All Roads Lead To the Opry: Carrie Underwood
You know her as the superstar, Carrie Underwood, but before she made a name for herself in country music, she grew up in the small town of Checotah, Oklahoma. This week, we took a summer road trip to Checotah to see this Opry member’s hometown in person.
We’re Heading to Oklahoma…
We’ve already visited Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire and Vince Gill’s hometowns — our next stop is Carrie’s hometown in the great state of Oklahoma.
Next Stop: Checotah, Oklahoma
A Future Opry Star
Growing up without cable television more than 500 miles away from the Grand Ole Opry in Checotah, Oklahoma, Carrie rarely saw or heard the Opry growing up, but its powerful legacy still captured her imagination.
“I don’t even know how, but I always knew what it was,” she said. “You don’t have to see it or hear it, you automatically just know what it is. That’s how legendary it is.”
There’s a Single Stoplight Town…
Being her hometown, it’s easy to see why Checotah means so much to Carrie.
Carrie’s debut album included a touching song paying homage to her hometown called, “I Ain’t in Checotah Anymore.”
Checotah High School
In 2001, Carrie graduated from Checotah High School. The Fine Arts Wing of the school is named after Carrie in honor of her generous donations to the community.
Carrie’s Hometown Sign
After winning American Idol in 2005, Checotah proudly recognized Carrie with the sign “where 69 meets 40” in Checotah.
If you drive by with “I Ain’t in Checotah Anymore” playing loudly on your speakers, it really feels like a full-circle moment.
Northeastern State University
Carrie was a student at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma when she auditioned for, and won, American Idol.
Muskogee Civic Center
When Carrie was awarded a spot on the American Idol season four finale, the Muskogee Civic Center was packed with friends and family who gathered to cheer her on.
All Roads Lead to the Opry
Carrie’s path took her all the way to Grand Ole Opry for her debut on June 10, 2005. She was later inducted as an Opry member in May of 2008.
Want to experience it for yourself? Come visit us at the Grand Ole Opry and discover the impact Carrie has made on our Opry family and country music history.