Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood’s enormous success since winning American Idol has become a double-edged sword for the television sensation in decline. Her dominance during their fourth season finally gave the crown legitimacy, but there hasn’t been a winner since that’s come close to reaching the standard that she’s set. In five years, she’s gone from the sweet girl next door (“Jesus Take the Wheel”) to a tough country chick you don’t want to mess with (“Before He Cheats”). She's a vocally mature Taylor Swift, with a few more bad relationships and bitterness under her belt. This gives her music a woman-power, don't-give-me-your-BS edge that makes her country music’s Pat Benatar. JEFF ROMAN

Sat., May 29, 7:30 p.m., 2010

 
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