LAS VEGAS -- Carrie Underwood's new single is called "Temporary Home," yet she's continuing to prove herself as a permanent fixture in country music history. On Sunday night (April 18), she became the first woman to win the Academy of Country Music's entertainer of the year trophy twice. It's the third year that the ACM's top award was fan-voted.
Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Just moments after accepting the trophy, Underwood took questions from reporters backstage. Asked if she was surprised by her win, she replied, "Oh, my gosh, yes! I know my fans are awesome and they come out to support me every single night when I'm onstage. They are the most amazing fans anybody could hope to have. But I was like, 'I don't know ... .'" She conceded she thought she had a little chance, then sheepishly admitted she voted for herself -- which elicited a round of laughter among the press.
Despite the milestone in the entertainer of the year category, Underwood shied away from taking too much credit for representing country's new class of female artists.
"It's not just me," she said, still out of breath from her acceptance speech. "It's Miranda [Lambert]. She was all over the place. It's Reba, who always continues to show us how it's done. There are so many beautiful, strong, extremely talented and smart women who are just making headlines left and right, and I'm honored to be with them. It's amazing company, and I think it's only going to get better."
Underwood and Lambert kicked off the show with Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Travelin' Band," flanked by Brad Paisley (who later won his fourth ACM Award for male vocalist), John Fogerty and Charlie Daniels. In the pressroom, Underwood praised Lambert as "so cool because she's so real" and expressed her delight at sharing the stage with Fogerty, whom she cited as one of her longtime musical favorites.
With a wedding to hockey star Mike Fisher in the works, Underwood fielded a question about how she's getting ready for big day.
"I'm just taking care of myself, which is what I always hope to do for anything," she said. "I constantly have events coming up, whether it's ACMs or other awards show or some other television appearance. I'm always trying to be my best -- not just to look my best, but to feel my best, too. I'm on tour right now, so I have to keep myself healthy and really take care of myself. So it will be more of that. I'm not a big stresser. Mike would love me if I weighed 800 pounds."
She also told a reporter that she never dreamed this big as a contestant on American Idol in 2005.
"Whenever I was on Idol, I was just hoping to stay there for another week," she said. "That was as far as my calendar would go. I don't think anybody could have possibly predicted any of this. Just because you're on Idol, or you win Idol, doesn't mean you're an instant superstar. There's a lot that goes into it, and a lot of it has to do with luck or fans or God. There are a lot of different factors. It's amazing for me to get to sit in a crowd like this [at awards shows]. I used to watch them on TV when I was little, and I'd root for my favorites. Now I think maybe there's some little blond girl in a small town crossing her fingers really hard for me."
View photos from the ACM Awards.