Kelly Clarkson

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Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24 1982) is an American singer who won the first season of American Idol and has since gone on to have a successful recording career. She has had six top-10 United States singles, including three number-one radio hits from the same album (Breakaway), and both of her albums have entered the top five on the Billboard Top 200 chart.

Early life

Clarkson was born in Fort Worth, Texas to parents of Greek, Irish, and German descent. Her parents divorced when she was six years old, after which her brother went to live with their father, her sister with their aunt, and Clarkson with her mother. She eventually moved to Burleson, Texas after fourth grade. In middle school, she was overheard singing in a school corridor by a teacher, who invited her to join the school choir. Her participation in choral and musical activities spurred her interest in a recording career and, following her high school graduation, she relocated to Los Angeles, California.

Clarkson worked as an extra on television (one such appearance was on Sabrina the Teenage Witch) and worked briefly with songwriter Gerry Goffin. After her Los Angeles apartment burned down, however, she moved back to Texas, discouraged but still intent on a career in show business. She still managed some odd jobs such as cocktail waitress, Red Bull promo girl, and telemarketer.

American Idol competition

File:Kelly Clarkson.jpg
Clarkson performing on Idol

Clarkson auditioned for American Idol along with ten thousand other people in 2002. Impressed by her performance, the panel of judges put her through to the next round. Upon landing a final thirty spot, Clarkson was praised by the judges for her rendition of Aretha Franklin's "Respect". She moved on to the final ten, receiving a number two spot in her group. Once in the top ten, Clarkson gradually moved into the position of competition favorite, performing songs such as Aretha Franklin's "A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)" and Bette Midler's "Stuff Like That There".

On September 4 2002, Clarkson won the competition, earning 58% of the audience vote over Justin Guarini, who had previously been leading. As the newly crowned "American Idol", Clarkson performed the ballad "A Moment Like This". Clarkson, Clay Aiken of season two and Carrie Underwood of season four were the only contestants in American Idol history who succeeded in staying out of the bottom three places in weekly voting results. Clarkson and Underwood both went on to win the competition.

Idol recording career

On October 5 2002, Clarkson's first single, "A Moment Like This", broke the record for biggest jump on the charts when it jumped from number fifty-two to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This broke the long-standing record set by The Beatles in 1964, when "Can't Buy Me Love" moved from number twenty-seven to number one. "A Moment Like This" was eventually certified gold, selling upwards of 500,000 copies.

Her first album Thankful was released by RCA Records on April 15 2003. In May 2003 it was certified double platinum by the RIAA. Thankful also received good reviews, though critics said that much of her success could be credited to the commerciality of the music. Clarkson co-wrote four of the twelve songs on the album.

Songs from the album released as singles include "Low", which peaked at number fifty-eight in the US, and "The Trouble with Love Is", which was featured on the soundtrack of the 2004 film Love Actually.

Clarkson starred with fellow American Idol contestant Justin Guarini in From Justin to Kelly which was released in the summer of 2003. The film received weak reviews and was a box office disaster. Some critics named it one of the worst movies ever made. The two stars revealed that their work in the film was stipulated in their Idol contracts.

In September 2003, Clarkson appeared NBC's American Dreams as Brenda Lee, performing "Sweet Nothing".

In December 2003, Clarkson participated in the World Idol competition. She placed second to Norwegian Idol winner Kurt Nilsen.

In 2004, Clarkson received a nomination for the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammy for her edgy top-ten hit single "Miss Independent". It was co-written by Christina Aguilera and Clarkson.

Later in 2004, Clarkson embarked on the thirty-city "Independent Tour" with fellow Idol contestant Clay Aiken.

Solo career established

On November 30 2004, RCA Records released Clarkson's second album Breakaway. Entering the Billboard album chart at number three, Breakaway received praise from critics, who noted its harder, more rock-flavored edge, one that invited comparisons to Avril Lavigne. The album has also been characterized by Clarkson herself as being in the pop rock genre.

Clarkson took a more hands-on approach to creating Breakaway, co-writing six of the eleven tracks in the process. Producers and fellow artists also helped Clarkson craft the album, some of which include Max Martin ("Since U Been Gone", "Behind These Hazel Eyes"), Avril Lavigne ("Breakaway"), and former Evanescence band members Ben Moody and David Hodges ("Because of You", "Addicted").

Breakaway's first three singles, "Breakaway", "Since U Been Gone" and "Behind These Hazel Eyes", have all received widespread airplay in several different radio formats and reached the Billboard Hot 100 top-ten, peaking at number six, number two, and number six respectively. The fourth single from Breakaway, "Because of You", is currently climbing that chart, and is at number seven in its twelfth week. The song became Breakaway's third number one mainstream radio hit in the U.S. following "Breakaway" and "Since U Been Gone". The song is also currently ranked at number six in Canada.

On October 22, 2005, she became the first pop artist in five years to have four top 10 hits off one album.

File:Behind These Hazel Eyes.jpg
"Behind These Hazel Eyes" CD single cover

Industry experts noted that Clarkson had avoided the "sophomore slump", and that the artistic and commercial success of the album and its singles cemented Clarkson's place in the pop music industry, separate from the American Idol machine. Breakaway has proved to have staying power. Eleven months after its release, it has not left the top-twenty.

In 2005 Clarkson was a musical guest on Saturday Night Live and acted in two sketches. Clarkson was also named by Teen People Magazine as one of the "Hottest 25 Stars Under 25".

By July 2005 Clarkson is the top-selling American Idol contestant and the only one having released two mainstream CDs. Breakaway has so far sold nearly 3.5 million copies domestically (certified triple-platinum by the RIAA on July 21 2005).

In August, Clarkson won several Teen Choice Awards and MTV Video Music Awards.

Clarkson appeared on ReAct Now: Music & Relief, a live performance broadcast on Viacom's networks MTV, VH1 and CMT on September 10 2005. The program raised funds for the American Red Cross and the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Clarkson performed a cover of Ray LaMontagne's "Shelter".

Personal life and persona

Clarkson has a well-known conservative reputation, which is considered unusual by typical "Hollywood" standards. Clarkson's personal relationships are rarely outspoken, although some past love interests have sparked curiosity among fans and media outlets everywhere. While giving her acceptance speech for Best Female Video at the MTV Video Music Awards on August 28, 2005, Clarkson briefly thanked her beau in the crowd, essentially confirming a rumor that she was in a new relationship.

Clarkson is known for her bond with her fans, with whom she goes out of her way to meet and talk. Once on her Breakaway Tour, she was sick after a show in Chicago. Instead of cancelling the meet-and-greet afterward, as many artists would do, she went through with it and even apologized to her fans for not being able to talk much to them.

Clarkson has also had her share of minor controversy, such as allegations that her work doing demos for a record company broke American Idol rules about not having a contract with a record company, and later what some saw as poor sportsmanship on her part during the World Idol competition when she realized she was not going to win.

According to a fall 2005 issue of Pop-Star, Clarkson has written a song called "Haunted" based on a real life experience. "But it's not about me," she says. "It's about a friend of mine. We went to high school together and she comitted suicide about a year after we graduated. She was a very cool girl. It's always the people you'd never expect. I would have never thought that."

Tours

2002: The American Idol Tour

  • 28-City U.S. Tour (October - November 2002)
    • Two-month arena tour starring Kelly and the other American Idol finalists.

2004: The Independent Tour, co-headlining with Clay Aiken

  • 30-City U.S. Tour (February - April 2004)
  • The final show in St. Paul, Minnesota on April 16, 2004, featured the acoustic performance of a new song entitled "Don't", written by Clarkson and her band's lead guitarist Danny Weissfeld during the tour. "Don't" also became a part of the regular set list throughout the Breakaway tour, and is rumored to appear on Clarkson's third studio album.

2005: The Breakaway Spring Tour

  • 35-City U.S. / Canada Tour (March–May 2005)
  • The Breakaway Tour is Clarkson's most successful to date, selling-out the majority of venues in its 35-city run.

2005: The Hazel Eyes Summer Tour

  • Dates are currently scheduled throughout the US and Canada, the forty-six-city tour ran from July 6 opening in Lubbock, TX and ended in New York, NY on October 11.
  • The July 17 Orlando, Florida concert was webcast live on AOL. A key thematic moment in her concerts is her rendition of Annie Lennox's 1992 hit, "Why", which she introduces as her favorite song. The 70-minute show features frequent sing-alongs from the audience and expressions of gratitude from Clarkson. There are rock arrangements to most songs, with an a cappella "Beautiful Disaster" and a two-acoustic guitar-only shambolic "Breakaway".
  • Due to popular demand, "Hear Me" was added to the tour set list after Clarkson was, as she put it, "hated on" during the Breakaway Tour for not performing this song at any of her shows.
  • The Hazel Eyes Tour features a new song called "Come Here" which is, according to Clarkson, "probably going to be on the next record".
  • Several venues were cancelled, due to Clarkson catching bronchitis. She will return in December to finish up her Hazel Eyes Tour. Currently scheduled stops are in Texas, California, Nevada and Washington.

2005: The Breakaway World Tour

  • In a June 2005 radio interview on Capital FM in London, Clarkson mentioned that she would begin planning a world tour that will visit Australia, Asia, and Europe, after finishing The Hazel Eyes Tour in the U.S.
  • The Breakaway World Tour began on Friday November 4, 2005, at the Challenge Stadium in Perth, Australia. She will head to the British Isles beginning February 17th in Manchester, UK, after finishing her Australia and New Zealand portion of the tour. New dates are announced regularly.

Discography

Albums

  • 2003: Thankful#1 US (1 week, 2x Platinum); #1 CAN (1 week, Platinum); #30 AUS (Gold); #52 UK
  • 2004: Breakaway — #3 US (3x Platinum); #6 CAN (3x Platinum); #2 AUS (3x Platinum); #6 NZ (2x Platinum); #6 UK (Platinum); South Africa (Platinum); Ireland (Platinum); Singapore (Gold); Indonesia (Gold) - over 5.5 million worldwide
    • Breakaway was re-released in Australia on November 7 2005. The re-release contains a second disc, including remixes, live tracks and music videos.
      • There has recently been talk of re-releasing Breakaway in the United States. There have been several descriptions and several release dates from major retailers, and nothing has been confirmed as of yet by RCA or by Clarkson.

Singles

File:Kelly Clarkson - A Moment Like This CD cover.jpg
"A Moment Like This"
CD single cover
  • from Thankful
  • from Breakaway
    • 2004: "Breakaway" — #6 US (2x Platinum); #3 CAN; #10 AUS (Gold); #12 NZ
    • 2004: "Since U Been Gone" — #2 US (4x Platinum); #1 CAN (2 weeks); #5 UK; #3 AUS (Platinum); #1 SA (3 weeks); #4 IRL; #1 CH; #6 GER; #11 NZ; #7 SWZ
    • 2005: "Behind These Hazel Eyes" — #6 US (Platinum); #4 CAN; #9 UK; #6 AUS; #5 CHI; #16 SA
    • 2005: "Because of You" — #7 US; #6 CAN
    • 2005: "Gone"

UK chart performance

Following the trend of several previous American artists, Clarkson's album dropped in the United States before hitting the United Kingdom as well as the rest of Europe, as success in the UK tends to reflect success in the rest of Europe.

Clarkson's first single released in the U.K. was "Miss Independent", which reached the top ten. However when she released her debut album, Thankful, it did poorly on the charts, as did her singles "Low" and "The Trouble with Love Is". However she came back with "Since U Been Gone", which reached number five, and stayed a further eight weeks in the top ten. It is currently in the top fifty after nearly half a year. The second single, "Behind These Hazel Eyes," also reached the top ten, and is now in the top twenty.

Her second album, Breakaway, reached number six, and is currently in the top ten; it has been certified platinum. Clarkson is the first American female to reach a peak that high since Britney Spears' Greatest Hits album. Clarkson has had more sucess than many other US female pop acts, and is currently the only American female to have a album in the top twenty.

She is tenth on the list of Christmas favorites, behind some of the U.K.'s biggest artists: Coldplay, Robbie Williams, Westlife, Girls Aloud, and Sugababes.

Videography

  • from Thankful
Date Video Director TRL Stats Notes
September 2002 "Before Your Love" Antti Jokinen 13 days
(1 at #1)
Kelly's first official video, featured and world premiered on MTV's Making the Video.
October 2002 "A Moment Like This" Antti Jokinen 19 days
(1 at #1)
Features clips of Clarkson's winning moment on American Idol.
May 2003 "Miss Independent" Liz Friedlander 50 days
(14 at #1)
Nominated for Best New Artist in a Video, Best Pop Video, and Viewer's Choice at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.

Clarkson's first video to be retired from the TRL countdown.

August 2003 "Low" Antti Jokinen 26 days
(4 at #1)
First video to feature Clarkson singing with a live band.
November 2003 "The Trouble with Love Is" Bryan Barber 22 days
(0 at #1)
Soundtrack video for Love Actually
  • from Breakaway
Date Video Director TRL Stats VH1 Stats Notes
July 2004 "Breakaway" Dave Meyers 23 days
(0 at #1)
7 weeks
(0 at #1)
Soundtrack video for The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
November 2004 "Since U Been Gone" Alex De Rakoff 43 days
(6 at #1)
14 weeks
(1 at #1)
Won for Best Female Video and Best Pop Video at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards.

Video was produced by Santa Monica-based production company FM Rocks.

May 2005 "Behind These Hazel Eyes" Joseph Kahn 50 days
(33 at #1)
11 weeks
(0 at #1)

Clarkson is credited with writing the complete original treatment for the video,
which underwent very few edits and was happily executed by director Joseph Kahn.

The exterior forest scenes for "Behind These Hazel Eyes" were done in one of the largest indoor sets ever built for a music video.

All interior gothic cathedral scenes were filmed in Ontario, Canada.

Set a record on TRL for the most days at number one by a solo female artist.

Clarkson's second video to be retired from the TRL countdown, and also her first video to be retired internationally (TRL Poland).

September 2005 "Because of You" Vadim Perelman 23 days
(17 at #1)
3 Weeks
(1 at #1)
Filmed in Irvine, California.

The video "Because of You" marks the second time that Clarkson has submitted her own treatment for a video.

World Premiered on TRL on Monday, October 3 2005.

"Because of You" became Kelly's first video to debut at number one on TRL, a feat accomplished only by a handful of artists.

Number one on Yahoo Music's Top 100 Videos

Filmography

Chart accomplishments

  • Biggest jump to number one with "A Moment Like this" (from fifty-two). Broke the previous record held by The Beatles (from twenty-seven with "Can't Buy Me Love").
  • First solo artist to hold number-one positions on two U.S. Billboard charts simultaneously with two different singles:
    • "Breakaway" — number one, Adult Contemporary
    • "Since U Been Gone" — number one, Top 40
  • First artist to have two songs in the top three of the Billboard Pop Airplay 100 simultaneously, with "Since U Been Gone" and "Behind These Hazel Eyes".
  • "Breakaway" was number one on the Adult Contemporary charts for twenty-one non-consecutive weeks (twenty of these being consecutive), tied for the longest run for a female artist with Céline Dion (Kelly's own idol) and her song "A New Day Has Come".

Awards and nominations

File:Kelly vma05.jpg
Kelly accepting her award for Best Female Video at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards

American Music Awards

  • 2005: Nominated - Favorite Female Artist
  • 2005: Nominated - Favorite Pop/Rock Album
  • 2005: Nominated - Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist
    • The 2005 American Music Awards air November 22, 2005 on ABC.
  • 2003: Nominated - Best New Pop/Rock Artist

ASCAP Pop Music Awards

  • 2004: Won - Song Writer Award (Kelly Clarkson & Rhett Lawrence - Miss Independent)

AOL Awards

  • 2005: Won - Best Musical Buddy
  • 2004: Won - Hottest Song (The Trouble with Love Is)

BDS Certified Spin Award

  • 2003: Won - 50,000 Spins (Low)

Billboard Music Awards

  • 2002: Won - Best Selling Single Of The Year (A Moment Like This)

Grammy Awards

  • 2004: Nominated - Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (Miss Independent)

Latin Video Music Awards

  • 2005: Nominated - Best International Pop Artist
  • 2005: Nominated - Best New International Artist

MTV Video Music Awards

  • 2005: Won - Best Female Video (Since U Been Gone)
  • 2005: Won - Best Pop Video (Since U Been Gone)
  • 2005: Nominated - Viewer's Choice Award (Since U Been Gone)
  • 2003: Nominated - Best New Artist In A Video (Miss Independent)
  • 2003: Nominated - Best Pop Video (Miss Independent)
  • 2003: Nominated - Viewer's Choice Award (Miss Independent)

New Music Weekly Awards

  • 2004: Won - Female Artist Of The Year
  • 2004: Won - Top 40 Single Of The Year (Miss Independent)

Radio Music Awards

  • 2005: Nominated - Song of the Year/ Adult Hit Radio {Breakaway)
  • 2005: Nominated - Song of the Year/ Mainstream Hit Radio {Since U Been Gone and Behind These Hazel Eyes)
  • 2005: Nominated - Artist of the Year/ Adult Hit Radio
  • 2005: Nominated - Artist of the Year / Mainstream Hit Radio
    • The 2005 Radio Music Awards air December 16, 2005
  • 2003: Nominated - Song Of The Year / Top 40 Radio (Miss Independent)
  • 2003: Nominated - Best Driving Song

Teen Choice Awards

  • 2005: Won - Choice Album (Breakaway)
  • 2005: Won - Choice Summer Song (Behind These Hazel Eyes)
  • 2005: Won - Choice Single (Since U Been Gone)
  • 2005: Won - Choice Female Artist
  • 2003: Won - Choice Female Music Artist
  • 2003: Nominated - Choice Summer Movie (From Justin To Kelly)
  • 2003: Nominated - Choice Summer Song (Miss Independent)
  • 2003: Nominated - Choice Crossover Artist
  • 2003: Nominated - Choice Breakout Artist
  • 2003: Nominated - Choice Breakout Movie Star, Female
  • 2003: Nominated - Choice Chemistry (From Justin To Kelly)
  • 2003: Nominated - Choice Love Song (A Moment Like This)

World Music Awards

  • 2005: Nominated - World's Best-Selling Pop Female Artist
  • 2003: Nominated - Best New Female Artist

External links


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