Underwood getting busy on new album


With her Arista debut, "Some Hearts," recently having been certified quintuple platinum for U.S. shipments of 5 million copies, Carrie Underwood will get busy on her next album after the Feb. 12 Grammys. "We're getting songs together and writing stuff in the next couple of weeks, because I didn't really want to jump into anything until we knew what direction we were going in," she tells Billboard in an exclusive interview on newsstands Friday.

Asked if she planned to take a more active role in the songwriting on the new album, Underwood said, "I would like to. I'm very realistic about the whole situation. I know that some [artists] think they are really awesome writers and they are not -- I'm the opposite. I just want to go in and try, and if nothing more, I go in with the writers and they get a sense of what I would like to sing about. I'm looking forward to being more involved, but I'm very realistic that I might not be any good."

Underwood, who was quickly embraced by country fans after winning "American Idol" in May 2005, said she's in no hurry to dabble in other styles. "If there were a great collaboration going on, I would definitely be interested, but I really, really like being a part of country music -- and hopefully they like having me -- so I don't have any intentions of trying anything else," she said.

This year provided formative concert experience for Underwood when she opened for Kenny Chesney and then Brad Paisley. "There were these really excited fans already in front of me that were already excited to be there," she recalled. "I didn't have to prove anything. I just had to get up there and do my thing and get more comfortable onstage and, of course, learn from the masters."

In between studio time, Underwood plans to play "a few dates" this summer "to keep everybody busy and to keep me fresh in people's minds. But other than that, your guess is as good as mine."