"Before Your Love" is a song recorded by American pop singer Kelly Clarkson. It was released as her debut single alongside "A Moment Like This" on September 17, 2002, following her win as the first American Idol winner. It went on to become the best-selling single of 2002 in the United States. A new mix of song was later included on her debut album, Thankful (2003).
"Before Your Love" was written and produced by Desmond Child and Cathy Dennis for the winner of the inaugural season of American Idol. Dennis also co-wrote "Anything Is Possible", the debut single of Pop Idol winner Will Young. Kelly Clarkson, Justin Guarini, Nikki McKibbin, and Tamyra Gray have each recorded a version of the song in case one of them won the season. It was first performed live by Clarkson and Guarini during the final showdown of American Idol at the Kodak Theatre on September 3, 2002. It was then performed by Clarkson during the grand finale on September 4, 2002 before winning the title. It was released as a double-A single with "A Moment Like This" on September 17, 2002. It was also one of the few songs to be released as a DVD single in the early 2000s. Clarkson included the song in the setlist for the American Idol Tour in 2002. A music video of the song premiered on MTV as her first music video in September 2002.
The song has received mixed to positive reviews from music critics. David Browne of Entertainment Weekly gave the song a "D+" rating, he remarked "The lyrics are generalized banalities (I never lived before your love/I never felt before your touch), the melodies destined to endure as wedding songs or florist ads. A choir at the end of "A Moment Like This" is meant to indicate earthiness; the gentle acoustic guitar throughout "Before Your Love," sensitivity." Rito Asilo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer remarked that the song's lyrics were "corny," but praised Clarkson's voice. Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine wrote: "Yes, the girl's got immeasurable talent, but the last note of Thankful's final track, a new mix of "Before Your Love," speaks volumes: this is the sound of strained excess."
The song became a commercial success throughout North America, establishing Clarkson as a hit singer. Along with "A Moment Like This", "Before Your Love" entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 52. The following week it ascended to number 1, fueled by sales of over 236,000 copies, making it the first single to sell more than 200,000 copies since 1999. Its ascent broke the record set by the British band The Beatles for the biggest leap to number one after their single "Can't Buy Me Love" rose from number 27 to number 1 in April 1964. That record was later broken by the American pop rock band Maroon 5 when "Makes Me Wonder" rose from number 64 to number 1 in May 2007. Clarkson would later break it again when her single "My Life Would Suck Without You" rose from number 97 to number 1 in February 2009. Despite being commercially successful, it received minimal radio airplay in favor of "A Moment Like This". It was later certified gold by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and double platinum by Music Canada.