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Carson Daly almost became Father Daly.
The TODAY anchor revealed on the fourth hour on Wednesday that he was called by a higher power than a love of music when he was first deciding what he wanted to do with his life. He nearly traded a television audience for a congregation.
"I was willing to take an oath of poverty,'' he told Hoda Kotb. "I almost was gonna become a priest. I really was. I really thought about it."
Carson, who has often spoken of the importance of faith in his life, genuinely considered the priesthood before he became a radio DJ, which led to his breakthrough job as the host of "Total Request Live" on MTV in the late '90s.
"Thank God, God didn't ask me to do that, but I thought about it,'' he said. "In a little bit of that, whatever your faith is, there was a part of me that was really willing to take an oath of celibacy and an oath of faith."
He also was willing to start from the bottom when he first got involved with radio.
"And I think when I entered my career and I was a radio DJ and I was fueled by my love of music, I was totally willing to be broke,'' he said. "And I did. I lived in a Motel 6, I made 20 grand when I was like 25 years old.
"I literally was OK with having nothing. Not nothing — people really have nothing — but that was the life for me, I wanted to wake up and be around music."
Carson credits his late mother, Pattie Daly Caruso, a longtime California TV personality who died in 2017, with pushing him to chase his dream. His stepfather, Richard Caruso, who also died in 2017, was a little more skeptical at first.
"My mom was like 'Shoot for the stars, shoot for your dreams,''' Carson said. "My dad was like, 'Dude get a job.'
"I got my first real job at a radio station. I think I made like $45,000 a year, and I bought a mattress, I bought a bed, and my parents were like 'All right, way to go! You're the man.' God bless 'em, they're not here now, but they've seen what's happened in my life. I'm blessed."
Breaking into radio and working in television also helped Carson push through the generalized anxiety disorder that he struggled with as a child and continues to overcome as an adult.
"I was terrified,'' he said. "I've got anxiety, I was a terrible little kid - scared."
After he decided not to enter the priesthood, simply chasing what made him most happy in life - music - became his driving force.
"Following your passion, that's it,'' he said. "Just through continuing to love that, it worked out. Now this is all just gravy."