The Life and Music of Kelly Clarkson

by Victoria RoblesMay 15, 2024, , ,
The Life and Music of Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson is the first winner of ‘American Idol’ to record ten major hits, such as “Because of You,” “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” and “Since U Been Gone.”

Who Is Kelly Clarkson?

Kelly Clarkson took home the million-dollar prize of an RCA record deal after winning the first season of American Idol in 2002. Her debut song, “A Moment Like This,” went from No. 52 to No. 1 on the Billboard charts, and her second album, Breakaway, was awarded two Grammys.

Clarkson went on to have several successful singles, such as “Because of You” and “My Life Would Suck Without You.” She has also written children’s books, served as a coach on The Voice, and hosted a daytime talk show.

A singer, songwriter, actress, author, and tv personality, Kelly Clarkson will turn 40 next year.

Early Life 

Kelly Brianne Clarkson was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 24, 1982. Clarkson sang in the Burleson High School choir during her high school years. She graduated in 2000 and moved to Los Angeles to focus on a career in music. 

Clarkson supported herself by working a variety of odd jobs, including a few television appearances, until landing a job as a female vocalist with lyricist Gerry Goffin.

Unfortunately, she was discouraged by a run of bad luck, and she returned home to Texas shortly after. Then in 2002, one of Clarkson’s friends told her about a new talent competition on Fox called American Idol; she became one of the 10,000 contestants.

‘American Idol’ Winner

Kelly Clarkson defeated Justin Guarini to become the first champion of the popular competition on September 4, 2002, after tough rounds of televised eliminations and critical evaluations by judges Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, and Randy Jackson. 

Her formal reward was a million-dollar record deal with RCA, and her unofficial award was a good share of fame and recognition.

Albums & Songs


Clarkson’s first hit, “A Moment Like This,” rocketed from No. 52 to No. 1 on the Billboard charts the following month. In the forgettable From Justin to Kelly, she made her feature film debut in 2003. 

However, her first album was a much better success than her movie. “Miss Independent” was a massive hit on the album, and it helped make Thankful a success.


Kelly Clarkson established herself as a major pop artist in 2004 with the release of her second album, Breakaway 2004. “Since U Been Gone,” “Breakaway,” “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” and “Walk Away” were among the album’s biggest singles.

In 2005, Clarkson received two Grammy Awards for the song “Since U Been Gone,” one in the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance category and one in the Best Pop Vocal Album category. 

‘My December’

Following the success of her previous albums, Clarkson was under immense pressure to keep the hits coming. However, she wanted to try something new. In contrast to past projects, Clarkson did not work with the same team of songwriters as before, and she relied mainly on songs she co-wrote. 

It caused a rift with Clive Davis, who suggested the album, My December (2007) should be reworked. Davis reported being concerned that the album contained no singles, and other reviewers indicated that the album’s general tone was too negative. Nevertheless, Clarkson refused to change the recording, as it was very personal to her.

During this time, Clarkson faced more career difficulties. The singer fired her management and called off a scheduled concert tour set for the summer of 2007. 

Early sales were strong for My December when it was released in late June, but the conflict between Clarkson and Davis hampered the album’s success.

Later, she expressed regret over the controversy, saying it was vastly exaggerated. Clarkson acknowledged Davis as a “key adviser” and an integral part of her success. She added that Davis showed her respect by releasing her new album when he wasn’t obliged.

‘All I Ever Wanted’

All I Ever Wanted was Clarkson’s fourth album, released in 2009. With its release in January 2009, “My Life Would Suck Without You” jumped from No. 97 on Billboard Hot 100 to No. 1 on the chart. 

The jump set a new record for the biggest leap to the top. Clarkson broke this record for the second time when, in 2002, her American Idol single “A Moment Like This” went from 52 to 1. 

It also reached No. 1 in the US, selling 255,000 copies in its first week, and Clarkson went on to co-write the album’s songs.

‘Stronger,’ ‘Piece by Piece’

Clarkson released his fifth studio album, Stronger, in 2011, which reached the No. 2 spot. It included the singles “Mr. Know It All” and “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” the latter of which became the singer’s third No. 1 pop song. 

In 2012, the singer released a greatest hits compilation, while in 2013, she released a holiday album, Wrapped in Red.

Clarkson released her seventh full-length studio album in 2015, Piece by Piece, which featured the single “Heartbeat Song.”

‘Meaning of Life’

Clarkson announced in June 2016 that she had signed with Atlantic Records with the hope of releasing a soul-influenced album in 2017, which she released that same fall, called Meaning of Life.

Billboard ranked the album No. 2, and it featured the hit singles “Love So Soft,” which was nominated for a Grammy and “Move You.”

‘The Voice’ Coach

Clarkson was announced as a coach for season 14 of The Voice in February 2018, alongside Adam Levine, Alicia Keys, and Blake Shelton.

A 15-year-old girl picked by her, Brynn Cartelli, became the youngest winner ever on the show. Afterward, Clarkson starred in seasons 15, 16, and 17 of the show.

Moreover, she hosted the 2018 Billboard Music Awards and returned to host the event in 2019.

‘The Kelly Clarkson Show’

On September 19, 2018, Clarkson announced that she would be hosting her variety talk show. She talked about her love of connecting with people, playing games, music, and helping or giving back to organizations and communities.

One year later, Kelly Clarkson premiered The Kelly Clarkson Show on September 9, 2019, featuring Dwayne Johnson as her first guest.

Books and ‘UglyDolls’

A collaboration between Clarkson and HarperCollins, she released her first children’s book, titled River Rose and the Magical Lullaby, in October 2016. River Rose and the Magical Christmas was released as a follow-up, in October 2017. Each book features an original song written and performed by the singer. 

Moreover, in 2016, Clarkson collaborated on Michelle Obama’s “This Is for My Girls” song with Janelle Monáe, Kelly Rowland, Lea Michele, Zendaya, and Missy Elliott. It was a campaign to promote the first lady’s educational program, “Let Girls Learn.”

It was announced in July 2018 that Clarkson would join the cast of UglyDolls (2019), along with Shelton, Monáe, and Nick Jonas. Clarkson also recorded a new song for the film’s soundtrack, “Broken & Beautiful,” in addition to voicing the main character.

Personal Life

Clarkson, dating Brandon Blackstock for about a year, announced her engagement on Twitter in December 2012, tweeting: “I’M ENGAGED!!!!! I wanted y’all to know!! Happiest night of my life last night! I am so lucky and am with the greatest man ever.” 

Brandon Blackstock is the son of Narvel Blackstock, Clarkson’s manager and Reba McEntire’s stepson. On VH1 Divas, Clarkson performed her song “Catch My Breath” in celebration of her engagement, her third appearance on the show so far.

Clarkson and Blackstock got married the following October. On October 20, the couple tied the knot at Blackberry Farms in Tennessee. 

On the same date as the wedding, Clarkson again took to Twitter to reveal personal news one month later. She announced that she and her husband Blackstock were expecting their first child. Clarkson tweeted: “I’m pregnant!!! Brandon and I are so excited! Best early Christmas present ever :),” 

On June 12, 2014, Clarkson and Blackstock welcomed their first child, a daughter named River Rose. The couple welcomed a son and their second child, Remington Alexander, on April 12, 2016. Additionally, Clarkson is a stepmother to two children from her husband’s previous marriage.

Almost seven years after they were married, Clarkson filed papers for divorce from Blackstock in June 2020.

Would you like to know about the Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera? Read our blog to find out. 

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