While Carrie Underwood was across the pond last week, on Thursday — our Independence Day — BBC Radio’s Steve Wright in the Afternoon had her on to talk “Southbound,” American Idol and how she fell in love with Wham! as a little girl.
But first, she talked about the festival that brought her to England. “I don’t think I’ve been to a festival quite like that before,” Underwood said of Glastonbury Festival. “I felt like everybody was in a great mood, and it was just really easy. Everybody was supportive and happy — great vibes.”
Then the conversation turned to Idol, and her win 14 years ago. “This has exceeded any and all hopes and dreams and expectations that I ever had. Some of it, thinking back, is kind of a blur because there was so much going on all at once. I journaled a lot during that time,” Underwood shared, “so it would be really interesting to go back and look through my journals. I wrote a lot.
“I always wanted to be a country music singer, and I had seen Idol. But I’m not that kind of person, to be honest. I don’t just go do stuff like that. That was dreaming too big. The stars just lined up in the right way. And my mom was a big supporter when I was trying to talk myself out of it, like ’It’s stupid. There’s no way. What are the chances?'” That’s when Underwood’s mom would say, “I will drive you. Let’s go. Why not?”
And because she was wearing a vintage Wham! t-shirt in the studio, Underwood had to explain her connection to the English pop duo from the 80s. When she was barely a toddler, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” was the first big hit from Wham! I guess you could say it jitterbugged into her brain.
“I am always forever a fan of (frontman) George Michael, as per my shirt. I searched high and low for this,” she said proudly, adding that she got hooked on the music at around three years old because she wasn’t the one making the playlists. “I had older sisters who controlled the radio,” she said, “so I got a lot of musical influences from what they listened to.”
Want to copy Underwood’s look? Try this t-shirt. It’s not an exact match, but still captures all of the magic from Wham!’s second album, Make It Big.