Sunday, 26 February 2012

Kelly Clarkson


   Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American singer, songwriter and occasional actress. Clarkson came into prominence after becoming the winner of the inaugural season of the television series American Idol: The Search for a Superstar in 2002 and later was the runner-up in the television special World Idol in 2003.

   In 2003, Clarkson released her debut album, Thankful, which was a commercial success and established herself in the pop music industry. The release of its first single, "A Moment Like This" (2002), broke The Beatles' record for the biggest leap to number one, from 52, in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. After parting ways with her management, Clarkson developed a more rock-oriented music with the release of her critically acclaimed sophomore album, Breakaway (2004), which sold more than 12 million copies worldwide and which garnered Clarkson more worldwide success as a pop rock artist. The album's single, "Because of You" (2005), became the best-selling single by an Idol contestant worldwide. In 2007, Clarkson took full creative control for her third album My December, which had had a more rock-inspired sound and was met with controversy and moderate success. Clarkson later returned to a more pop-oriented sound with All I Ever Wanted (2009), which became a commercial and critical success. The album's lead single, "My Life Would Suck Without You" (2009), currently holds the record for biggest leap to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, breaking her own record of "A Moment Like This" as well as earning her first number-one single in the United Kingdom. Clarkson's fifth studio album, Stronger, was released in October 2011, preceded by the lead single "Mr. Know It All" which peaked within top ten in eight countries. The second single of Stronger, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)", was released in January 2012, and became Clarkson's third number-one single in the United States.

   In a career spanning a decade, Clarkson has become the most successful Idol contestant around the world, with over 24 million albums and 39 million singles worldwide, according to Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan. Clarkson's work also gained her numerous accolades, including two Grammy Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, four American Music Awards and a Women's World Award. Billboard also ranked Clarkson the number 14 artist of the 2000s, as well as also being ranked on the top 200 album sellers of the Nielsen SoundScan era at number 187.

   Clarkson was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up in the small town of Burleson, a suburb of Fort Worth. She is the third and youngest child of Jeanne Rose, a first grade English teacher of Greek descent and Stephen Michael Clarkson, a former engineer of English descent.

   Clarkson's siblings include her older brother and sister, Jason and Alyssa. When Clarkson was six years old, her parents divorced after seventeen years of marriage. The family settled in Burleson, where Clarkson's mother married her second husband, Jimmy Taylor.

   Clarkson's family struggled financially, and after her parents divorced, music became her refuge. Clarkson attended Pauline G Hughes Middle School and Burleson High School. She wanted to become a marine biologist but changed her mind after seeing the movie Jaws. In seventh grade, a teacher (Mrs. Cynthia Glenn) overheard her singing in a hallway and asked her to audition for the school choir; Clarkson told the teacher that she had never received professional vocal training.

   In high school, Clarkson performed in musicals such as Annie Get Your Gun, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Brigadoon. She sang at her high school talent show, after which an audience member shared some inspiring words with her: "God has given you this gift. You've got to sing. You're destined to sing." Clarkson continued singing and soon started classical training, hoping that music would be her ticket to a college scholarship.

   Upon high school graduation, Clarkson was offered full scholarships to The University of Texas at Austin, University of North Texas, and Berklee, but decided against college because she had "already written so much music and wanted to try it on her own," and she figured "you're never too old to go to college." Clarkson later turned down two recording contracts from Jive Records and Interscope Records in the late 1990s, stating "They would have completely pigeonholed me as a bubblegum act. I was confident enough that something better would come along." She went to Los Angeles late 2001 to pursue a career in music, but worked as a waitress and appeared as an extra in such shows as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and Dharma & Greg to support herself. She worked with songwriters such as Gerry Goffin and recorded five tracks between January and March 2002 to try to get a record deal, but returned to Texas after four months in Los Angeles.

   Clarkson auditioned for the first season of American Idol (under the full title American Idol: The Search for a Superstar) in May 2002. She subsequently won the competition on September 4, 2002, earning 58% of the vote against runner-up Justin Guarini. Clarkson performed the ballad "A Moment Like This", the song written for the winner of American Idol, which subsequently appeared on her debut album, Thankful. When released as a single in October 2002, it set a record on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart when it rose from number 52 to number one. The CD single sold 236,000 copies in its first week of sales in the U.S. and spent five weeks at number one in Canada.

   In December 2003, a competition titled World Idol was held at the Pop Idol stage in London, gathering the winners of the first seasons of Idol series around the world. Clarkson was contractually obligated to participate, and placed second behind Norwegian Idol Kurt Nilsen. She performed Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman". She left immediately after the competition, later explaining to fans that she was not feeling well.



   Thankful is the debut album by American singer Kelly Clarkson, released in the United States by RCA on April 15, 2003 (see 2003 in music). "Miss Independent" was its first single, followed by "Low" and "The Trouble with Love Is".

   Initially scheduled for a November 2002 release, the album debuted at number one on the American Billboard 200 selling 297,000 copies. "Miss Independent" went on to be a Top 10 hit in the US. The album went on to be certified double platinum, with almost 3 million copies shipped.

   Thankful included three cover tracks, "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" originally by Aretha Franklin, "Some Kind of Miracle" originally sung by Puff Johnson and "Just Missed the Train" by Danielle Brisebois. "Just Missed the Train" was previously covered by Carly Smithson (then Carly Hennessy), who worked on much of her album with Brisebois. Thankful had sold 2,745,000 copies in the U.S. In Canada Thankful was certified platinum for 100,000 copies shipped. The album has sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide according to Nielsen Soundcheck worldwide scans.

   Critical response for Thankful were generally positive. On Metacritic, a website that compiles various reviews, the album received a score of 62, indicating generally favorable reviews. Entertainment Weekly noted that "Clarkson glides through octaves with the masterful control of someone who's been doing this for decades". Rolling Stone gave the album three out of five stars, praising Clarkson's talent and vocal abilities, while criticizing the album for feeling manufactured. They note that "[her] high notes are sweet and pillowy, her growl is bone-shaking and sexy, and her midrange is amazingly confident for a pop posy whose career is tied for eternity to the whims of her American Idol overlords".

   Initially, the album had been scheduled to be released in November 2002, only a few months after the completion of the first season of American Idol.[23] However, Clarkson's demanding schedule and difficulty finding tracks that suited her taste and image forced the album to be delayed several times. By the time the album was released, over six months had elapsed since "A Moment Like This" had hit number one.


   Breakaway is the second studio album by American recording artist Kelly Clarkson, released on November 30, 2004. Breakaway received two awards at the 48th Grammy Awards for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the hit single "Since U Been Gone".

   The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 for selling 250,000 copies. It was eventually certified 6x Platinum by the RIAA. It remains Clarkson's best-selling album to date, with sales of 6,160,000 copies sold in the U.S, as of December 2010. In Australia, after debuting at fifty-four and peaking at two, Breakaway was Australia's second best-selling album of 2005 and is also the 30th best selling album of all time in that country. In Canada, Breakaway was certified 5x Platinum for sales of over 500,000 copies shipped. Billboard listed the album as 29 on their decade-end charts based on sales. Breakaway has sold over 12 million copies worldwide.

   After spending 61 consecutive weeks in the top 20 of the Billboard 200, Breakaway descended to number 24. It remained in the top 30 for 74 consecutive weeks. It spent 103 weeks on the Billboard 200 (as of November 23, 2006), re-entering the chart (issue date: February 3, 2007) for its 104th week; this was its last eligible week on the chart. As of March 18, 2010 Breakaway reentered the Billboard 200 at position number 169. This was almost 6 years after its initial release. The album also re-entered the Australian ARIA Charts in the week beginning April 19, 2010, at number 100, while in Australia with the All I Ever Wanted Tour.

   With over six million copies sold in the US, Breakaway is the second most successful album by an Idol in the US, only behind Some Hearts by season four winner, Carrie Underwood, which sold over seven million copies. However, with worldwide sales of over 12 million copies, Breakaway is the most successful album by an Idol overall.


   My December is the third studio album by American pop rock singer Kelly Clarkson. The album was released on June 22, 2007 throughout most of Europe (such as Germany, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands), on June 23, 2007 in Australia, on June 25, 2007 in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Poland, and on June 26, 2007 in North America. Clarkson confirmed the name of the album in her journal on her fanclub website on February 27, 2007. Since its release, My December has shipped one million copies in the U.S and has been certified Platinum. It has also been certified Platinum in other countries, including Canada and Australia. The album was voted as the fifth best album of 2007 by the readers of the Billboard. It ranked at number 53 on the Australian Year End Chart.

   The first single, "Never Again", was released on April 13 in the U.S., and despite debuting in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 thanks to strong digital sales, it never achieved substantial airplay and was pulled from many stations only a couple of weeks following its release.

   Otherwise, the album opened successfully. In spite of its uncommercial nature, its opening week sales were comparable to those of Clarkson's first two albums.

   Many fans reacted positively to the preview of the album. On sites like Clarkson's official website, AOL, iTunes and Rolling Stone, customer reviews currently average 4 out of 5 stars.

   In spite of all the controversy surrounding My December, the album has garnered fairly positive reviews from professionals and critics as well.

   Slant Magazine reviewed My December mostly positive, with the album receiving a 3.5/5 star review, equivalent to the score given to Breakaway. An excerpt from the review, in response to the disappointing performance of "Never Again", reads, "But who cares about hits—or appeasing the kids—when the songs are this good?"

   The Times writes: "Clarkson has the moxie to rock without worrying about what anybody else thinks... Her gift is finding the source of vitality in absolute mainstream, people-pleasing pop, which by its nature breaks stylistic rules in favor of magpie mash-ups, bold appropriations and happy accidents."


   All I Ever Wanted is the fourth studio album by American pop rock singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson, released on March 6, 2009 in Australia and Germany and the United States on March 10. It was her second album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200. All I Ever Wanted has been certified Platinum in Australia and Canada and Gold in United Kingdom and Ireland. The original title of the album was to be Masquerade but Clarkson changed it because she felt that there were albums with similar themes on the charts at the time, such as Pink's Funhouse and Britney Spears' Circus. All I Ever Wanted has sold 908,000 copies in the United States. The album was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 52nd Grammy Awards.

   All I Ever Wanted debuted on the Billboard 200 at number one with sales of 255,000 copies. This marks the second time Clarkson topped this particular chart after her debut set Thankful, which began with 297,000 in 2003. The album has sold 908,000 copies in the US. Internationally, debuted at number one on the Australia Aria Charts, selling 10,000 copies. In the United Kingdom the album sold 40,000 copies and an additional 15,000 copies in Canada. It also debuted at number six on the New Zealand RIANZ album chart, becoming Clarkson's highest debut there to date.


   Stronger is the fifth studio album by American pop-rock, singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson. The album was released on October 21, 2011 in Australia and October 24, 2011 in the United States and the United Kingdom through RCA Records. The thirteen-song set (seventeen on the deluxe edition) features Clarkson collaborating with new musicians Greg Kurstin, Steve Jordan, Rodney Jerkins, Toby Gad, Brian Kennedy and Ester Dean, as well as recording with longtime collaborator Howard Benson. Wanting to stray away sonically from her previous albums, Clarkson's main objective was to record her vocal performances as it is heard in her live sets, and used minimal auto-tune processing as possible. The album also marked the first release by Clarkson that did not cause a conflict with RCA; her previous records, most notably My December, were released with conflict and controversy.

   Clarkson began writing new material for the album in November 2009 while touring and finished recording in February 2011. For the recording sessions, Clarkson drew inspiration from Tina Turner, Prince, Radiohead and Sheryl Crow among others. Clarkson also mixed R&B, country, urban, dance-pop and soul with her established pop rock character to develop a more diverse pop music material. The album's lyrical content mainly explores themes about heartbreak, vengeance, forgiveness and empowerment using metaphors about Clarkson's relationships around people.

   The record is predominantly a pop rock and pop music album, with several music critics noting the predominant R&B and country influences Clarkson explored in Thankful and All I Ever Wanted as well as dance-pop themes which Clarkson has newly developed. Originally planned to be released in late 2010, the release date of the album was pushed back several times. Upon its release, Stronger received mostly favorable reviews from critics, who noted the album's un-risky progression unlike her previous albums but notably praising Clarkson's vocal performance. In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number five, with over 30,000 in sales. In the the United States, the album debuted at number two and sold over 163,000 copies.

   The album's release was preceded by the lead single "Mr. Know It All", which was released on September 5, 2011. The song, originally perceived as a moderate success, peaked at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100, number four on the UK Singles charts, and number one on the Australian Charts. The second single, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)", has topped the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Clarkson's third number-one single in the United States. "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" has also peaked at number eight in the United Kingdom, number eighteen in Australia and number four in both Canada and New Zealand.

And now listen to some of the her greatest hits:

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