Why Don't You Try

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"Why Don't You Try"
Song by Kelly Clarkson
from the album Stronger
Recorded 2011
Studio Germano Studios, New York City
Genre R&B
Length 4:47
Label RCA
Songwriter(s) Eric Hutchinson
Producer(s) Steve Jordan

"Why Don't You Try" is a song by American recording artist Kelly Clarkson, from her fifth studio album, Stronger (2011). Written by Eric Hutchinson and produced by Steve Jordan, the record features instrumental performances by prominent session musicians: Pino Palladino, Hugh McCracken, Ivan Neville, and Jordan on Drums. Hutchinson originally intended to record the song for his fourth studio album, Moving Up Living Down (2012), but ultimately decided to let Clarkson record it instead. The only known live performance of the song was during Muhammad Ali's "Celebrity Fight Night" charity event in March 2011.

Background and recording[edit]

In 2009, Eric Hutchinson opened for Kelly Clarkson in selected dates in her All I Ever Wanted Tour, where he debuted a new song, "Why Don't You Try", originally intended for his fourth studio album.[1] Clarkson recalled upon hearing the song:

"Eric Hutchinson was touring with me in Australia and I was in my dressing room and all of a sudden I heard this song. I was like, what is he singing?! And I ran out of the dressing room – I looked like a hot mess! I was in the middle of getting my hair and make-up done. He had just surprised the audience with a new song. He came off the stage and I was like, you need to write me a song like that! And instead, he gave me that song so I could have it on my album. It's a very relatable song to me."[1]

In February 2011, Clarkson recorded the song with Steve Jordan in New York.[2][3] The recording sessions featured prominent session musicians—including Pino Palladino on bass, Hugh McCracken on guitar, Ivan Neville on piano, and Jordan on Drums. All of them had previously collaborated with Jordan, primarily Palladino—who, like Jordan, is also a member of the musical ensemble John Mayer Trio. It is also one of the last recordings in which McCracken appeared before he died in 2013.[4] "Why Don't You Try" is a R&B ballad,[5][6] it was the first announced track for her fifth studio album, Stronger, which was ultimately released on October 2011.[7]

Critical response and live performances[edit]

Brian Masfield of USA Today wrote that "Why Don't You Try" "lets Kelly unleash her inner Aretha."[5] Clarkson performed "Why Don't You Try" during Muhammad Ali's "Celebrity Fight Night" charity event in Phoenix, Arizona on March 19, 2011.[8] A live version of the song also appears on her second extended play, iTunes Session, which was released in December 2011.[9]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the Stronger liner notes.[10]



  1. ^ a b Galperina, Marina (October 4, 2011). "Kelly Clarkson Is Looking for Love, Stalking Adele and Writing 'Kiss-Off' Songs for Mr. Wrong -- Exclusive Q&A". AOL. AOL, Inc. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ Brown, Janice (April 21, 2011). "Session Buzz: Who’s Recording In & Around NYC — A Monthly Report". SonicScoop. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ Vanegas, Trent (March 7, 2011). "Is Kelly Clarkson About To Announce The Release Of Her New Album?". Pinkisthenewblog.com. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ Cashmere, Paul (March 30, 2013). "R.I.P. Hugh McCracken, Renowned Session Guitarist". Noise11.com. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Mansfield, Brian (October 21, 2011). "Kelly Clarkson's 'Stronger': A track-by-track-review". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  6. ^ Vena, Jocelyn (March 21, 2011). "Kelly Clarkson 'Will Sing Her Butt Off' On New Record, Songwriter Says". MTV. Viacom Media Networks. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ Goldblatt, Henry (March 15, 2011). "Kelly Clarkson's new album delayed". Entertainment Weekly. Time, Inc. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  8. ^ Daw, Robbie (March 21, 2011). "Watch Kelly Clarkson Cover Eric Hutchinson’s “Why Don’t You Try”". Idolator. Buzz Media. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ Vena, Jocelyn (December 13, 2011). "Kelly Clarkson To Drop iTunes EP". MTV. Viacom Media Networks. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  10. ^ Stronger (digital booklet). Kelly Clarkson. RCA Records/19 Recordings. 2011. G010002698325D.