As a farm girl from Checotah, Okla., Carrie Underwood burst onto the scene and into America’s heart during the fourth season of American Idol in 2005. Cute as a button with a voice as powerful as a cannon, Carrie left no doubt night after night who the next American Idol was going to be (sorry, Bo Bice, it wasn’t even close). Even judge Simon Cowell predicted Carrie’s coronation early in the competition—and he was never wrong [sarcasm].
A lot has happened to Carrie since she claimed the Idol title 12 years ago on May 25, 2005, including scoring 25 No. 1 singles, selling more than 64 million records and winning seven Grammys. That’s a dandy dozen by anyone’s standards.
“I learned so much on the show,” Carrie told Nash Country Daily in 2015. “I’m an observer, and I’m the kind of person who can sit back and take it all in and really learn from an experience like that. It all happened in such a short amount of time. We went from being nobodies to people recognizing us on the street.”
Carrie commemorated her Idol win 12 years ago by making an Instagram post today (May 25): “12 years later and I’m still not sure how it all happened to me! 12 years ago today, my dreams came true and life has been a dream ever since! I am beyond blessed and so thankful! #AmericanIdol #TBT”
photos via Carrie Underwood’s Instagram