Underwood enlists pop music heavy-hitters to pen tracks for her third album, Play On, which debuts at No. 1 on the albums chart. On her new sound, the AP raves, "This tremendously gifted singer proves she can move in several directions while always sounding like she's moving forward."
After a year of dating, Fisher, 29, asks Underwood, 26, to marry him. "We're both obviously excited and very happy," the hockey player tells a Canadian newspaper. "The couple couldn't be happier," her rep tells PEOPLE.
Underwood, 27, makes the leap from Idol to bride, marrying Fisher, 30, at the Ritz Carlton Reynolds Plantation in Georgia. "We could not feel more blessed to have found each other and to have shared this day with our friends and family that mean so much to us!" the newlyweds tell PEOPLE in a statement, signing their names "Mike & Carrie Fisher."
Underwood, 29, releases her fourth album Blown Away, which debuts at #1 on the Billboard 200, selling 267,000 copies in its first week. Of the album, the singer told USA Today, "It opened the door for me to be different."
Before taking the stage in a Technicolor dress, Underwood takes home the Grammy Award for best country solo performance. "Country music has always been so good to me," she says in her acceptance speech, "and I thank the good lord that I'm a part of such a wonderful, talented, amazing family."
Surprise! Underwood uses Instagram (and her two pups) to announce her first pregnancy, writing, "In honor of 'Labor' Day, Ace & Penny would like to make an announcement. Their parents couldn’t be happier …" Days later, she showcases her burgeoning bump while performing outside of Chicago, then dissolves into tears (hormones!) while accepting an award at the ACM Honors in Nashville.While hosting the November 2014 CMA Awards, co-host Brad Paisley spills the beans that Underwood's baby-to-be is a boy.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): amazon.com; David Gonczol/Ottawa Citizen; Jason Merritt/Getty; amazon.com; Michael Tran/FilmMagic; FameFlynet