Five-time Grammy winner Carrie Underwood will star in the
coveted role of Maria von Trapp in NBC’s live broadcast of “The Sound of
Music,” based on the original Broadway musical, it was announced today
by Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. The live telecast of
“The Sound of Music” will be a three-hour event on a date to be
announced near the holidays in 2013.

NBC is partnering with the acclaimed “Smash” producing team of Craig
Zadan and Neil Meron (film versions of the Oscar-winning “Chicago” and
“Hairspray”) for “The Sound of Music.” The pair also is producing the
upcoming “85th Annual Academy Awards.”

“Speaking for everyone at NBC, we couldn’t be happier to have the
gifted Carrie Underwood take up the mantle of the great Maria von
Trapp,” said Greenblatt. “She was an iconic woman who will now be
played by an iconic artist.”

“We’re thrilled to be presenting the Broadway version of ‘The Sound
of Music’ live,” said Zadan and Meron, “and having Carrie Underwood as
the star brings it to a new generation who will fall in love with it for
the first time as many millions of people already have. It’s a
particular joy to us as producers to see this amazing artist stretch
into new territory with this classic musical.”

“To have a star like Carrie Underwood perform Maria in ‘The Sound of
Music’ – and in such a very special and unique production — is exciting
beyond words,” said Ted Chapin, President, Rodgers & Hammerstein.
“Part of the magic of Rodgers and Hammerstein is how their work has
adapted itself to so many different incarnations, and I am certain the
fresh spirit Underwood brings to her own songs will transition into
exciting versions of the classic songs we all know and love.”

“The Sound of Music,” set in pre-WWII Austria, is based on the
romantic true story of Maria von Trapp, an aspiring nun who leaves the
abbey to become a governess for the widower Captain von Trapp’s seven
children and finds herself falling in love with her employer and
questioning her religious calling. It premiered on Broadway in 1959,
where it broke box-office records and won the Tony Award for Best
Musical. The 1965 film version won the Best Picture Oscar. Today it is
an evergreen classic — as popular in opera houses and outdoor
amphitheaters as it is in high school auditoriums. “The Sound of Music”
features a libretto by Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse and a score by
Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (lyrics) that includes
“My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Edelweiss,” and “So Long, Farewell.”

With more than 15 million albums sold worldwide, 16 #1 singles (seven of which were co-written by
Underwood) and five Grammys, Underwood is fueled by a restless creative
spirit as she released her most ambitious project yet in her current
platinum-selling album “Blown Away.”

She’s won a vast array of awards, including three female vocalist
awards from both the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of
Country Music (ACM). In 2010, when Underwood garnered her second win as
ACM Entertainer of the Year, she became the first female artist in
history to win the award twice. Underwood also received the ACM Triple
Crown Award, thanks to her past wins for the categories of Entertainer
of the Year, Top Female Vocalist and Top New Female Vocalist. Underwood
also has won seven American Music Awards, six People’s Choice Awards,
nine CMT Music Awards, nine American Country Awards, and is a member of
the Grand Ole Opry. She earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best
Original Song for “There’s a Place for Us” from “Chronicles of Narnia:
Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” which she both recorded and co-wrote. She
became America’s sweetheart in 2005 when she won the fourth season of
“American Idol,” a vehicle that transformed her from a shy Oklahoma girl
with a great voice to a budding superstar.

Underwood’s 2005 debut, “Some Hearts,” topped Billboard’s Country Albums chart for 27 weeks, has
sold over seven million copies, and was voted #1 Country Album of the
Decade by Billboard. Her 2007 sophomore album, “Carnival Ride,” 2009’s
“Play On,” and her current album, “Blown Away,” debuted atop the
all-genre Billboard 200 chart. Over the course of four albums, she’s
saturated country radio with such #1 hits as “Jesus, Take the Wheel,”
“Before He Cheats,” “So Small,” “Last Name,” “Cowboy Casanova,” “Good
Girl” and “Blown Away.” Underwood is currently headlining “The Blown
Away Tour,” performing internationally and in arenas across the U.S. and
Canada well into 2013. She was the top-selling country female touring
artist of 2008 and 2010, as her headline arena tours have played over
100 shows and to over one million fans each year.

Underwood expanded her resume making her film-acting debut in the
2011 feature “Soul Surfer,” following a guest TV role on “How I Met Your
Mother.” She starred in her own holiday variety TV special in 2009,
and has co-hosted the CMA Awards for the past five years.

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