Take a look at the career of country superstar Carrie Underwood and you see the quintessential prototype for the fulfillment of the “American Dream.” A simple farm girl raised in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Underwood became the season four winner of the then #1 show in the country, “American Idol,” in 2005. Simon Cowell boldly predicted that Underwood would not only win the competition, but she would also outsell all previous “Idol” winners. From his mouth to God’s ears, because Underwood’s career has been enormous. She has become one of the most prominent mainstream recording artists in the music industry, setting and breaking several records in just a short amount of time. Her achievements led her to be inducted into the “Grand Ole Opry” in 2008 and into the “Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame” in 2009. She has won a vast array of awards including six “Grammy Awards,” 16 “Billboard Music Awards,” 11 “Academy of Country Music Awards” and seven “American Music Awards,” along with being nominated for a “Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.” With more than 64 million records sold globally, her tour revenues and a net worth estimated by Forbes at over $100 million, Underwood is in fact, the biggest American Idol earner of all time. Recognized by Rolling Stone as the female vocalist of her generation in any genre and by Billboard as Country Music’s reigning Queen, Underwood is the only solo country artist in the 2000s to have a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and the first and only country artist to ever debut at #1 on the Hot 100, as “Inside Your Heaven” topped the chart in 2005. She is also the female country artist with the most #1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, from 1991 to present, having 14 #1s and breaking her own Guinness Book record of ten. Her 14th #1 country record being her current single, “Something In The Water,” also peaking at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song about “Spiritual Salvation” also topped the Hot Christian Songs chart and has held the top spot for multiple consecutive weeks. Underwood is a megastar who has maintained her morals and Christian beliefs amid the temptations and excesses of the entertainment industry. You have to give her props for that, not to mention that she’s one helluva… oops, excuse me, one “heavenuva” singer.
Meghan Trainor is one of the rare new artists who actually could be “Hot n’ Happenin’” as well as appearing in this column. But for right now, she is definitely “Up n’ Comin.’” Obviously someone filled with music, Meghan, a multi-instrumentalist, began writing songs as early as age 11 and producing songs two years later. As a teenager, Trainor signed a songwriting deal with Big Yellow Dog Music, later penning tracks for Rascal Flatts, Hunter Hayes and Disney star Sabrina Carpenter. Craving a shot at her own career, she wrote and released three albums by her lonesome. After passing on a full scholarship offered by Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, Trainor entered several songwriting contests around the country taking her to New York City, Nashville and finally Los Angeles, where she met and wrote with Grammy-nominated producer Kevin Kadish (Miley Cyrus, Jason Mraz, Willie Nelson, Michelle Branch). They wrote “All About That Bass” in 2014, and Trainor’s publishing company told her that many artists might be interested in recording the song. But instead, L.A. Reid heard Trainor’s demo of the song and signed her to Epic Records, where the single became her first as a solo artist. “All About That Bass” has since become her first #1 record on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, and has topped charts in various other countries including Australia, Canada, Denmark and New Zealand. The song remained at the top of the U.K. chart for four weeks, becoming the longest-running number one by a female act in 2014. Trainor announced her first ever headlining tour, “That Bass Tour,” which is scheduled to begin on February 11, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada and end on March 20, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. With a new studio album called “Title” slated for release on January 13, 2015, it looks like the new year won’t just be “all about that bass,” but all about Trainor’s blooming career.