|Carrie UnderwoodThere is the whirlwind, and then there is the young woman at its center. The key to Carrie Underwood may lie in knowing that, three years down the road, the two remain separate. For all the awards, the record sales, the chart-topping hits, the non-stop schedule and the incessant media attention, Carrie remains firmly in touch with the shy Oklahoma college student she was before becoming a star. Through all of it, she retains a genuine likeability that, coupled with her enormous talent, goes a long way toward explaining the phenomenal nature of her success.And it is indeed phenomenal, even when measured by the achievements of others who have found success as she did, via American Idol. The show's co-creator and acerbic judge Simon Cowell had predicted during the competition that she would win and that she would outsell all of Idol's previous winners. He was right on both counts. Carrie's debut album, Some Hearts, is the biggest-selling American Idol album to date, selling more than 7 million records in the U.S. alone. Released in 2005, it has been named the best-selling female country album of 2005, 2006 and 2007 and made history as Billboard's Top Country Album for a second year.Carrie's sophmore album, Carnival Ride, vaulted to 1 atop Billboard's Top Country Albums and all-genre Billboard 200 charts with mammoth first-week sales of 527,101 and also earned the highest first-week sales for any female artist in any genre at the time of release for 2007. To date, Carnival Ride has sold nearly 3 million copies and helped Carrie earn the title of Billboard Magazine's Top-Selling Female Artist of 2007.Carrie recently became the only artist in country chart history to have their first eight country singles all reach 1 and no country artist in the current era of BDS or Mediabase airplay monitoring has matched this accomplishment, nor has any country artist in recorded chart history debuted at 1 and extended that run across eight hits in a row. She has won four Grammy's as well as a host of trophies from the AMA, ACM, CMA, People's Choice and Billboard, among many others. On April 5, 2009 she was named Entertainer of The Year at the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.