/Carrie Underwood Marks 15-Year Anniversary of 'Life-Changing' American Idol Audition

Carrie Underwood Marks 15-Year Anniversary of 'Life-Changing' American Idol Audition

Carrie Underwood commemorated the 15-year anniversary of her American Idol audition by celebrating women in country music.

The seven-time Grammy winner held a sold-out show at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Friday night, bringing the house down in an epic performance for her The Cry Pretty Tour 360.

To kick-off the evening, Underwood brought invited her opening acts Runaway June and duo Maddie & Tae back on stage for a medley of female-created country hits, according to the Tennessean. Their collaboration included hits from Dolly PartonReba McEntireShania Twain and more.

“I just wanna cry, that crowd was incredible, the band was great, just a great night,” Underwood said in a video shared on her Instagram after the show. “I don’t even know what to say because I’m blown away.”

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The “Before He Cheats” singer first auditioned for season 4 of American Idol in the 2004, later winning the season in 2005. At her anniversary show, she encouraged her fans to always chase their dreams, no matter how unrealistic they may seem.

“When I was a little girl … if you had asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, I would have told you I wanted to be a famous country music singer,” Underwood told fans on Friday night. “As I got older, dreams tend to give way to practicalities, so I started going to school to get a real job. One day there was an open door, and I walked through it and my life was changed forever.”

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“If there is something you guys out there are holding on to that just seems like too big of a dream or something too crazy,” she continued, “I’m living proof that the craziest things can happen, and you can end up exactly where you always wanted to be.”

During her two-hour set, Underwood performed nine songs from her current album Cry Pretty, along with past hits such as “Blown Away,” “Last Name” and “Before He Cheats.”

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To conclude the show, she brought a Nashville resident on stage — one who’s grandmother recently died from terminal liver cancer — to help her perform her and rapper Ludacris’s famous cover of “The Champion” as a way to highlight a member of the community who she thought was a champion.

As her tour wraps up in October, Underwood will join Parton and McEntire in hosting the 2019 Country Music Awards the following month, celebrating the legendary women of country music.

The CMAs will air on Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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