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Originally published October 4, 2012 at 5:54 PM | Page modified October 4, 2012 at 6:24 PM

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Carrie Underwood still America's idol

Carrie Underwood, whose new album, "Blown Away," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country album chart, plays KeyArena on Saturday, Oct. 6.

Special to The Seattle Times

On the Internet

See the kiss: www.dailymotion.com, search "One Lucky Kid."

Concert preview

Carrie Underwood

7:30 p.m. Saturday, KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; $55-$85 (800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com).
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Who is Carrie Underwood? MORE

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Carrie Underwood, who plays KeyArena on Saturday, kicked off her 55-city tour in Manchester, N.H. Since then, videos from every concert performance have gone viral, but none more than the Sept. 22 Louisville, Ky., show, where the good-natured superstar obliged a darling 12-year-old boy named Chase Kurnick with his first kiss.

In a YouTube interview, the youngster said Underwood winked at him after viewing his "Carrie, Be My First Kiss" sign. The boy got more than his 15 minutes of fame. In addition to the lip-on-lip action, he landed on "Today," "Inside Edition," "Anderson Cooper" and CNN and met with Ryan Seacrest.

Underwood is known for interacting with the crowd, especially kids. In the YouTube interview, Kurnick was asked if any kiss could ever compare, to which he replied: "It's all downhill from here."

Not so for 2005 American Idol winner Underwood, who sold out Everett's Comcast Arena back in 2010 (just shy of 8,000 seats) and plans to shatter expectations Saturday by selling out KeyArena's 16,641 capacity.

It helps to be armed with new music that's already familiar to her core audience. Underwood's "Blown Away" entered Billboard's country album chart ahead of the rest in May of this year, giving the 29-year old musician her fourth consecutive album to debut at No. 1.

"Blown Away" is a jolt of power-produced music that should thrust Underwood beyond the 15 million albums she's sold so far. The demure Oklahoma native delivers a shrewd performance on the title track about an abusive father she purposely doesn't wake in time before a tornado strike.

The country singer co-wrote eight of the 14 songs on the disc, including the first single, "Good Girl," her 15th career No. 1 hit. "See You Again" is an original song by Underwood, David Hodges and Hillary Lindsey written for the 2010 movie "The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader" (though a different song made the soundtrack).

"Blown Away" is more hard-edge and funky than her previous three albums, which were mainstream country. Newcomer Hunter Hayes joins her on stage for this tour on Underwood's gritty, stomp-your-feet song, "Leave Love Alone."

Underwood will stop the tour long enough to host the 2012 Country Music Association Awards in November with Brad Paisley. She is also nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year. Her "Blown Away Tour" just might land her the 2013 CMA Entertainer of the Year.

If you go, don't forget to bring your own homemade sign.

Lou Lunden: lou@backcountry.com

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