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Carrie Underwood Exclusive

Country music sensation Carrie Underwood's most stylish looks + life as an idol icon

Written By:  Lily Clayton Hansen

Photographers:  The Tennessean & Various

Carrie Underwood continues to tuck a new series of accolades under her designer belt, most recently winning CMT’s Video of the Year award for “Good Girl” (video below) and signing on to co-host the 46th Annual CMA Awards with Brad Paisley for the fifth consecutive year.

NL: What was the reaction like on your first international tour?
CU: We have a new lineup of songs so it was really good to be able to test that out and see how everything would flow. I had never actually been able to play a show in London or Australia, although I had been to both places, so it was really great to go there and see people become excited. I was worried that no one would show up so it was great to have the audience excited for it. (Laughs)

NL: What were some of your traveling highlights?
CU:I’ve been able to go to quite a few places but Australia was really fun because the people were just so laid back and cool, and everyone in London was so polite. But I’m up for going anywhere. I love visiting new places and seeing things I’ve never seen before.

NL: As a fashionista, what cultures do you find most aesthetically inspiring?
CU: If you ever go to Paris you’ll see the people walking around and think, “Oh my gosh they’re all so pretty.” I never really know what to do when shopping in other places because it is so different and I think, “What am I going to look like walking down the street in Nashville wearing that?” I enjoy just taking other people’s fashions and seeing what I can kind of make my own, but I try to stay as American as possible.

NL: Speaking of the U.S. are you looking forward to your September performance in Nashville?
CU: I’ve lived in Nashville about eight years now, so it is somewhat of a hometown for me. Obviously my husband lives here and we intend to stay here forever. It’s always cool to have songwriters and people that you work with and your friends come to the same show. It will be really exciting.

NL: Do you feel like Nashville gives its celebrities respect and space rather than paparazzi swarming at the grocery store and gas station like in L.A.?
CU: We’re both able to work and be pretty normal people and I do really appreciate how great Nashville is to its celebrities. You don’t ever have to worry about being snapped at the grocery store and it’s nice to be able to be yourself. Mike and I are both farm people. It’s great to have the city close to us but also be able to have a lot of space. And everything’s so green and pretty, most of the time. (Laughs) It’s great to have all of the conveniences of a big city and still be able to spread out.

NL: Are there any local spots that you and your husband like to frequent?
CU: Most places are really cool about modifying some dish (Underwood is a vegan and animal rights activist) or making me something else and we go to the Gulch quite a bit. Watermark, Sambuca... Mike loves The Palm because it's right across from the Bridgestone Arena. 1808 Grille in the Hutton Hotel is really wonderful and Germantown Café has always been really great about fixing stuff that’s not on the menu for especially for me.

I just like being home and making dinner with Mike, having friends over and being completely comfortable. I really am a pretty big homebody. When I come home I’m packing and repacking and doing laundry. And it’s like, “We don’t have any food” or “All the food in our refrigerator has gone bad!” Our lives are actually really boring outside of what we do professionally.

NL: Speaking of cooking what else helps you unwind from the craziness of touring?
CU: I love cooking and keep a food journal and I have for seven years now because I love knowing what goes into my food and what I put into my body. I mean sometimes I’ll go out and really, really, (laughs) really enjoy myself but I’m generally pretty conscious about what I’m eating.

NL: As far as your nonstop career it’s been rumored that you will judge the next season of American Idol?
CU: I think right now it’s in such a “What’s going to happen?” kind of mode and everybody’s been on the list at some point or another. I’m just excited to see who they get. I have a giant tour coming up this fall and hope to continue that in the spring as well. I don’t know if I’d ever even have the time, besides the fact that I haven’t been asked to judge.

NL: With all of the awards, headlining tours and success is there any advice you’d give your 23-year old self if you could?
CU: In the beginning everything was such a learning process and I think so many people think you come off a show like American Idol and should be 100% awesome all the time. It was definitely a learning experience, how to be onstage, and get that performer shift and to really be able to work the crowd. I feel like because I got to be the opener before I actually went out and headlined myself that experience was really important for me. Now it is pretty cool to talk about all the stuff we’re doing and see what we started out with.

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