Underwood went right from "American Idol" queen to country chart royalty.
On Jan. 21, 2006, then-23-year-old Carrie Underwood, fresh from her 2005 coronation on Fox's American Idol, now in its 15th and final season, soared to No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart with her debut smash promoted to country radio, "Jesus, Take the Wheel." The song would spend six weeks atop the list.
Underwood had dented Hot Country Songs with two prior songs, including her Idol coronation track "Inside Your Heaven," which blasted in atop the Billboard Hot 100 dated July 2, 2005; "Heaven" hit No. 52 on Hot Country Songs. "Wheel," however, marked her first track officially worked to country radio, setting the course for her immensely successful run in the genre.
"Wheel," about a woman who submits to a higher power for salvation, won two Grammy Awards in 2007: best country song (for its writers, Brett James, Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson) and best female country vocal performance (for Underwood).