By Allison Mitchell By Allison Mitchell | May 17, 2023 | People Lifestyle Feature
As she returns to Las Vegas for her residency, REFLECTION, at Resorts World Las Vegas, country superstar Carrie Underwood reveals that life offstage is just as captivating as the glow of the limelight.
Carrie Underwood’s life is a paradox of sorts. By night, she commands the stage with her soaring vocals, captivating crowds with a musical catalog that includes 28 No. 1 singles. Under the spotlight, she sparkles in glittering rhinestone-clad costumes, a nod to her ninth studio album, Denim & Rhinestones, which earned Underwood her 10th Top 10 album on the Billboard 200 chart. She’s sold over 85 million records worldwide, sold out seven headlining tours (the latest of which wrapped in March) and is the most awarded female country artist for singles in RIAA history.
But by day, she’s still the small-town girl from Checotah, Okla.—population 3,335—who is equally delighted by time spent offstage at her current home in Nashville, where she lives with her husband, Mike Fisher, and their two boys, Isaiah, 8, and Jacob, 4. “I love my role as a mom and wife,” reveals Underwood, who recently celebrated her 40th birthday in March. “In addition to what I get to do onstage, I go to baseball practice. It’s wonderfully ordinary, and I love that. In a lot of ways, I lead a double life. I’m mom at home, and then I fly away to Vegas or to go on tour.”
In December 2021, Underwood debuted REFLECTION: The Las Vegas Residency at Resorts World Las Vegas, a 90-minute extravaganza of pyrotechnics, waterfalls and revved-up rides—including a pyro-filled Jeep for her dancers to take Louisville sluggers to as she belts the 2005 smash hit “Before He Cheats.” “This show allows us to be more technical with different tricks up our sleeves since we don’t have to pack up all our stuff every night,” says Underwood, who will return to the Resorts World Theatre stage on select dates between June 21 and Dec. 16. “It allows us to do things that we can’t do when we’re out on tour, which is cool.”
The show also allows Underwood to dazzle crowds with the best of her musical catalog, beloved songs that have contributed to her eight Grammy wins and 16 Academy of Country Music Awards. (She’s also the only artist ever to win ACM Entertainer of the Year three times.) “We go straight for the jugular; there’s not a dull moment in the show,” she says of the set list. “The crowds in Vegas are incredible because everybody’s from everywhere, and Vegas is just this epicenter of entertainment.”
But don’t expect to find Underwood out and about on the Strip. “I don’t leave Resorts World too often. That’s one of the great things about Vegas in general—you can go and stay at your preferred place, and everything you need is right there. I might pop into a restaurant if my husband’s in town, but I kind of keep to myself,” she says. “For the most part, I just go to the grocery store because I enjoy having my own food around me. If I eat room service all the time, I’m not going to be able to fit into my tour clothes!” she quips.
That low-key persona is best revealed on Underwood’s social media, where she often gives her more than 12 million Instagram followers a glimpse at her gardening skills. “I do very much enjoy gardening and homesteading. We grow fruits, like apples and peaches, and I feel like I’m always making something, like mead, out of honey,” she shares. “It’s really cool when people come over, and you can serve them bread that you made or some hard apple cider from your orchard. I like doing stuff like that. And my husband enjoys grilling. He’s a hunter, so everything in our freezers and fridge is pretty much things we’ve gathered ourselves, which is pretty cool.”
Hard work—whether at home in Nashville or in the studio—has been an enduring value for Underwood, who first rose to fame in 2005 as the winner of season 4 of American Idol. “I feel like I picked up very early on that there’s no substitution for hard work,” she says, looking back on her 18-year career. “I picked up so many things from the incredible people that worked on Idol, many of [whom] I still work with today. You go out and you hustle; you try to complain as little as possible and put your all into everything. And at some point, you’ll be able to look back and see that the hard work paid off.”
In 2008, it paid off in a big way— Underwood was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry by fellow Oklahoman Garth Brooks, one of country music’s highest achievements. “That’s a country music institution; that’s our church, and being invited into that family is a huge honor,” she says. “It’s a responsibility that I don’t take lightly.”
It’s those crowning achievements, among many others, that have cemented Underwood’s name and music in the history books. Up next: The trailblazer will launch her own year-round SiriusXM radio channel, Carrie’s Country, in June. “Looking back on my career, I hope people will take away that we worked hard,” says Underwood, who’s quick to acknowledge that her success isn’t a singular effort. “We had an intention with everything that we did, we put a lot of love and care into our shows, and we always gave the music our all.”
Photography by: PHOTO BY JEREMY COWART; Stylist: Emma Trask; Hair and makeup by Melissa Schleicher