Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982 in Fort Worth, TX) is a Grammy-winning American singer-songwriter and occasional actress. Clarkson recorded her debut album with RCA Records after having won the highly-publicized first season of the television series American Idol in 2002.
Though originally marketed as a pop musician, she eventually developed a more rock-oriented image. Her debut album, Thankful, was released in 2003 and debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with almost 300,000 copies sold in its first week, now certified double platinum with over 4.5 million copies sold. Her first single, A Moment Like This, broke the record for largest leap to #1, shooting from #52 to #1, where it remained for two weeks. The second single, Miss Independent, was also a success, hitting #1 on the US Top 40 Mainstream chart and remaining there for six weeks. Further singles Low and The Trouble With Love Is were released but failed to mimic the success of her previous songs. However, Low managed to become a hit in Canada and reached #2. To date, Thankful has been certified 2x Platinum in the United States, Platinum in Canada and Gold in Australia.
Her second studio album, Breakaway, was released in 2004 and debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 and also at #3 in the UK album charts. It is her biggest selling album to date, selling over 6 million copies in the US and 15 million worldwide, making it the most successful album released so far by an American Idol alumnus. The first single in the US, Breakaway, peaked at #6 in the Billboard Hot 100 and #22 in the UK. Arguably her biggest single from the album, Since U Been Gone followed and peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #5 on the UK singles chart, marking the beginning of a successful worldwide music career for Clarkson. It won a Grammy award in 2006 for "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance". Behind These Hazel Eyes was the next single, reaching #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #9 in the UK chart. Because Of You was then released to huge sucess, hitting #1 in 5 countries, peaking at #7 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and UK singles chart. Clarkson’s final single, Walk Away, peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #21 on the UK singles chart. The album has been certified multi-platinum in at least 6 countries, going 7x Platinum in Ireland, 6x Platinum in the US and Australia, 5x Platinum in the UK and Canada, and 3x Platinum in New Zealand. The album won a Grammy award in 2006 for "Best Pop Vocal Album."
Clarkson’s third album, entitled My December, was released in 2007. It peaked at #2 on the US and UK album charts. Her first single, Never Again, was released worldwide and reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #9 on the UK singles chart. She then released Sober in America, which did not perform as well on the charts as Never Again, peaking at #10 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100. One Minute was subsequently released in Australia, peaking at #36 on the Australian singles chart. Don’t Waste Your Time followed, peaking at #14 on the Australian singles chart. The album's somewhat disappointing performance may be attributed to ongoing negative press and poor publicity. Nonetheless, My December has been certified Platinum in the US, Australia and Canada, and Gold in the UK and Ireland.
Clarkson’s fourth album titled All I Ever Wanted was released in early 2009. Debuting at #1, it received favourable reviews from critics worldwide. The lead single, My Life Would Suck Without You, advanced from #97 to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its first week of release, breaking the record for the largest leap to the position in chart history. This marks the second time Clarkson has broken that record, the first time being with her single A Moment Like This. My Life Would Suck Without You also reached #1 in the UK charts, making it her first #1 there. Her second single from the album, I Do Not Hook Up, peaked at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #36 on the UK singles chart. The third single from the album, Already Gone, was released on August 11, 2009 in America and the 21st in Australia. It has so far peaked at #12 in Australia, #15 in Canada, #23 in New Zealand, #66 in the UK, #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent 8 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary songs chart. All I Ever Wanted was announced as the fourth single from the album and was released on March 9, 2010. All I Ever Wanted has charted at #1 in the US, #2 in Australia and Canada, #3 in the UK and #6 in New Zealand, selling over 1.2 million copies worldwide so far. The album received a 2010 Grammy nomination for "Best Pop Vocal Album."
Mr. Know It All, the first single from Clarkson’s fifth album Stronger, debuted on August 30, 2011 during a live webcast hosted by the singer. The song was sent to radio for adds immediately after and was made available for download on September 5, 2011. It has since peaked in the top 20 of singles charts worldwide, including a #1 peak in South Korea, #1 in Australia, #4 in the UK, and #10 in the US, thus becoming her ninth top ten hit overall in the US. Stronger was released worldwide on October 24, 2011, charting at #2 in the US, #5 in the UK, #3 in Australia, and #4 in Canada. Stronger is her fifth consecutive album to debut within the top 3 in the US and has sold over a million copies worldwide since its release. Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) was released in early 2012 to massive success; it became Clarkson's third #1 and tenth top-ten hit overall in the US, and likewise peaked in the top ten of countries worldwide. Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) has since become Clarkson's biggest radio hit to date in the US and even topped the Billboard Dance charts, making Clarkson the only artist in history to have a #1 on Hot 100, Pop, Country, HAC, AC & Dance charts. Dark Side has since been announced and released as the album's third single worldwide.
In a career spanning over a decade, Clarkson has accumulated ninety-one number-ones on the Billboard charts and eleven international number-one singles and has sold over 20 million albums worldwide. She is known for her vocal versatility and range. Her music has mainly dealt with themes of heartbreak, independence, and self-empowerment for women and young teens. Apart from her work in music, Clarkson has also ventured into television and film. Clarkson's film debut was in the romantic musical From Justin to Kelly and she also appeared in American Dreams as Brenda Lee, in Reba, on The Voice as a guest advisor, and on Duets as a mentor and judge. Clarkson's musical work has also gained her numerous accolades, including three Grammy Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards, four American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, two American Country Awards, and a Women's World Award. In 2012, Clarkson was ranked nineteenth on VH1's list of "100 Greatest Women in Music." In 2013, Clarkson was ranked number 105 on Joel Whitburn's "Top 500 Artists Of All Time," number 5 on both "Top Billboard 200 Female Artists" and "Adult Contemporary Artists," number 27 on "Top Billboard 200 Artists," and number 75 on Billboard's "Hot 100: Top 100 Artists." Billboard also ranked Clarkson as the 14th-best-selling artist of the 2000s and one of the top 200 album sellers of the Nielsen SoundScan era at number 187.
In January 2013, Clarkson performed "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" at the second inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama. Her live rendition was acclaimed by critics, who contrasted it with Beyoncé's pre-recorded performance during the same event. In February 2013, she performed "Tennessee Waltz" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards as a tribute to Patti Page and Carole King. She also released a non-album single, "Tie It Up", exclusively to country music stations in June 2013. Clarkson and Maroon 5 performed at 24 concerts as part of the 12th Annual Honda Civic Tour, starting on August 1, 2013, and ending on October 6, 2013. She was featured on the re-recorded version of "Foolish Games" for Jewel's first compilation, Greatest Hits. Clarkson also collaborated with singer Robbie Williams on the song "Little Green Apples" for his 2013 album Swings Both Ways.
Clarkson's sixth studio album and first Christmas record, Wrapped in Red, was solely produced by Greg Kurstin. She co-wrote all five original songs and recorded eleven cover versions of Christmas standards and carols. Released on October 25, 2013, the album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Holiday Albums and at number three on the Billboard 200 chart. By December 2013, Wrapped in Red had already been certified platinum by the RIAA and eventually became the best-selling holiday album of the year. The album's lead single, "Underneath the Tree", was an adult contemporary number-one hit in both the U.S. and Canada. Clarkson subsequently became Billboard's ninth top adult contemporary act of 2013. On December 11, 2013, her first Christmas special debut, Kelly Clarkson's Cautionary Christmas Music Tale, garnered over 5.3 million viewers. In December 2013, Citizen Watch Co. announced Clarkson as their newest Brand Ambassador. Retaining her relationship with country music acts in 2014, Clarkson collaborated with Martina McBride on "In the Basement" (originally by Etta James and Sugar Pie DeSanto) for McBride's album Everlasting and with Trisha Yearwood on "PrizeFighter" for Yearwood's compilation PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit. Clarkson also performed a rendition of "All I Ask of You" with Josh Groban on his seventh studio album, Stages, and its companion television special. She was featured on Ben Haenow's "Second Hand Heart", the lead single from his debut studio album.
In February 2015, Clarkson released Piece by Piece, her seventh and final studio album under her recording contract with RCA Records. Musically, it is an electropop and dance album, featuring collaborations with Kurstin, Jesse Shatkin, Sia, John Legend, and Shane McAnally, among others. Piece by Piece received a reasonably positive response from music critics and became her third album to debut at the top of the Billboard 200 chart. To promote the album, Clarkson appeared in several televised performances, including the fourteenth season of American Idol, where she became the only alumnus ever to be dedicated to a competing week featuring her discography. She also supported the Piece by Piece Tour throughout 2015, which was cut short of its worldwide visits following medical recommendations for a vocal rest during the year.
Piece by Piece spawned three singles. The first one, "Heartbeat Song", peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became a top-ten hit in the UK, Austria, Poland, and South Africa. However, Clarkson failed to achieve similar success with the second single, "Invincible". The third and final single, "Piece by Piece", debuted and peaked at number eight on the Hot 100 chart, following Clarkson's emotional performance on the fifteenth season of American Idol. It became her eleventh U.S. top-ten hit and matched "Never Again" as her highest debut on the chart. At the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, the album and "Heartbeat Song" were nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance, respectively. In the following year, the title track also received a nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance.
In February 2016, it was announced that Clarkson had signed a book deal with HarperCollins. Her first children's book, River Rose and the Magical Lullaby was released on October 4, 2016. The book features an original lullaby written and performed by Clarkson. On the possibility of writing any more books in the future, Clarkson told Publishers Weekly, "I've got a few ideas – there could be a lullaby for each book. We've got a plethora of stories, and I've already written seven songs, full out, so we'll just have to see which ones might pan out to be a book. But yes, there will definitely be more." The second book featuring River Rose, River Rose, and the Magical Christmas, was released on October 24, 2017, and included an original song written and sung by Clarkson, "Christmas Eve".
On March 15, 2016, First Lady Michelle Obama released "This Is for My Girls", a collaborative track featuring vocals from Clarkson, Janelle Monáe, Kelly Rowland, Lea Michele, Zendaya, and Missy Elliott to coincide with Barack Obama's SXSW speech and to promote the First Lady's third-world educational initiative Let Girls Learn. Clarkson recorded a solo version of "It's Quiet Uptown" for The Hamilton Mixtape. Her version was released on November 3, 2016, as a promotional single for the album. She also recorded a duet called "Love Goes On" with Aloe Blacc for the original soundtrack of The Shack, which was released in the United States on March 3, 2017. On May 11, 2017, it was announced that Clarkson would join The Voice as a coach for the series' fourteenth season.
On June 24, 2016, Clarkson announced she had signed a long-term worldwide deal with Atlantic Records, with the intention of releasing a soul-influenced eighth studio album in 2017. In November 2016, Clarkson announced her intention to release a new single in April 2017, with the album to follow in June. On September 4, 2017, Clarkson announced her new lead single "Love So Soft", which was released on September 7, 2017, along with the song "Move You". On September 6, 2017, Clarkson announced that her album, Meaning of Life, would be released on October 27, 2017. Clarkson opened the 45th American Music Awards with P!nk, and together they performed R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" to honor first responders. Later in the show, she performed "Miss Independent" and "Love So Soft". "Love So Soft" was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, giving her the record for the most nominations in that category with four. With the release of Meaning of Life, Clarkson revealed that she had discussions with Atlantic Records about the sound of the follow-up record and has expressed interest in venturing deeper into R&B and soulful pop music.
Clarkson lent her voice in the computer-animated film The Star, alongside Oprah Winfrey, Steven Yeun, Tyler Perry, and others. The film is based on the Nativity of Jesus. Developed by Sony Pictures Animation, the film was released on November 17, 2017. This was the first film in which Clarkson performed a voice role. Clarkson also had a guest voice role in the Netflix animated series Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh, portraying herself in the series' 2017 animated Christmas special, Home for the Holidays, alongside Ben Schwartz. In March 2018, Clarkson released "I've Loved You Since Forever", a ballad version of the children's book by Hoda Kotb. Clarkson hosted and performed at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards on May 20, 2018. In the fourteenth season of The Voice, Brynn Cartelli was crowned the winner, giving Clarkson her first victory. In the fifteenth season of The Voice, Chevel Shepherd was crowned the winner, giving Clarkson her second consecutive victory and making her the first female coach to win multiple seasons.
On February 28, 2019, it was announced that she would return to host the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, which aired on May 1, 2019. Clarkson voiced Moxy and provided original songs in the animated musical comedy film UglyDolls, which was released on May 3, 2019. On March 27, 2019, she released "Broken & Beautiful", the lead single from the UglyDolls: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Clarkson also began hosting the daytime variety talk show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, which premiered on September 9, 2019. In December 2019, Jake Hoot was crowned the winner of the seventeenth season of The Voice, giving Clarkson her third victory as a coach in four seasons.
In November 2019, Clarkson announced a Las Vegas residency, Kelly Clarkson: Invincible. The residency was due to take place at the Zappos Theater. It was supposed to run from April to September 2020, but it was postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also in November 2019, Clarkson made an appearance on the Apple TV- drama series The Morning Show as herself, performing her song "Heat" and interacting with the fictional hosts of the show. In February 2020, Clarkson became a brand ambassador for Wayfair. In addition, Wayfair released "an 'exclusive' collection of furniture and decor inspired by Clarkson and her Texan roots." On April 10, 2020, Trolls World Tour, which featured a character voiced by Clarkson, was released. On April 16, 2020, Clarkson released the standalone single "I Dare You" in English, as well as duets in five different languages with five native-speaking artists. In May 2020, Clarkson was nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards for The Kelly Clarkson Show, including Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show and Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host. The show itself earned seven nominations, the most for any talk show, with Clarkson winning in the category Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host.
In June 2020, it was announced that she would receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2021, being inducted into the category of Recording. In May 2021, NBC announced that Clarkson's show would take over the time slot of The Ellen DeGeneres Show after it ends in 2022. In June 2021, Clarkson won two Daytime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Talk Show Entertainment, and a second consecutive win for Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host.
On September 23, 2021, Clarkson released "Christmas Isn't Canceled (Just You)", the lead single off her ninth studio album and second Christmas album, When Christmas Comes Around… The album was released on October 15, 2021, to positive reviews and earned Clarkson a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. In November 2021, Clarkson performed at the second annual iHeartRadio Holiday Special. She hosted her second Christmas special titled Kelly Clarkson Presents: When Christmas Comes Around, which premiered on NBC on December 1, 2021. Also in December 2021, Girl Named Tom was crowned winner of the twenty-first season of The Voice. They are the first group act to win an American season & secured Clarkson's fourth victory as a coach.
In February 2022, Clarkson and Snoop Dogg were named co-hosts of the singing competition series American Song Contest. It is an adaptation of the popular international songwriting competition Eurovision Song Contest. The series premiered on March 21, 2022.
On June 9, 2022, Clarkson released Kellyoke, an EP consisting of six cover songs that Clarkson covered during her "Kellyoke" segment on her talk show. She also revealed that her tenth studio album and follow-up to 2017's Meaning of Life and 2021's Christmas album When Christmas Comes Around… was complete, but Clarkson wanted more time to prepare for the promotion and release of the collection.
In June 2022, Clarkson won two Daytime Emmys, including Outstanding Talk Show Entertainment for the second consecutive year and Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host for the third consecutive year. Clarkson received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on September 19, 2022. Clarkson appeared on the Kelsea Ballerini song, "You're Drunk, Go Home" along with Carly Pearce, which was released in September 2022.
Clarkson hosted the 12th Annual NFL Honors on February 9, 2023. After taking season 22 of The Voice off, it was announced in October 2022, that Clarkson would return for season 23 in 2023. Clarkson covered the Cole Porter song, "Don't Fence Me In" on Jeff Goldblum and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra's EP, Play Well with Others, which was released in March 2023. On March 26, 2023, she announced her tenth studio album, Chemistry, which is set to be released on June 23, 2023. The album's double a-side lead singles, "Mine" and "Me" were released on April 14, 2023. On March 27, 2023, Clarkson announced a ten-night Las Vegas residency, Chemistry: An Intimate Evening with Kelly Clarkson, which will run from July 28 to August 19, 2023, at the Bakkt Theater.