Introduction and Early Life:
Kelly Clarkson is an American singer-songwriter and actress who rose to prominence in 2002 as the winner of the first season of singing competition series American Idol. She then embarked on a highly successful pop career with 91 hit singles number ones on the Billboard charts and an estimated record sales of more than 20 million units worldwide. Clarkson’s musical work has also gained her numerous accolades and several television and film projects.
Born “Kelly Brianne Clarkson” in Fort Worth, Texas in 1982, her father was an engineer and her mother an English teacher. Clarkson’s parents divorced when she was only five. She was raised Southern Baptist by her mother and was the leader of the youth group in the church. Clarkson graduated from Burleson High School, where she actively participated in musicals and singing contests.
Career and Musical Achievements:
Kelly Clarkson traveled to Los Angeles in 2001, unsuccessfully trying to break into show business. She moved to Burleson, Texas in 2002 and became a contestant on the first season of Fox Broadcasting Company’s famous singing competition, American Idol. Clarkson impressed the judges and the audience alike with her captivating voice, stage presence and sense of humor. After winning the contest, she secured prize money totaling $1 million and a recording contract with RCA Records.
Clarkson released her debut single, “A Moment Like This”, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 and sold 236,000 copies in its first week. Her debut album, Thankful, came out in 2003. A huge critical and commercial success, the album debuted at number one on the American Billboard 200 and sold over 4.5 million units worldwide. Clarkson pursued a rock music direction with her second full-length album, Breakaway, in 2004. The Grammy-winning album spawned hit singles such as “Because of You”, “Behind These Hazel Eyes”, and “Since U Been Gone” and went on to sell more than 11 million units worldwide.
Clarkson’s third studio album, My December, was released in 2007. The platinum-selling album reflected a maturity in her songwriting skills. Her fourth album, All I Ever Wanted (2009), debuted at number one and featured hit singles such as “My Life Would Suck Without You” and “I Do Not Hook Up”. Clarkson’s fifth studio album, Stronger (2011), sold over one million units and spawned international chart-toppers such as “Mr. Know It All” and “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).”
Her first compilation album, Greatest Hits – Chapter One, was released in 2012. Clarkson’s subsequent albums Wrapped in Red (2013) and Piece by Piece (2015) were also big commercial successes.
Awards and Accolades:
Kelly Clarkson has won numerous awards and accolades in his career, including three Grammy Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards, four American Music Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, two American Country Awards, two People’s Choice Awards, five Teen Choice Awards, and a Women’s World Award.
Kelly Clarkson married her manager’s son Brandon Blackstock in 2013. She gave birth to their daughter, River Rose Blackstock, in 2014. Clarkson is a well-known philanthropist who supports various charitable foundations and has participated in a number of benefit concerts.