the most successful contestant in history) was a last chance for Underwood, who was studying mass communication and had all but given up on a future in singing.
Her post- Idol debut album, Some Hearts, was the highest selling of 2006 in the US and certified seven times platinum.
It set the bar high, but her second and third albums managed to achieve similar chart success.
And her new, fourth album, Blown Away, with its mix of upbeat country pop and darker tracks, will no doubt appeal to her enormous fan base.
Today, Underwood says she lives for the moment and aside from her forthcoming album release and Australian tour, the future’s a mystery – and she loves that.
‘‘ I try not to think too far ahead and enjoy what’s going on right now,’’ she says.