Having commemorated her five year anniversary, since becoming an Opry member last year, it isn't a total surprise that she got a bit emotional when she stepped into the wooden circle during her recent visit. "There’s no other venue like this, anywhere," she told reporters, as they surrounded the glam superstar.
"It’s basically where people can just hang out, you know what I mean?" she added. "Hang out around the artists. The artists feel comfortable… it’s really, really famous people surrounded by fans. It’s really relaxed."
Of course, Underwood owes a huge chunk of her success to her crowning moment on "American Idol" in 2005. Since then, aspiring hopefuls have dared to take the risk on the popular FOX singing competition, including such rising country stars as Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina -- the latter who has often cited Underwood as one of her direct influences.
On the recent cover of Country Weekly, Underwood appeared, along with Reba McEntire and Miranda Lambert, with the running title "2014: The Year Of The Woman." As one of today's leading females, Underwood has her work cut out for her, but she reiterates that the industry needs more female perspectives. "For country music, I would really love to see more females doing really well," she lamented. "The ones who are out there—myself, Miranda, Reba, Taylor—are doing really well. I would just love to see more!"
"It makes me a little sad when I do look at the charts and I see one female in the top 20. I really hope that this is the year of the woman, and I really hope that there are some really breakthrough, amazing female artists that people can hear. I hear them all the time! You can walk up and down Broadway [in downtown Nashville] and hear people singing, and think “They’re better than I am!” You know what I mean? You think “Wow, why aren’t you super famous right now?”
As previously reported, Underwood also recently spoke with Billboard about the disparity between males and females at country radio, even going as far to point out the beer-truck-party trend among the guys. “I don’t think women can get away with the partying, beer-drinking, hung-over, truck-driving kind of music that a lot of the guys have gotten away with lately," she said.
“It seems women are expected to be so much more than men, which means we have to work that much harder,” Underwood explained further, even noting that males aren't expected to dress up, either. “We’re the ones under the microscope. We’re expected to sound perfect. We’re expected to look perfect all the time. We’re expected to be style-setters."
"The boys roll onto the stage in their jeans, T-shirts and baseball caps. I don’t know what we all can do to change this."
When asked by press at the Opry on which upcoming female acts she has her eye on, Underwood is quick to answer, "I do love Lauren Alaina. I know a lot of people are into Kacey Musgraves and her writing style. Sarah Darling has such a sweet voice. There are a lot of females that are kind of waiting for their opportunity."
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