A Moment Like This

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"A Moment Like This"
Kelly Clarkson - A Moment Like This Before Your Love.jpg
Single by Kelly Clarkson
A-side"Before Your Love"
ReleasedSeptember 17, 2002 (2002-09-17)
Label19, RCA
Kelly Clarkson singles chronology
"Before Your Love" / "A Moment Like This"
"Miss Independent"
Music video
"A Moment Like This" on YouTube

"A Moment Like This" is the debut single by American singer Kelly Clarkson. The song was written by Jörgen Elofsson and John Reid (from Nightcrawlers) and produced by Stephen Ferrera and Steve Mac. It was released as a double A-side with "Before Your Love" as her coronation single after winning the first season of American Idol. The song was later included on her debut studio album, Thankful (2003). "A Moment Like This" was a huge hit in North America, topping the US Billboard Hot 100 and Canadian Singles Chart. It eventually became the best-selling single of 2002 in the United States.

In 2006, the song was recorded and released by British singer Leona Lewis, the winner of the third series of The X Factor. Her version was the Christmas number one for 2006, outselling the rest of the top 40 combined. Lewis' version has sold 914,000 copies as of 2015.


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 Total Request Live 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 number 11 in its list of Top 100 American Idol Hits of All Time.[3]


The song moves at a tempo of 73 beats per minute[4] in common time. The first two verses are in the key of E minor, and the chorus after each verse transitions to A major. The final chorus transposes to B major. Clarkson's vocals span from A3 to F5.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

This song received moderately 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."[6] David Browne, also of Entertainment Weekly, wrote: "A choir at the end of "A Moment Like This" is meant to indicate earthiness."[7] Arion Berger of Rolling Stone wrote that this song "signaled that Kelly might be headed toward the Mariah-Whitney-Celine radio-ballad sausage mill."[8] Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine wrote that this song is "Adult Contemporary goo.[9] 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.[10] The Huffington Post ranked the song at number 11 on "The 33 Greatest Pop Divas' Debut Singles" list.[11]

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 the United Kingdom'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., debuting at number 60 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 21, 2002, and reaching number one on its third week on the chart. It sold 236,000 in its first week.[12] It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two consecutive weeks, and remained on the chart for 20 consecutive weeks. The song became the best selling single of 2002 in the United States, with 600,000 copies sold that year.[13] Sales of the commercial single also helped the song (as evidenced by its number-one peak on the Hot 100 Singles Sales) break records.

On the Billboard issue dated October 5, 2002 the song topped the Hot 100 chart with a single-week jump of 51 positions, the largest single-week jump to number one on the Hot 100.[14] She held that record until Maroon 5's "Makes Me Wonder" single-week jump 63 positions to number one, on May 12, 2007.[14] Clarkson would break the record again when her song "My Life Would Suck Without You" jumped 96 spots from 97 to 1 on February 7, 2009.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "A Moment Like This" was directed by Antti J.[15] It has Clarkson exploring a vacant theatre, where she takes the stage to sing and perform the song. Clips of her singing on American Idol and getting emotional when she won the competition 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

Charts and certifications[edit]

Leona Lewis version[edit]

"A Moment Like This"
A Moment Like This (Leona).jpg
Single by Leona Lewis
from the album Spirit (UK edition)
ReleasedDecember 17, 2006 (2006-12-17)
Songwriter(s)Jörgen Elofsson, John Reid
Producer(s)Steve Mac
Leona Lewis singles chronology
"A Moment Like This"
"Bleeding Love"

In December 2006, the song was recorded as the UK debut single by British singer 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.

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.[29] It was the United Kingdom's second best selling single of 2006.[30] In January 2007, the single was awarded Platinum status by the British Phonographic Industry.[31] The song has sold 943,000 copies in the United Kingdom as of December 2015, according to the Official Charts Company.[32]

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.

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.[33] 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)[34] 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.[35]

"A Moment Like This" stayed at number one for four weeks and also topped the Irish Singles Chart for six weeks.[36] On January 4, 2007, it charted at number three on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles.[37] 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.

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.[38]

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

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

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


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External links[edit]