Carrie UnderwoodCarrie Underwood beamed her 1,000-watt smile as she made her way toward the fans who had gathered Monday night (March 21) outside the main entrance to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Dressed in a stunning, apricot-colored evening gown, Underwood paused to sign autographs and chat with fans before facing the glare of hundreds of photographers' lights on the red carpet, where she was joined by some of her fellow musical icons, along with major political figures and the Washington elite -- all gathered for the Points of Light Foundation tribute show honoring the tireless volunteerism of former president George H.W. Bush.

"The smallest thing can make a big difference," she told the crowd a bit later from the stage, after relating a story about a boy's efforts to rescue a sea creature. "The world is changed one starfish at a time."