie Chicks
Texas band the Dixie Chicks made the crossover from US country stars to mainstream UK success with songs such as Wide Open Spaces and mournful cover of Fleetwood Mac'sLandslide. In 2003, during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, they kicked off their world tour in London at the Shepherd's Bush Empire and caused controversy with country fans when lead vocalist Maines said: "We don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States (George W. Bush) is from Texas."
The latest US country star to make it big across the pond, Swift's sweet songs and even sweeter smile have made her a hit with British teens. In 2009 her debut single Love Story peaked at number two, becoming Swift's best-charting and only top ten single in the United Kingdom to date. It spent seven weeks in the top ten and thirty-two weeks in total on the chart.
Carrie Underwood plays London's Royal Albert Hall on 21 June - click here for info and tickets. And see Carrie's style evolution below...
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