Far from 'Idol,' Underwood launches summer tour in town.
Winning on American Idol is no guarantee of a successful career. It is what you do next that determines if your fame will extend beyond the frenzied window of opportunity that the show offers. With her talent, beauty, determination and down-home personality, Carrie Underwood is going to be around for a long time.
The Grammy-winning season four Idol champion will make her Atlantic City debut, and launch her summer tour this Friday and Saturday at the grand reopening of Caesars Circus Maximus theater. The showroom has been idle since last September while it received a $9.2 million upgrade.
It was just two years ago this week that Underwood won American Idol. Even in her wildest fantasies, she couldn't have imagined that her career would hit full stride so quickly. The first four singles from her debut album Some Hearts, released in November 2005, have topped the country charts: "Jesus Take The Wheel," "Don't Forget to Remember Me," "Before He Cheats" and her current single "Wasted." Her six-times platinum album remains on both the Billboard 200 and country top 10 after 78 weeks.
Underwood will arrive in town packing some new hardware. To go with her two 2007 Grammy awards, two Country Music Association awards, five Billboard music awards and a slew of other achievements, on May 15 she earned Academy of Country Music awards for album of the year, female vocalist of the year and video of the year. In earning these awards she topped such country stalwarts as Faith Hill, Sara Evans, Brooks & Dunn and George Strait. She also beat a singer Underwood has called a major influence, Martina McBride.
Some singers who have generated this much success might feel the need to distance themselves from a TV show that has been criticized as a popularity contest, and had its credibility as a talent quest seriously compromised by the Sanjaya factor.
Underwood, however, remains grateful for the jumpstart that the show provided. In an interview last year on the AI Web site she noted that, "I adopted this phrase from our Idol vocal coach Deborah Bird. She called it 'Star boot camp.' You learn everything about music and everything about TV. Different stuff about the entertainment business in general, then you go on tour and get that whole experience. It's everything you need to know, rolled up into a few months."
During her current break from performing, Underwood had been hunkered down in Nashville working on her second album, which is due in the fall.
At the CMT Video Awards last month, where she took home the Video of the Year prize, Underwood talked about her upcoming album. "As of now it seems to be a lot of uptempo stuff. I personally love the songs. Everybody agrees [on song choices] and I think that's rare, but it happened on the last album and that one did pretty well."
She also talked about contributing to the new album as a songwriter.
"I've co-wrote several of the songs that are for sure going to be on the album," Underwood said. "It's amazing to be involved more in the recording process. It's a little more me, and I hope it's a talent I continue to develop."
Besides making her local debut, Underwood's gig at Caesars will be her first chance to road test songs from the new album, a nice coup for Caesars and the city.
Here's a word of advice for Carrie Underwood when she appears in town. Don't mention your boyfriend. Bringing up the name of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo just might earn a few scattered boos from Eagles fans in the house.
Where: Caesars Circus Maximus Theater
When: Friday, May 25, 10pm; Saturday, May 26, 9pm
How Much: $75-$150
Tickets: 1-800-736-1420 or at Caesars box office
At one point early in her show at Boardwalk Hall, Carrie Underwood said that there had been a discussion about postponing the concert because the Sandy disaster was so recent. It was decided, however, that, ”This building was still here and that must be for a reason.”
Boardwalk Hall has announced a stellar 2012-2013 winter line-up with events featuring mega-superstars, undefeated heavyweights, and sport icons sure to provide patrons with top entertainment and the “best seats at the shore.”
"What the fans can expect is a great deal of good music by highly trained musicians that never sit back on their accomplishments. And every time we pack a stage, we are doing some songs for the first time that night that we’ve never even had a rehearsal on that maybe we haven’t heard in quite a while."
Billy Currington is a country singer who has been climbing up the ladder of Nashville stardom at a steady pace, thanks to such hit songs as “Pretty Good At Drinkin’ Beer,” “That’s How Country Boys Roll,” “Don’t” “People Are Crazy,” “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right” and “Good Directions.” A personable native of Georgia, Currington chatted with AC Weekly from the road about his career and about his favorite beer — I mean I had to ask, didn’t I?
The Wrecking Crüe
Laughing with George Lopez
Fight Night at Boardwalk Hall