Carrie Underwood’s debut is “the most successful record from any Idol contestant”

Carrie Underwood’s new record Carnival Ride will be released next week, and when it comes to expectations, it has some tough competition: her first album. Some Hearts has followed up on its initial success by “[selling] nearly 6 million copies, recently squeaking by Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway to become the most successful record from any Idol contestant,” Entertainment Weekly reports.

Her new record includes four songs she co-wrote, and in an interview with the magazine, Carrie says that high expectations have “already been placed on me and the album. It’s more annoying than anything. I’ve learned this, that haters wanna hate. You could sing a song perfectly, you could write the songs perfectly, and some people are absolutely going to hate you. … I know there’s a certain point where I have to just be like, ‘Forget it, I don’t care.’ And I do care.”

She also says that criticism that she’s not a country singer makes no sense. “Okay, here’s my thing: On Top 40 stations, nobody cares that you’ll have Fergie next to 50 Cent. They’re different. Why can’t you have me next to somebody that’s more traditional country? You can call me ‘not country’ until your face is blue, but I sing country music,” she said.

Carrie also talks about why, despite her success, she’s remained a somewhat elusive public figure. Simon Cowell tells the magazine that Carrie “doesn’t give anything away. I know nothing more about her now than I did when I met her. Fantasia comes back, she’s like a puppy you haven’t seen in three years — bounds into the dressing room, screaming, laughing, shouting. Carrie? You can’t get to her.” She says, “I say what I need to, not a whole lot more. … I’m a private person, and I don’t want people knowing what kind of underwear I like.”

The Confessions of Carrie Underwood [Entertainment Weekly]