40 Photos Showing Carrie Underwood's Transformation

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Since winning season four of American Idol in 2005, Carrie Underwood has blessed countless red carpets with her ethereal style and signature pose. Seven Grammys, 10 BBMAs, and 14 Academy of Country Music Awards later, Carrie is on the heels of releasing her most honest album yet: Cry Pretty, her sixth studio album, is set to drop in September 2018. Here’s a look back at Carrie standing tall at various award shows, Idol anniversaries, and other celebrations over the years.

Carrie auditioned for American Idol in St. Louis. Her ticket to the show? The Bonnie Raitt classic, “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Here, Carrie poses for an official photo as one of the top 24 semifinalists.

Carrie was crowned the winner of American Idol season four on May 25, 2005 after beating out runner-up Bo Bice. She went on to release her first official single, “Inside Your Heaven,” which was written and produced for both finalists to sing on the show. The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100, NBD.

Carrie poses with a giant “3” to celebrate her debut album going triple platinum. Some Hearts, which was released just four months after Carrie won Idol, would go on to sell more than 7 million copies in the U.S. and be certified eight times platinum.

Carrie sports some jean shorts while performing on ABC’s Good Morning America in New York City more than one year after winning Idol. She would release one of her biggest hits ever, “Before He Cheats,” eight days later.

Carrie hits the red carpet at her first-ever Grammy Awards on Feb. 11, 2007. That night, Carrie took home her first two Grammys: Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” In her acceptance speech for Best New Artist, she thanked God, her parents, and American Idol creator Simon Fuller. “Anybody that had anything to do with this album, and the blessed year I’ve had, thank you so much.”

Carrie’s blessed year continued in November 2017 when she appeared on the official movie soundtrack for Disney’s Enchanted with the song “Ever Ever After.” One month prior, she released her second studio album, Carnival Ride. Here’s Carrie walking the red carpet in a princess pink creation.

At the 2008 Grammys, Carrie was a walking bouquet of flowers, which was perfect, since she returned to the winner’s circle that year to take home the award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Before He Cheats.”

Three months later, Carrie and a giant studded belt took to the stage at the Academy of Country Music Awards, where she won Female Vocalist of the Year. “I love being onstage, but that’s different,” she told Redbook in 2016. “That’s not Carrie. That’s Carrie Underwood. The rest of my life I feel like I’m incredibly disappointing to people… They expect me to be ‘Carrie Underwood,’ but I’m just Carrie. I’m sorry!”

Carrie brings a pop of color to the 42nd Annual CMA Awards in Nashville. For the second year in a row, the singer was named Female Vocalist of the Year not long after the success of Carnival Ride. FYI, Carrie’s been nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year a whopping 12 times since 2006. She’s won four times.

Another year, another stunning Grammys dress. And you bet she made her return to the Grammy stage that night. “Last Name,” her third single off Carnival Ride, earned her the Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, beating out country queens Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes, Lee Ann Womack, and Trisha Yearwood. The best part? The award was given to her by her “cousin,” actor Blair Underwood.

Carrie returns to the American Idol red carpet ahead of the season eight grand finale in Los Angeles. Four months later, just like her season, Carrie would release another new album: Play On, which of course gave the world hits like “Cowboy Casanova” and “Mama’s Song.”

Carrie gives her then-fiancé, hockey player Mike Fisher, a look of love while walking the red carpet for the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. The couple, who first met backstage at one of her concerts through a mutual friend, her bassist, in 2008, became engaged in December 2009 during a quiet Sunday at his home.

Carrie is a literal dream while accepting the Triple Crown Award at the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. That night, she also took home the award for Entertainer of the Year.

Carrie shows off her new wedding ring on The Today Show, just 20 days after tying the knot in Georgia. Following their wedding, Carrie and Mike continued to spend serious amounts of time apart due to their work schedules: she had her music commitments in Nashville while Mike had an intense travel schedule with the Ottawa Senators.

Of her relationship, Carrie later told Glamour, “I don’t have to worry about Mike. I don’t think twice. He’s going out? I don’t care; it doesn’t bother me. I don’t bat an eye.” Here, Carrie is a red carpet goddess once again, arriving for the 2010 American Country Awards.

Carrie delivers her signature pose in a sparkly number at the 68th Golden Globe Awards. Her husband Mike would announce one month later that he had been drafted by the Nashville Predators. In an interview with the Vancouver Sun, Mike called Nashville “the place I’m supposed to be.”

Carrie returns to her roots – the American Idol red carpet – six years after winning the title. That spring, Carrie also made her movie debut, playing a church youth ministry leader in Soul Surfer, a biopic about surfer Bethany Hamilton and her recovery after a shark attack.

Everyone has a bangs phase. Carrie’s happened during the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Festival. Also in the lineup that year: The Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys, and Jay-Z.

Carrie shows off her Grammys dress from the back while heading into the Staples Center. The singer would walk home empty-handed that year, but at least this dress was a winner!

Carrie delivers her signature pose at the 47th Academy of Country Music Awards with Faith Hill nearby. As any country music historian can tell you, the two singers got off to an awkward start in 2006 when Faith was “caught” by cameras reacting to Carrie winning an award. Statements were released, but we’ll always have Faith’s epic, “What?!”

Some two weeks after the release of her fourth studio album Blown Away, Carrie hit the red carpet for the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, where she performed her lead single, “Blown Away.” Get the theme here?

Double nominee Carrie is lovely in lace at the 40th American Music Awards. 2012 was a big year for Carrie and Blown Away, which spawned four singles and became the seventh best selling album of the year. (FWIW, the top three albums that year were Adele’s 21, Taylor Swift’s Red, and One Direction’s Up All Night.)

If the 2013 Grammy Awards are remembered for one thing and one thing only, it’s probably Carrie’s projection dress that she wore during her performances of “Blown Away” and “Two Black Cadillacs.” According to Carrie, the dress was custom made and she was instructed to stand in a specific spot for the projections to accurately play out. “I said I should take that home and we can watch movies on it,” she told Yahoo after the show.

Carrie and her husband Mike pose at the 2013 CMT Music Awards, one month shy of their third wedding anniversary. Again, from Carrie’s Glamour interview, “We’re both independent people, so we can’t have somebody around 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” she says of their marriage. “The drawback is that we can go weeks without seeing each other.”

Since 2007, Carrie and fellow country superstar Brad Paisley have hosted the CMA Awards every year, and every year, Carrie wears at least a dozen or so outfits. 2013 was no different, when she kicked things off by arriving in this Ralph & Russo Couture nude creation.

Switching things up for a hot sec, Carrie finds her seat at the Peter Som at MADE show during New York Fashion Week. Less than one year later, Carrie would launch her own fitness and lifestyle line, Calia by Carrie Underwood.

Carrie and Mike glam up for the 2014 Time 100 Gala. That year, Brad Paisley wrote about Carrie, “all-round American idol,” for the magazine’s annual list of the 100 Most Influential People. “So many young girls want to be just like her. In that sense, I see hope for the world,” he wrote. “If I had a daughter, nothing would make me happier than to hear her say she wanted to grow up to be like Carrie Underwood.”

Carrie shows off her growing baby bump at the 48th CMA Awards in Nashville. In her pregnancy announcement two months prior, Carrie took to Instagram to celebrate “Labor” day with her two pups. “Ace and Penny would like to make an announcement. Their parents couldn’t be happier,” she wrote, along with a photo of her dogs wearing “big brother” and “big sister” shirts.

Carrie and her bump take to the red carpet at the 2014 American Country Countdown Awards in Nashville. She gave birth to a son, Isaiah Michael, less than two months later. Of her parenting style, Carrie told People she was of the “loosey-goosey” type. “I was never like, ‘I want kids so bad,’ And now that I have Isaiah in my life, I’m like, ‘What did I do before?’”

For one of her first post-baby outings, Carrie brought her signature pose to the 2015 CMT Music Awards, which took place close to her home in Nashville. Of what her son’s first years were like, she later told E! News that Isaiah is “a very physical baby… he loves to climb things, but he does love music too.”

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