There were no smirking Simon Cowells in the crowd Tuesday evening (April 11) as former American Idol winner Carrie Underwood took her bows for the triple platinum success of her first album, Some Hearts. More than 200 admirers gathered to cheer the singer during an elegant party at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.
Revelers mingled in the Hall of Fame’s lofty Curb Conservatory until they were called into the adjacent Ford Theater for the official presentation and photos. RCA Label Group chairman Joe Galante — chief of Arista Nashville, Underwood’s label — hosted the celebration.
The ceremonies started with a video summary of Underwood’s major achievements and media appearances over the past year, including her two wins Monday night (April 10) at the CMT Music Awards. Several artists offered taped congratulations. In his, Brad Paisley conjectured to Underwood that her success must be the most satisfying comeback to Cowell’s belittling of her on American Idol. Country Music Hall of Famer Bill Anderson puckishly confessed to being jealous.
But the funniest taped moment came as Grand Ole Opry manager Pete Fisher thanked Underwood profusely for her many crowd-pleasing appearances at the Opry. At the end of his speech, the camera pulled back to show Little Jimmy Dickens pointing a pistol at Fisher’s head.
Galante noted that Some Hearts had earned several sales distinctions, among them being the fastest selling album by any American Idol winner and the fastest selling debut country album in the history of SoundScan, the system by which Billboard magazine tallies album sales. In addition, he said, the album has held the No. 1 spot in Billboard for 15 of the 20 weeks it’s been on the charts.
Galante said he first met Underwood last June at the CMA Country Music Festival. At the time, she had not selected a producer or any songs to record for her album. Nonetheless, he continued, she was able to complete her album within six weeks. “Everybody was stressed out beyond belief except Carrie,” he recalled.
Initially, said Galante, people were skeptical of Underwood’s sales appeal, attributing it simply to her exposure on Idol. But the subsequent strong and steady sales, he noted, have demonstrated otherwise.
Galante then presented Underwood a plaque shaped in the form of the numeral 3 and bedecked with three platinum-colored discs.
“I think everybody’s kind of got it wrong,” Underwood beamed at her supporters. “It’s not me. … To me, I’m just the decoration to the songs. … It took all of you to make this possible.”