A Moment Like This

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"A Moment Like This"
Single by Kelly Clarkson
A-side "Before Your Love"
Released September 17, 2002 (2002-09-17)
Format CD single, DVD single
Recorded 2002
Genre Pop
Length 3:49
Label RCA
Writer(s) Jörgen Elofsson, John Reid
Producer(s) Stephen Ferrera, Steve Mac
Certification Platinum
Kelly Clarkson singles chronology
"Before Your Love" / "A Moment Like This"
"Miss Independent"

"A Moment Like This" is a song by American singer Kelly Clarkson, the winner of the first season of American Idol. It was released as her debut single (as a double-A side with "Before Your Love") and topped the Billboard Hot 100. The song was later included on her debut album, Thankful (2003). It is her coronation song from American Idol.

In 2006, the song was recorded by British singer Leona Lewis, the winner of the third series of The X Factor.


The song was co-written by Jörgen Elofsson and John Reid (of dance act Nightcrawlers) and produced by Stephen Ferrera and Steve Mac. It was written to be the first single for the winner of the first season of American Idol. As a result, the four remaining finalists, Kelly Clarkson, Justin Guarini, Nikki McKibbin, and Tamyra Gray each recorded a version of the song in case he or she won. The song was first revealed to the public when Guarini and Clarkson competed in a final showdown while singing this song, along with another track, "Before Your Love". After the American public had voted, Guarini performed the song (and Clarkson performed "Before Your Love") at the final show before the results were revealed. When Clarkson was announced as the winner, she became emotional, and sang the song as her final performance.

"Before Your Love", was also given to radio and had a video shot, which debuted on MTV's TRL before "A Moment Like This" did; however, it failed to achieve the level of success of "A Moment Like This", but shares the Gold certification as a double-a sided single.

"A Moment Like This/Before Your Love" was certified gold by RIAA on October 18, 2002.[1] As of June 4, 2009, the single has sold approximately 1,047,000 copies.[2]

On March 5, 2013, Billboard ranked the song #11 in its list of Top 100 American Idol Hits of All Time.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

This song received mixed-to-positive reviews. Entertainment Weekly editor Henry Goldblatt wrote about Clarkson's performance of the song on American Idol: "the woman whose tears during her winning rendition of A Moment Like This were so heartfelt, grown men cried along with her." David Browne, also of Entertainment Weekly, wrote: "A choir at the end of "A Moment Like This" is meant to indicate earthiness."[4] Arion Berger of Rolling Stone wrote that that this song "signaled that Kelly might be headed toward the Mariah-Whitney-Celine radio-ballad sausage mill."[5] Sal Cinuqemani of Slant Magazine wrote that this song is "Adult Contemporary goo.[6] AllMusic senior editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote that the song "may have been a number one hit, but it was such a staid adult contemporary tune that it suggested that her career was over before it really began, since it was not a work that played to her age or audience, and it gave her no room to grow." He also marked this song as a standout on album Thankful.[7]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "A Moment Like This" is relatively simple, and has Clarkson exploring an abandoned theatre. She can be seen taking the stage to sing, and clips of her singing on American Idol and getting emotional when she won are also shown.

Track listing[edit]


  1. "Before Your Love" – 4:00
  2. "A Moment Like This" – 3:50


  1. "Before Your Love" (video) - 3:52
  2. "A Moment Like This" (video) - 3:47

Chart performance[edit]

As the first single ever from American Idol, much pressure was put on "A Moment Like This" to perform well. The debut single from Will Young, the winner of Britain's Pop Idol (the forerunner to American Idol), sold 1.2 million copies in its first week, becoming the fastest-selling British debut single of all time; however, critics argued that the American singles market was different from the British market. The single became a hit in the U.S., reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. It sold 236,000 in its first week.[8] Sales of the commercial single also helped the song (as evidenced by its number-one peak on the Hot 100 Singles Sales) break records. With the release of the single, the song broke The Beatles' record for the biggest leap ever to number one, from 52, in the history of the Hot 100 Chart, a record that would stand for five years. She would break the record again when her song "My Life Would Suck Without You" jumped 96 spots from 97 to 1 in 2009.


Chart (2002) Peak
Canadian Singles Chart 1
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 1
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[10] 4
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[11] 4
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[12] 27
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[13] 58

Leona Lewis version[edit]

"A Moment Like This"
Single by Leona Lewis
from the album Spirit (UK edition)
B-side "Summertime"
"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"
Released December 17, 2006 (2006-12-17)
Format CD single, digital download
Genre Pop, R&B
Length 4:17
Label Syco, Sony BMG
Producer(s) Steve Mac
Certification Platinum (UK)
Leona Lewis singles chronology
"A Moment Like This"
"Bleeding Love"
Spirit track listing

In December 2006, the song was recorded by Leona Lewis, the winner of series 3 of The X Factor. The single was rush-released on Wednesday, December 20, 2006. This is unusual as most new singles are released on a Monday to gain maximum sales for the UK Singles Chart the following Sunday. The late release of "A Moment Like This" was because Lewis was only chosen as the artist on the night of Saturday, December 16, when the live final was transmitted. The song was available for download after she was announced winner of The X Factor.

In January 2007, "A Moment Like This" was shortlisted for Best British Single at the 2007 BRIT Awards. It made it to the second round but was eliminated and did not make it to the final selection. In May it was awarded the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for Best Selling British Single.

Track listing and formats[edit]

  • UK CD single
  1. "A Moment Like This" – 4:17
  2. "Summertime" – 2:27
  3. "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" – 2:52

Music video[edit]

The music video, like Clarkson's, is very simple, with Lewis singing the song on a stage. It also features several clips from Lewis's time in The X Factor, from her first audition to the moment she was announced the winner. Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh, Kate Thornton and Ray Quinn all feature within the clips. The video was directed by JT.[14]


It was reported that 1 million copies of the winner's single were pre-ordered by stores and that it was downloaded 50,000 times within 30 minutes of being available online.[15] It ended as the United Kingdom's second best selling single of the year.[16] In January 2007, the single was awarded Platinum status by the British Phonographic Industry.[17] According to the Official Charts Company, the song has sold 900,000 copies in the United Kingdom as of December 2014.[18]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom December 17, 2006 Digital download Syco
December 20, 2006 CD

Chart performance[edit]

Lewis' version of the song broke a world record after it was downloaded 50,000 times within just 30 minutes of release.[19] It sold over 100,000 copies on its first day on sale (an X Factor winner record later beaten by Alexandra Burke in 2008 and then again by James Arthur in 2012)[20] and also went on to become the most downloaded song of 2006. On December 24, it became the Christmas number one, having sold 571,253 copies, outselling the rest of the Top 40 combined.[21]

"A Moment Like This" stayed at number one for four weeks and also topped the Irish Singles Chart for six weeks.[22] On January 4, 2007, it charted at number three on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles.[23] On October 28, 2007, after the release of Lewis's second single "Bleeding Love", "A Moment Like This" re-entered the UK Singles Chart at number 55.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Other versions[edit]

There is a cover version of "A Moment Like This" by Dutch singer Glennis Grace, a Swedish version called "Ett kort Ögonblick" released by Swedish duo Fame, and a cover version by Sandra Oxenryd. All three have performed in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005, 2003 and 2006 respectively. Another version of "A Moment Like This" is featured in the Drawn Together episode "A Tale of Two Cows", where Toot Braunstein sings a shrill, off-key version while having sex with Xandir. Toot also sings it in the series finale in a parody of American Idol in 2007. Kidz Bop Kids covered "A Moment Like This" on their album Kidz Bop 3. The song was also covered by Idol Sweden 2005 finalist Cindy Lamreus on the Idol compilation, My Own Idol.

On October 1, 2008, the top ten finalists of America's Got Talent season three performed the song together live on the season's finale episode.

In September 2010, winner Mag Lam performed the song in the final of The Voice season 2 in Hong Kong, she sang the song once again as her final performance.

In August 2013, Shila Amzah and the top 12 of Chinese Idol perform a Chinese Version of the song in the finale of Chinese Idol.

Taiwanese countertenor singer Lin Yu Chun also included his version in the debut album It's My Time in September 2010.

Dave Chappelle sings this song after getting revenge on a casting agent who wronged him in a sketch on Chappelle's Show.

On the twelfth season of American Idol, Amber Holcomb performed this song during the top ten week on March 13, 2013.


  1. ^ " RIAA Search - Kelly Clarkson
  2. ^ How the American Idol coronation singles stack up, part 1, Idol Chatter.
  3. ^ "Top 100 'American Idol' Hits of All Time". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  4. ^ "Thankful Review | Music Reviews and News". EW.com. 2003-04-25. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  5. ^ Arion Berger (2003-04-22). "Thankful | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  6. ^ "Kelly Clarkson: Thankful | Music Review". Slant Magazine. 2003-04-16. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  7. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (2003-04-15). "Thankful - Kelly Clarkson | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  8. ^ 'Idol' Clarkson's Single Sets Billboard Record
  9. ^ "Kelly Clarkson Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Kelly Clarkson.
  10. ^ "Kelly Clarkson Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Kelly Clarkson.
  11. ^ "Kelly Clarkson Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Kelly Clarkson.
  12. ^ "Kelly Clarkson Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Kelly Clarkson.
  13. ^ "Kelly Clarkson Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Kelly Clarkson.
  14. ^ "DVD". Spirit – The Deluxe Edition (DVD). Leona Lewis. Syco (Sony BMG). 2007. back cover. #88697359692. 
  15. ^ Blackburn, Jen (December 17, 2006). "Leona breaks world record". The Sun. Retrieved December 17, 2006. 
  16. ^ "Top 40 Singles of 2006". BBC Radio 1. Archived from the original on 28 December 2008. 
  17. ^ "LEWIS LEONA , A MOMENT LIKE THIS , Platinum , Fri Jan 5 2007". British Phonographic Industry. January 5, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  18. ^ "The biggest selling X Factor winner's singles revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  19. ^ Bale, Karen (December 18, 2006). "LEONA'S THE DIVA OF DOWNLOADS". Daily Record. Retrieved September 11, 2013. 
  20. ^ Corner, Lewis (December 11, 2012). "X Factor James Arthur beats Little Mix, Leona Lewis to become fastest seller". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  21. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2198680/Leona-Lewis-performs-stripped-version-deeply-emotional-new-single-Trouble.html
  22. ^ "Leona Lewis – A Moment Like This". acharts.us. Retrieved August 21, 2007. 
  23. ^ a b Sexton, Paul (January 4, 2007). "Beatles Euro Chart Spell Continues Into 2007". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved August 26, 2009. 
  24. ^ "British single certifications – Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 15, 2014.  Enter Bleeding Love in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  25. ^ Lane, Daniel (August 16, 2014). "Sing it back! Hit songs you didn't know were covers". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Dilemma" by Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single (Kelly Clarkson version)
October 5, 2002 – October 12, 2002
Succeeded by
"Dilemma" by Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland
Preceded by
"Smack That" by Akon featuring Eminem
Ireland number-one single (Leona Lewis version)
December 21, 2006 – January 25, 2007
Succeeded by
"Grace Kelly" by Mika
Preceded by
"Patience" by Take That
UK Singles Chart number-one single (Leona Lewis version)
December 24, 2006 – January 14, 2007
Preceded by
American Idol winner's singles (Kelly Clarkson version)
Succeeded by
Flying Without Wings
Preceded by
"That's My Goal" by Shayne Ward
The X Factor winner's single (Leona Lewis version)
Succeeded by
"When You Believe" by Leon Jackson