Kelly Clarkson

From Academic Kids

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Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American singer who was the winner of the first season of American Idol and has since gone on to have a very successful recording career.


Life and career

Clarkson was born in Fort Worth, Texas and later moved to Burleson, Texas after 4th grade. In middle school, she was overheard singing in a school corridor by a teacher who invited her to join the school choir. Her participation in choral and musical activities spurred her interest in a recording career and, following her high school graduation, she relocated to Los Angeles, California.

Clarkson worked as an extra on television (one such appearance was on Sabrina the Teenage Witch) and worked briefly with songwriter Gerry Goffin. After her Los Angeles apartment burned down, however, she moved back to Texas discouraged, but still intent on a career in show business.

Clarkson rose to fame on the U.S. TV program American Idol. Before her run on that show, she managed some odd jobs. She worked 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, as a door-to-door sales agent for Kirby vacuum cleaners for a day, and other jobs as well.

In 2002, along with ten thousand others, Clarkson auditioned for the aforementioned American Idol. Impressed by her voice and personality, the panel of judges put her through to the next round. Upon landing a final 30 spot, Kelly garnered praise from the judges with her rendition of Aretha Franklin's "Respect". She moved on to the final 10, receiving a No. 2 spot in her group. On September 4, 2002, Clarkson won the competition, earning 58% of the audience vote in the final contest against Justin Guarini. As the newly crowned "American Idol," Clarkson performed "A Moment Like This" as confetti fell. Her fellow contestants hugged her. Prior to Season 4, Clarkson was one of two contestants to never be in the bottom 3 (along with Clay Aiken of Season 2) and the only contestant who succeeded in staying out of the the bottom 3 and winning the competition in the end. This latter record is now shared with Season 4 winner, Carrie Underwood.

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Clarkson's first single set an American record, rising on October 5, 2002 from No. 52 to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (a record previously held by The Beatles with "Can't Buy Me Love"). Her first full-length album, Thankful, was released by RCA Records on April 15, 2003, and was certified as "double platinum", signifying over 2 million copies sold in the United States by the RIAA. Thankful also garnered good reviews, though critics cited that much of her success could be accredited to the "commerciality" of her music.

Clarkson starred with fellow American Idol contestant Justin Guarini in From Justin to Kelly (2003). The film was given weak reviews, was a box office disaster, and made it onto some critics' lists of the worst movies ever made.

In 2004, she received a Grammy Nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her Top 10 hit single "Miss Independent".

In the first World Idol competition, pitting all the winners of all Idol shows against each other, she placed second, beaten in the worldwide poll only by the Norwegian Idol Kurt Nilsen.

Kelly Clarkson also embarked on the 30-city Independent Tour with fellow American Idol contestant Clay Aiken in 2004.

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Late in 2004 Kelly Clarkson, the most commercially and critically successful of the Idol alumni, released Breakaway, her second release, and it debuted at number three. Breakaway received mostly high marks from critics, who noted its harder, more rock-flavoured edge, one that invited comparisons to Avril Lavigne. Six of the album's tracks were co-written by Clarkson. The album has sold in excess of two million copies (double platinum) and has sold more copies than her first album. [1] ( Clarkson's singles "Breakaway", "Since U Been Gone", and "Behind These Hazel Eyes" have all garnered widespread airplay in several different radio formats and made it well into the U.S. Top 10. Industry experts noted that Clarkson had avoided the "sophomore slump", and that the artistic and commercial success of the album and its singles cemented Clarkson's place in the pop music industry, separate from the American Idol machine.

Clarkson has appeared on NBC's American Dreams as Brenda Lee.

In 2005 she appeared as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live.

Clarkson is known for her bond with her fans, with whom she goes out of her way to meet and talk. Once on her Breakaway Tour, she was sick after a show in Chicago. Instead of cancelling the meet-and-greet afterward, as many artists would do, she went through with it and even apologized to her fans for not being able to talk much to them.

In early June 2005, Clarkson recently became the first artist ever to have 2 songs in the Top 3 of Billboard's Pop 100 Airplay, with "Since U Been Gone" (number two) and "Behind These Hazel Eyes" (number three).

Both "Breakaway" and "Since U Been Gone" have made it to number one on the Pop 100. "Behind These Hazel Eyes" has so far peaked at number two, being held off the top spot by the mutli-million-selling "Hollaback Girl", by Gwen Stefani.

Because of her major succes (double platinum album and 5.5x platinum singles which equals total US unit sales of 5 million copies) many critics are saying she could win many awards as best female and best artist of the year. She's had a #3 debut album (lower debut than the previous but it made up for it in sales), three consecutive top 10 hits, and many more to come. Many hope for those 5 or more nominations for Kelly at 2006's Grammy Awards such as: "Artist of the Year", "Best Female Artist", "Best Female Vocal Performance (for the song 'Since U Been Gone')", "Album of the Year", and even "Record of the Year (for the song 'Since U Been Gone')" since it is the best selling single of the year with sales exceeding 1.3 million copies.


Studio albums


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"A Moment Like This"

Vocal profile

  • Voice type: Spinto Soprano
  • Highest note: F#6 [during her performance of "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" on American Idol]
  • Lowest note: E3, F3
  • Vocal range: 3 octaves (E3-F#6)

Source (

External links

Preceded by:
American Idol Winners
Season 1 (2002)
Succeeded by:
Ruben Studdard

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