LOS ANGELES — Now that Carrie Underwood's won some Grammys as a country star, including Best New Artist, when can we expect to see her take on some of the other genres she conquered as the winner of the fourth season of "American Idol"?
(Come on — you know you want more songs like her big-haired rendition of Pat Benatar's "Love Is a Battlefield.")
"No, no," Underwood said. "I love country music and they've been so great to me, it's just been amazing. All the people in it are amazing, so that's definitely where I want to stay." In fact, Underwood is already at work on the follow-up to her five-times platinum Some Hearts.
"We started writing and putting songs together and mapping out what we want to do with it," the Oklahoma native said. "We're just gonna go in and hope it does just a teeny fraction of what this past one did."
Underwood has so far collaborated with the same team of writers behind her country smashes like "Jesus, Take the Wheel" (Brett James, Hillary Lindsay, Gordon Sampson and Jonathan Yudson) and "Before He Cheats" (Chris Thompson and Josh Kear).
"I'm starting out with them and I'm getting comfortable writing and stuff like that. And then I'm going to move on to people I don't know so well and see where it takes me," Underwood said.
In the meantime, she just released the fifth single from Some Hearts, "Wasted."
"It was one of the first ones that we ended up recording and I'm just very lucky to get my hands on it," Underwood said. "It's about a girl who's with a guy who has a problem and she's going to leave him. It's kind of a sad song, but it's kind of upbeat, so it's the best of both worlds."
Last week, Underwood became the first country artist to win Best New Artist since Shelby Lynne won in 2001 (see "Timberlake Rocks; Blige Weeps; Chicks, Chilis Clean Up At Grammys").
"It feels really awesome just because there was so much talent in that category and it was an all-genre category, so for a country person to be recognized, it's amazing for me," she said. "It's amazing for country music."
In her acceptance speech, Underwood clearly thanked "American Idol," differentiating herself from other past contestants who have tried to distance themselves from the show.
" 'American Idol' is the reason that I'm here — period, end of story," Underwood said backstage. "There's no way I'd be doing anything like this if it weren't for 'American Idol.' And it's awesome for the new season of contestants to see that great things can happen, [like it has this year] for myself, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry."