Carrie Marie Underwood was born on March 10, 1983, in Checotah, Oklahoma. The daughter of a paper mill worker and an elementary school teacher, she grew up on a cattle farm with her two older sisters, Shanna and Stephanie. Carrie began singing in her church choir when she was only 3 years old. When she was 13, she made her first studio recording, and performed in festivals in a number of states while trying to get a singing career off the ground. In spite of her passion for music, Carrie maintained a well-balanced life growing up. A big sports fan, she played softball for eight years. She was an honor student at Checotah High School, and a member of the National Honor Society. One summer, she served as a page for Oklahoma State Representative Bobby Frame. In 2001, Carrie graduated from Checotah as salutatorian.