Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American singer, songwriter and occasional actress. Her celebrity began after she won the inaugural season of the television series American Idol in 2002 and came second in the 2003 World Idol television special. She also appeared in other televised singing competitions such as The X Factor, The Voice and Duets.
Immediately after winning American Idol, Clarkson was signed to a US$1 million recording deal with RCA Records and made her chart debut in September 2002 with the number-one double A-side single "Before Your Love" / "A Moment Like This". Her debut album, Thankful, was released in 2003 and included the hit single "Miss Independent". Her second album, Breakaway, appeared the following year and featured a more pop rock-oriented sound. Its hit singles were "Breakaway", "Since U Been Gone", "Behind These Hazel Eyes" and "Because of You". Breakaway has become her most successful album to date.
Clarkson's third album My December, released in 2007, presented a more purely rock-oriented sounded. It was moderately successful and produced the hit single "Never Again". A return to a more pop-rock sound in her fourth album All I Ever Wanted (2009) was more successful and spawned the international hit singles "My Life Would Suck Without You" and "Already Gone". Her fifth album Stronger, released in 2011, featured a dance-pop sound and the hit singles "Mr. Know It All", "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" and "Dark Side". "Stronger" has become her most successful single to date.
In 2012, Clarkson's first greatest hits album, Greatest Hits: Chapter One, was released along with the singles "Catch My Breath", "Don't Rush" and "People Like Us".
Aside from her renown as the "Original American Idol ", Clarkson is also known for her personality and vocal versatility. Her music has gained her numerous accolades, including three Grammy Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards, four American Music Awards and a Women's World Award. To date, she has sold over 12 million albums in the United States and more than 23 million albums worldwide, making her the most successful national Idol.
The first season of American Idol: The Search for a Superstar premiered on June 11, 2002 and continued until September 4, 2002. It was won by Kelly Clarkson. It was co-hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman.
The winner, Kelly Clarkson, signed with RCA Records, the label in partnership with American Idol's 19 Entertainment. Immediately post-finale, Clarkson released a double-A side single, including the coronation song, "Before Your Love"/"A Moment Like This". "Before Your Love"/"A Moment Like This" went on to break a thirty-eight year old record held by The Beatles for a song's biggest leap to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. It jumped up from number fifty-two to number one in just one week. She held that record for five years. Clarkson later reclaimed that record back in 2009 with her hit single "My Life Would Suck Without You" when it jumped up from number ninety-seven to number one. Clarkson has enjoyed a successful recording career since winning, with multiple-platinum albums, three number-one Hot 100 singles and two Grammy Awards. Runner-up Justin Guarini also signed with RCA Records, eventually debuting an album in 2003 after the conclusion of season 2. RCA dropped him shortly after its debut. In addition to Clarkson and Guarini, also signed were Nikki McKibbin, Tamyra Gray, R. J. Helton, and Christina Christian.
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"Because of You" is a song performed by American singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson. It was written by Clarkson, David Hodges and Ben Moody while the production was handled by Hodges and Moody. The song was released on August 16, 2005, as the fourth single (third in Europe) from Clarkson's second studio album, Breakaway. Clarkson originally wrote the first version of "Because of You" when she was 16 years old in order to cope with her parents' divorce. She wanted to include the song on her first album, Thankful, but her request was not accepted by her label. She had to polish the song with Hodges and Moody before successfully convincing her label to include it in Breakaway.
Lyrically, "Because of You" explores emotional pain from a damaging relationship and critics deemed it is a fiery ode to Clarkson's father. The song begins with a piano-led melody and as it launches into the chorus, a roaring guitar is evident. Critically, "Because of You" garnered positive reviews by most music critics who generally praised Clarkson's vocals. The song became Clarkson's most successful single around the world; in the United States, it peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold over 1.5 million digital downloads. It was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Internationally, the song topped the charts in the Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland as well as reaching the top ten in Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. It also became the only song by Clarkson to chart in France until "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" entered the French chart in 2012.
Stronger is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson. The album was released on October 21, 2011 in Australia and October 24, 2011 in the United States and the United Kingdom through RCA Records. The thirteen-song set (seventeen on the deluxe edition) features Clarkson collaborating with new musicians Greg Kurstin, Steve Jordan, Rodney Jerkins, Toby Gad, Brian Kennedy and Ester Dean, as well as recording with longtime collaborator Howard Benson. Wanting to stray away sonically from her previous albums, Clarkson's main objective was to record her vocal performances as it is heard in her live sets, and used as little auto-tune processing as possible. The album also marked the first release by Clarkson that did not cause a conflict with RCA; her previous records, most notably My December, were released amidst conflict and controversy.