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Carrie Underwood Reveals Her Pearl Jam Past

Carrie Underwood
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

These days, Carrie Underwood‘s music resides firmly at the glamorous intersection between modern country and high-gloss pop. But she wasn’t always the type of woman who strolled red carpets in high-fashion gowns — in fact, as an Oklahoman teenager, she was more likely to be found wearing oversized flannel and listening to Pearl Jam.

The ‘American Idol‘ alum delved into her grunge rock youth during a recent interview with The Boot, recalling a high school photo in which “I wore those wide-legged jeans, like skater wide-legged jeans and a black and white oversized plaid shirt.” She described the aftermath of the shoot, saying, “I remember when I got my picture back, one of my friends saying I looked like I was going to go rob somebody. Like I was a menace!”

Unfortunate as that incident may have been, it reflected Underwood’s musical diet. As she put it, “I grew up listening to ’80s glam hair metal. Then, when I got older in the ’90s, the whole grunge thing was huge and I was totally into it. I was all about Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Nirvana and all of that stuff.”

To fans who imagine her as strictly a country crooner, Underwood issued a reminder that “people don’t listen to one genre of music. They don’t listen to one specific kind of artist.” Describing the contents of her iPod as “random,” she added, “I would guess everybody else’s is, too. It’s OK to listen to random things back to back, and I definitely feel like I’m influenced by that.”

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