Ready to invade Australia with her remarkable voice by early November 2005, Kelly Clarkson has revealed her intention to continue her "Hazel Eyes Tour" around U.S. after she previously was forced to put some delays due to a lingering case of bronchitis. Starting on December 7 in Hidalgo, Texas, the tour has added a number of new stops in Texas and California, not to mention that of New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom. Unquestionably busy preparing the rescheduled shows, she amazingly managed to grab three American Music Awards nominations for Favorite Female Artist in the Pop/Rock and Adult Contemporary plus the Favorite Album in the Pop/Rock through "Breakaway". All of these merely exhibit the star quality she possesses within, making her brilliantly shines through as a true American idol.
"American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson was born Kelly Brianne Clarkson on April 24, 1982, in Fort Worth, Texas, and later moved to Burleson, Texas. This family of Greek descent consists of mother named Jeanne; step father named Jimmy Taylor; one brother Jason (b. 1973); and one sister Alyssa (b. 1976).
When Kelly was still 13 years old, she was approached by a teacher in her middle school, Pauline Hughes Middle School, about joining the choir, after she was heard singing in the hallway. Nobody had ever really realized her talent or even given her such chance until she got there, that her teacher really supported her to improve her singing skill. From that point, her participation in choral and musical activities had approvingly spurred her interest in a recording career.
As an attempt to reach her dream, following her high school graduation, Kelly relocated to Los Angeles, California. There she worked as an extra on television, appearing on the WB's "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" and worked briefly with songwriter Gerry Goffin. After that works, her Los Angeles apartment burned down, and she reluctantly moved back to Texas in desperation, but was still intent on pursuing a career in show business. Arriving in Texas, Kelly began her life from nothing, taking some odd jobs, including working as a cocktail waitress, a promo girl for Red Bull, at a movie theater, where the premiere of her movie "From Justin to Kelly" was later held, in a pharmacy, at Chili's, the Fort Worth Zoo, as a telemarketer, sold Kirby vacuum cleaners door to door for a day, and did other jobs as well.
In the middle of her desperation, one of her friends, Jessica, encouraged her to stand still and suggested her to try out for FOX's new show "American Idol", the search for a superstar. And so in 2001, along with ten thousand others, Kelly auditioned for the "American Idol", which she said to know nothing about and tried it out just for fun. Chosen as one of the finalists, she performed live every week for ten weeks with an estimated 25 million viewers, singing such songs as "Respect", "Natural Woman", and "Without You". As fate would have it, she was chosen a favorite among voters, mainly because of her powerful voice and sweet personality. And when the final show came, that was on September 4, 2002, Kelly performed "A Moment Like This", a song written especially for American Idol.
Kelly, the only contestant to have never landed in the bottom three, was at the end revealed as the winner, becoming the first "American Idol" with 58 percent of the votes in the final contest against Justin Guarini. Becoming the newly crowned American Idol she automatically received the show's prize of a one million dollar recording contract with RCA Records and also signed a deal with Creative Artists Agency. In succession, Kelly then went on the seven week national "American Idol" Tour, and on September 11, 2002, she sang the National Anthem in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.
Two weeks after winning the title American Idol, Kelly released her first single "A Moment Like This", which quickly reached number one on the Billboard charts in just one week after its release. By and by, this single set an American record, rising on October 5, 2002, from No. 52 to No. 1 on the Billboard chart, a record previously held by The Beatles with "Can't Buy Me Love". Despite the fact that she's becoming a superstar, Kelly decided not to move to L.A. or New York. Rather, she remained in Texas.
On April 15, 2003, she had her first full-length album "Thankful" released by RCA Records and was certified as "double platinum," signifying over two million sales in the U.S. by the RIAA. Along with this attainment, many critics pointed to Kelly's much success as could be accredited to the commerciality of her music, yet "Thankful" still garnered good reviews. Aside from various critics dedicated to her, Kelly's first single "Miss Independent" also received wide notice and acclaim. Furthermore, in April the same year, the singer debuted in her first film with "Idol" runner-up, Justin Guarini. The movie entitled "From Justin to Kelly" is a musical about two teens, Justin and Kelly, who fall in love while on Spring Break in Miami. The characters' romance gets sidetracked when their friends get in the way. Unfortunately, the film received weak reviews and was a box office disaster.
Although the movie was not a blockbuster success, Kelly remains a respected and known artist. As an evidence, in 2004 she received a Grammy Nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her Top 10 hit single "Miss Independent". Moreover, she embarked on the 30 cities "Independent Tour" with fellow "American Idol" contestant, Clay Aiken (2004), and that same year she released her sophomore album, "Breakaway", which debuted at #3. Though her first album debuted at #1 and sold a few thousand more copies in its first week, industry experts noted this was not too bad of a sophomore slump. "Breakaway" got double platinum, while her singles "Breakaway" and "Since U Been Gone" have both garnered widespread airplay and made it into the U.S. Top 10.
Beyond her music career, Kelly has also appeared on NBC's "American Dreams" as Brenda Lee and as the musical guest on "Saturday Night Live" on February 12, 2005. In addition, on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart, dated March 31, 2005, Kelly was placed at #2 with "Since U Been Gone". This is the highest peak of a pop song since Ashlee Simpson peaked at #5 with "Pieces of Me" in 2004. Last but not least, in 2005 Kelly was ranked #92 in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World. Her dominance in pop music was still clearly visible as she won four categories of Best Female Artist, Best Album for "Breakaway", Best Single for "Since U Been Gone", and Best Summer Single for "Behind These Hazel Eyes" at the 2005 Teen Choice Awards held in August 16. It was quickly followed with her achievement to take home two MTV Video Music Awards for Best Female Video and Best Pop Video through "Since U Been Gone". Known also as a caring person, she participated in ReAct Now: Music & Relief, a live broadcast which aimed to collect fund for the American Red Cross and the victims of Hurricane Katrina by September 10.
Being one among the many winners of the 33rd annual prestigious American Music Awards held November 22, 2005 at the Shrine Auditorium, Kelly furthermore scored nominations at that year's Billboard Music Awards, including that of Artist of the Year and Hot 100 Song of the Year categories. Continuously honing her singing skills, she at last picked the fruit of her hard work when she surprisingly won the 48th annual Grammys. Picking the awards of Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Since U Been Gone" and Best Pop Vocal Album for "Breakaway", she automatically becomes the first contestant from "American Idol" to win at the prestigious event.
Done with the second album, she geared up the production of the third, "My December". The album that arrived July 26, 2007 was claimed to show another side of Kelly and was in line with her belief that every record of her will never be the same. Employing a more mature mode, Kelly hinted at her "metamorphosis" as an angry woman in single "Never Again". The song quickly became a hit and entered Billboard 100 at #8 based solely on the airplay. However, unlike her previous "more-radio friendly" singles, "Never Again" quickly fell off the chart and was the beginning of a series of unfortunate events for her. With the production of the darker "My December", Kelly had refused to work with people behind "Thankful" and "Breakaway", thus creating a rift between her and RCA president Clive Davis. She was also in trouble when her longtime manager Jeff Kwatinetz left her due to "artistic differences" which mainly was triggered by the latest album. Not only that, fans also saw Kelly's new direction as "unfamiliar" that the singer's summer tour was scrapped off due to poor ticket sales. This matter was explained by Kelly's management team as not a result of a dying flame but because the schedule was too soon for a tour to start.
Personal matters clouding over "My December" were soon put aside when the album entered at #2 in Billboard Hot 200 chart. In the first week of its release, the record was sold 291,000 copies, only 30,000 units short of the frontrunner "Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus". Just few days before the charting, Kelly had also said hi to her new manager. She moved to Starstruck managing company and hired Reba McEntire's husband slash manager, Narvel Blackstock. Meanwhile, not falling for the controversy surrounding "My December", Kelly said that she would like to experiment on country, along with blues and rock on her next album.
Following the success of "My December", Kelly released her fourth studio album entitled "All I Ever Wanted" on March 10, 2009. The lead track off the album, "My Life Would Suck Without You", broke the record of largest leap to the top spot as the track jumped from No. 97 to No. 1 in its second week on Billboard Hot 100. The record was formerly held by Britney Spears' "Womanizer".
In 2011, she released her next album "Stronger". The second track off the album, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You", which was released in January 2012, topped sixteen billboard charts, including Hot 100. The track soon became Kelly best-selling song with 4.7 million units sold in the U.S. alone. That same year, she began dating talent manager Brandon Blackstock. The twosome got married on October 20, 2013.
Shortly after getting married, Kelly released her first Christmas record, "Wrapped in Red". She co-wrote all the songs in the album with Greg Kurstin. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Holiday Albums and number three on the Billboard 200 chart.
Although Kelly didn't release any new album in 2014, she collaborated with several musicians, including Josh Groban. The duo released a rendition of "All I Ask of You", which is included in Josh's seventh studio album "Stages". Her career aside, Kelly gave birth to her first child, River Rose Blackstock, on June 12. Two years later, Kelly released her seventh studio album as well as final studio album under her recording contract with RCA Records, "Piece by Piece". The album, which was released in February 2015, debuted atop Billboard 200 chart. Promoting her album, she made a comeback to "American Idol" stage, delivering an emotional performance on the final season of the show.
After giving birth to her second child, Remington Alexander Blackstok, on April 12, 2016, Kelly made her debut as an author. She released her first children book entitled "River Rose and the Magical Lullaby" after signing a book deal with HarperCollins in February. The book, which was released on October 4, features an original lullaby written and performed by the singer. In the following year, she published the sequel of her first book entitled "River Rose and the Magical Christmas", which included an original song written and sung by Kelly, titled "Christmas Eve".
In the same year, Kelly joined the fourteenth season of "The Voice" as a judge. She also released her eighth studio album "Meaning of Life" on October 27. The album arrived at No. 2 on Billboard 200 chart.