Memorial Day (May 25) doubled as a special anniversary for country superstar Carrie Underwood. It marked 15 years since the Oklahoma-born singer and songwriter won American Idol's fourth season.
Underwood followed in the footsteps of Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard and Fantasia Barrino by dodging one of Simon Cowell's scathing tear-downs and claiming the show's top prize in Hollywood.
This was long before the singing competition made the jump from Fox to ABC. Even weirder, Katy Perry wasn't a pop star yet, and Luke Bryan was two years shy of his debut album's release. In their seats sat original Idol judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul.
"WOW, I cannot believe it's been 15 years since my @americanidol win!!!," wrote Underwood on Twitter in her response to a video posted by @CareBear4Carrie, a handle leaving no question about their fan allegiance. "It's been an incredible ride and I couldn't have made it through without all of you guys!! THANK YOU so much for this sweet video!!"
WOW, I cannot believe it?s been 15 years since my @americanidol win!!! It?s been an incredible ride and I couldn?t have made it through without all of you guys!! THANK YOU so much for this sweet video!! ??? https://t.co/IEkFXHQ43f
— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) May 25, 2020
The video opens with one of the show's few constants, Ryan Seacrest, announcing Underwood's career-breaking win before showing footage of fan testimonials about what the country singer's music, from 2005's Some Hearts to 2018's Cry Pretty, means to them.
Underwood first wowed fans with her American Idol audition, a cover of Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me." The future Nashville star previewed things to come as the series progressed with covers of Shania Twain ("Man! I Feel Like a Woman"), Martina McBride ("Independence Day"), the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band ("Bless the Broken Road") and the Dixie Chicks ("Sin Wagon").
She also performed a duet version of "Inside Your Heaven" with season four runner-up and fellow rocker at heart Bo Bice.
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Fifteen years later, only a handful of artists, much less fellow American Idol winners, can match Underwood's accolades, from her Billboard chart hits to a lengthy list of ACM, CMA, CMT and Grammy awards.
American Idol has been kind to country music, with other future stars appearing on the show including season 10 contestant Lauren Alaina and that year's champion, Scotty McCreery.
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