American Idol Carrie Underwood To Perform At Pete Newell Challenge

Dec. 12, 2005

Oakland, Calif. - 'American Idol' winner Carrie Underwood, whose recently released 'Some Hearts' album soared to No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart in its first week, has accepted an invitation to stage a first-ever postgame concert at this year's Pete Newell Challenge Presented by TicketsNow.

The ninth-annual college basketball event is set for Wednesday, Dec. 21, at The Arena in Oakland. In the first game, which begins at 5:30 p.m., Stanford puts its perfect all-time record (7-0) in the Pete Newell Challenge on the line against Princeton. In the second game, sophomore power forward extraordinaire Leon Powe leads Cal against Big East newcomer DePaul. Both games will be broadcast nationally--on CSTV: College Sports Television ( and the SportsByline USA Radio Network. Underwood's concert begins at the conclusion of the second game.

Underwood, a 22-year-old native of Checotah, Okla., made an immediate impact in the music business after winning the fourth 'American Idol' competition last May 25. She signed a recording contract with Arista Records, then saw her first single, 'Inside Your Heaven,' debut as the best-selling song in the nation, with 129,610 copies sold in the first week. The single also topped Billboard's Hot 100, Pop 100, the Singles Sales chart and the Country Singles chart. Underwood thus became the first country music artist ever to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100.

Underwood's debut album, 'Some Hearts,' which was released on Nov. 15, sold 315,000 copies in its first week. Besides reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, 'Some Hearts' also entered No. 2 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart. To date, 'Some Hearts' has sold more than 511,000 copies.

Two hit songs from the album--'Jesus, Take the Wheel' (country) and the 'Some Hearts' title track (pop)--have given Underwood a rare presence in two musical genres. Underwood presented an award and performed 'Jesus, Take the Wheel' at the 39th Country Music Assn. Awards last month in New York.

Underwood sang 'The Star-Spangled Banner' before Game 4 of the 2005 NBA Finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan.

'We're thrilled to have Carrie Underwood as our first-ever musical entertainment at the Pete Newell Challenge,' said Jeff Fellenzer, president and creator of the event. 'Carrie is a gifted young performer, and we think it's great that she will be part of what promises to be a very special evening. There will now be two 'American Idols' at The Arena in Oakland that night: Pete Newell and Carrie Underwood.'

Tickets for the 2005 Pete Newell Challenge Presented by TicketsNow are available through any Ticketmaster outlet, or at The Arena in Oakland box office. Ticketmaster can be reached by calling 510.625.8497, 415.421.8497 or 408.998.8497 in the Bay Area, or online at The Arena in Oakland box office, 7000 Coliseum Way, 510.569.2121,, is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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