Carrie Underwood has become one of the biggest country superstars in the world, but long before she hit it big as a solo singer, the Oklahoma native cut her first recordings as part of a vocal group.

Underwood came close to getting signed to Capitol Records in Nashville when she was 14, but that deal didn't work out. Undaunted, she joined a five-person group called Star Rise, which featured each vocalist singing songs from a different genre. Underwood contributed songs like the Dixie Chicks' "Goodbye Earl" and Martina McBride's "A Broken Wing" to the group, which cut a few recordings.

Some of Underwood's sessions with Star Rise resulted in an independent album titled Star Rise Presents Carrie Underwood, featuring the young singer tackling songs like "Unchained Melody," "Heads Carolina, Tails California," "God Bless the USA" and "Amazing Grace." That collection is available as a rarity online, with one seller asking up to $999 for an autographed copy on eBay.

That didn't launch her, and Underwood opted to pursue her college education after high school graduation. In 2004 she auditioned for the fourth season of American Idol and ended up winning — and the rest is country music history.

See Carrie Underwood + More Country Stars Before They Were Famous

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