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Kelly Clarkson

Then & Now


2009 All I Ever Wanted--back on top

Kelly's fourth album, released in March 2009, lands at the top of the album charts its first week of release. At the beginning of the year, first single "My Life WOuld Suck Without You" hits the airwaves and is available for download. On January 28, 2009, Billboard announced that the single went from Number 97 to Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making the biggest leap to the top in the chart's history.

2007 My December--controversy

Kelly's third album was written while on tour for Breakaway. Worn out with her busy schedule and feeling at a low point, she poured her feelings into her songwriting. Controversy ensued when rumors began to circulate that Clive Davis, the head of Kelly's label, was unhappy with the noncommercial, darker feel of the record and demanded significant changes. The label denied the rumors; however, Kelly maintained they were true. She fired her manager and canceled touring for the album. She further revealed in a magazine interview that Davis had offered her a tremendous sum of money to remove five songs from the record and replace with five of his choosing (which she declined, stating that she was a songwriter as well as a singer). She goes on to hire country star Reba McEntire's husband as manager and later downplay the label conflict. Her involvement with country music begins to take flight, most notably in form of her duet with McEntire of the legendary "Because of You"--the collaboration lands on McEntire's all-star duets album that year, as well as gaining both a Grammy and CMA nomination.

2004 Breakaway

Requesting more creative control on her second release, Kelly moved further away from her Idol image and released a record with strong rock vibes. The title track was co-written by Avril Lavigne, and the album also features one of Kelly's best-known rock anthems, "Since U Been Gone."

2003 Thankful

Kelly's debut album, originally set for release in November 2002, hits the streets in April of 2003; it debuts at Number One on the album charts and eventually goes double platinum in sales. It includes "A Moment Like This," "Miss Independent" (which won Kelly a Grammy for best female pop vocal performance), "The Trouble With Love Is," and Low."

2002 America's First "Idol"

American Idol, a new TV show seeking to discover the best singer in the country through a series of nationwide auditions, debus on June 11, 2002. Kelly wins the first season of Idol on September 4, 2002, beating out Justin Guarini by a small percentage. She performs the ballad "A Moment Like This," specially written for the winner of the show. The single is released a month later and shoots to Number One.

1982 Kelly Brianne Clarkson is born

Kelly Clarkson, born in Forth Worth and raised in Burleson, Texas, is the third and last child of her parents. Her mother and father split when she is 6. Kelly stays with her mother while her siblings live with her father and an aunt, respectively. Kelly's mom remarries, but the family experiences consistent financial difficulties. Kelly turns to music as a refuge. Her singing talent is identified in junior high, and she begins classical studies, hoping it will win her a scholarship to college. She is offered full scholarships to several good schools upon graduation, but decides not to attend college in order to pursue a music career.


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