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Carrie Marie Underwood, 10 March 1983, Checotah, Oklahoma, USA. Underwood made her name as the winner of the fourth season of the highly rated Fox TV reality show American Idol, in the process becoming the first country-influenced artist to succeed in the series. Born and raised on a farm in rural Checotah, she grew up listening to both pop and country and learned to play guitar and piano at an early age. Underwood was only 10 when she first started performing in public and made her first studio recordings barely three years later. In the late 90s she began working with the Star Rise Band, performing at festivals and shows throughout the southern states. Underwood released two independent country CDs at the start of the new millennium before beginning a course in mass communication at Northeastern State University. She was forced to put her degree on hold when, in late 2004, she successfully passed the auditions for the fourth season of American Idol....