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Carrie Underwood to play Maria in 'Sound of Music' remake

  • Carrie Underwood

    Singer Carrie Underwood performs "Undo It" at the 46th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas April 3, 2011. REUTERS/Steve Marcus (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)

  • Carrie Underwood

     (AP)

  • Carrie Underwood

     (AP)

Carrie Underwood will star in NBC's live broadcast of "The Sound of Music" late next year.

A news release says the former "American Idol" champion and Grammy-winning country star will play Maria von Trapp in a live performance based on the musical. It will air around the holidays in 2013.

The role is Underwood's most significant work as an actress yet. She played a small part in the 2011 film "Soul Surfer" and has served as co-host of the Country Music Association Awards for five years.

In von Trapp, she's tackling a beloved character whose popularity has endured for decades. The Rodgers & Hammerstein musical debuted on Broadway in 1959 and the 1965 film starring Julie Andrews won the best picture Academy Award.

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