Carrie Underwood recently announced her engagement to NHL hockey star Mike Fisher—and here’s the story behind the romance. CW gives you an insider’s look into the hopes, feelings and events that led up to the big proposal. Plus, find out everything you need to know about the man in Carrie’s life.
Carrie Underwood, who won American Idol and then became country music’s sweetheart, is getting married to her Canadian “cowboy.”
In October of 2009, Carrie Underwood admitted “getting all flustered and nervous” when asked by Country Weekly about the status of her relationship with then boyfriend Mike Fisher of the Ottawa Senators NHL hockey team. “I want to say enough,” she declared, “but not too much. My life is good. I’m willing to talk about it, because I am in a good place. But I just get nervous.
“Everything about my life right now is really good. I can’t speak now and say, ‘Why, yes, we’ll be together forever.’ But I’m not saying no to that either. Yeah. Life is good. Everything’s good. I’m happy.”
Carrie’s discretion at the time was certainly understandable—after all, many high-profile couples have come to regret saying too much too soon about a developing romantic relationship—but she and Mike have thrown caution to the wind with their Dec. 21 confirmation that Mike has moved from the boyfriend category to the fiancé category. Yes, as of Dec. 20, they’re engaged!
Carrie’s publicist confirmed the joyous news with a Dec. 21 email to CW stating, “I’m happy to confirm that Carrie Underwood is engaged to Mike Fisher, and the couple couldn’t be happier. No wedding date has been set at this time.”
Mike shared the happy news in a locker-room chat with hockey media at the Senators’ morning skate before their Dec. 21 game with the Boston Bruins. “It’s true,” said a smiling Mike to the Ottawa Citizen. “We’re both obviously excited and very happy and so, exciting times for sure.”
While he didn’t want to go into details of the proposal, Mike did admit to popping the question on Sunday, Dec. 20. According to an unidentified family friend, Mike asked Carrie to marry him at his home while surrounded by friends and family, and later sent text messages of the good news to his friends.
While there are likely sad hearts of guys and gals all over North America among those who had hoped, however stacked the odds may have been, to wind up with either Carrie or Mike, his hockey teammates are among those most happy for Carrie’s hubby-to-be.
“Good for him. It’s great,” said winger Shean Donovan. And winger Chris Neil, also Mike’s longtime roommate, said the engagement was “a long time coming. But he’s marrying an awesome girl. It’s unbelievable for him.”
The Citizen reports Carrie did receive a ring when she and Mike became engaged, and online photos of Carrie post-engagement show her wearing a ring that appears to be just slightly smaller than a hockey puck.
When They Met
Carrie’s engagement to Mike came just over 21 months after their first meeting and just under a year since their first official date . . . New Year’s Eve, 2008.
“I met him Oct. 7 of last year,” said Carrie during that exclusive ’09 CW interview, “but we kind of texted and talked occasionally. Our first date was actually New Year’s Eve, so we kind of count that as our anniversary.”
As her relationship with Mike developed, Carrie talked in October about them each seeing the other’s home stomping grounds . . . and what they thought.
”Well, Canada in itself is . . . it’s just cold,” she chuckled. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been to Canada when it’s warm . . . especially Ottawa, which is now where he lives. He’s lived there for like a decade. It’s just cold.
“[Mike has] been to Checotah [Okla.] And I don’t know what he expected [chuckles]. I kept tryin’ to be like, ‘It’s really small. I know you say Peterborough [Ontario, Mike’s birth place] is small. But Checotah’s smaller.’”
Even though Carrie and Mike did their best to keep their relationship mostly out of the spotlight until confirming their engagement, there’ve definitely been signs in the past several months that, as Carrie said, things were certainly “in a good place.”
Shout-Outs to Mike
During her April 5 Entertainer of the Year acceptance speech at the 2009 ACM Awards in Las Vegas, Carrie concluded her nationally televised comments by saying, “Mike, baby, I wish you were here.”
The liner notes of her current Play On CD, released Nov. 3, also leave little doubt how she feels about the 6-foot-one-inch 209-lb. hockey star: “Thank you (No.) 12 [his jersey number.] You are the most amazing addition to my life! You are such a wonderful person and have had such an amazing hand in the building of this album and in the growth of me as a person. I love you so much! You make my life better in every way!”
She’s not kidding when she says Mike had a hand in the building of her latest album. He even encouraged her to write the record’s powerful current single, “Temporary Home.”
“We were [going through] Purpose Driven Life together,” she explains of their involvement in the best-selling book and devotional guide. “And it talks about this world being our temporary home. And everything that we do here . . . we’re just on our way . . . hopefully to heaven, if we’re right with God. But he was saying, ‘You should write a song called “Temporary Home.” ‘And I was like, ‘Okay, you stick to hockey, I’ll stick to writing songs. [laughs]’”
Sounds like Carrie might want to rethink that advice now that “Temporary Home” is flying up the charts, repeating the success of the CD’s debut release, “Cowboy Casanova.”
While Carrie jokes about the Casanovas in her life—or at least the ones who tried to be in her life—she makes it clear that cowboy types like Mike—she sometimes calls him “cowboy”—are the only ones to really get her attention.
“When I think of cowboys, and I don’t just go stereotypical hats and boots and Wranglers and button-up plaid shirts,” she explains. “I think of somebody who’s very strong, and kinda quiet and has this confidence about them. You know that they are reliable and will be there to protect you and to go out and work hard. Just be that rock. That’s what I think of as cowboy. Something that’s very sexy, but not overstated. Not in your face. Just quiet and strong.”
“Mama’s Song” on Carrie’s new album talks about the kind of man Carrie could marry who’d be the answer to her mother’s prayers. As Carrie talks about the lyrics, the warmth and affection in her voice make it clear—she’s almost certainly talking about Mike, who, like Carrie, is a devout Christian.
“First, it would be someone who loves God and puts God first,” she explains “Somebody who would put me second, and I’d be a very high priority. And they’d be willing to compromise. I have a crazy life and a crazy schedule. Just somebody who would protect me and always be here for me and listen to me. And, hopefully, I’d do all those things for him, too. Just somebody you know your kid’s safe with. Would never do anything bad, never do anything to hurt your daughter, never do anything to make her or him look bad or immoral. You just know your daughter’s safe.”
Another tune on the new record, “Quitter,” also takes on new relevance with the engagement announcement. In spite of the glamorous lifestyle both she and Mike lead—at least the public portion of it—Carrie’s not denying the tune’s reference to a picket fence and front porch swing, with kids running around the yard, strike a warm chord with her.
I Want Security
“Oh, for sure! I’m still human,” she declares. “I love what I do, but I also love a sense of security. So when you think of a future and a big yard and it’s a sunny day and there’s hammocks and it’s good enjoying life . . . of course I think about that kind of stuff.”
So, how many kids does Carrie envision having? In the January issue of Self magazine, she reveals, “Two kids is good. Three is fine. Four? Somebody’s getting something done, because we ain’t having five!”
It looks like Carrie’s well on the way to having everything she’s dreamed of. And, as she prepares to embark on a new and exciting part of her life, it’s a good time to look back on where she was when she was just getting started in Nashville . . . after her big American Idol win before the release of her debut CD, Some Hearts, recently named Billboard’s Top Country Album of the Decade.
During a CW interview back in 2005, Carrie was asked about her romantic life, if anyone was in the picture. “No, there’s not. I have no social life. I have no friends,” she chuckled at the time.
Then, asked the same question in early 2007, Carrie’s response sounded remarkable similar. “No,” she sighed with a chuckle. “No, there’s nobody in the picture. But it’s better now. There are people I can go hang out with in town. I still have empty rooms in my house . . . so that hasn’t changed! [chuckles] But . . . there’s nobody. I don’t really have much of a social life I guess [laughs].”
Fortunately, and happily, it looks like those days are gone forever. Congratulations, Carrie and Mike.
On Mike Fisher
So, who is this young man who has captured Carrie Underwood’s heart? First of all, he’s a native Canadian, born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario, June 5, 1980. At 29, he’s three years older than Carrie.
Mike plays center for the Senators and has been with the NHL club since the 1999 season. At the beginning of the current season, Mike was named an alternate captain of the Senators.
On the personal side of things, Mike is noted to be a devout Christian who devotes time to hockey camps in his hometown of Peterborough through Hockey Ministries International, which serves the spiritual needs of hockey players and their families at all levels of the sport. His brother “Bud” is a goaltender who played college hockey in the United States for Quinnipiac University. He has also been a guest instructor at the Roger Neilson Hockey Camp.
Carrie Underwood isn’t the first country girl to be attracted to a guy who makes his living on the sporting stage. Several country singers have been linked to pro athletes in the past, although the attraction has rarely led to saying their “I Do’s” at the altar. Check out some of these love matches.
Lorrie Morgan and Troy Aikman
For a time in the early 1990s, Lorrie and the handsome Dallas Cowboys quarterback were an item. But they evidently “passed” on a serious relationship. Like Carrie, Lorrie later became involved with a “Senator,” U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, that is.
Carrie Underwood and Tony Romo
Carrie performed at halftime of the Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game in 2006, where the rumors of a friendship started. Tony escorted her to the 2007 ACM Awards in Las Vegas and the two reportedly dated on and off that year. Although Carrie denied any notion of a relationship, Tony confirmed it on his website and to a reporter for an Illinois newspaper.
Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo
Jessica’s country career was short-lived, though not her relationship with the Cowboys quarterback, who evidently takes “playing the field” literally. She began dating Tony in 2007, much to the chagrin of some Cowboys fans, who actually blamed her for several Cowboys losses. On July 13 of 2009, People reported that Tony and Jessica had ended their relationship.
Kellie Pickler and Jordin Tootoo
Kellie and the Nashville Predators hockey player dated in 2007, but the romance cooled and was eventually put on ice.
Jewel and Ty Murray
No bull––the sensitive singer/songwriter, who’s landed on the country charts with “Stronger Woman” and “I Do,” and the former rodeo champion have been married since August of 2008 after ten years of being together. Jewel met Ty at the 1999 National Western Stock Show and Rodeoin Denver.
Mindy McCready and Drake Berehowsky
Mindy has also had a hockey guy in her life, as she once dated Drake Berehowsky, a journeyman player who has skated for the Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins and other NHL squads.
Mike plays center for the Ottawa Senators.
The day after getting engaged, Carrie was spotted sporting some new jewelry on her left hand.