Famous Like Me > Singer > C > Kelly Clarkson
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Profile of Kelly Clarkson
on Famous Like Me
|Also Know As:
|Date of Birth:
||24th April 1982
|Place of Birth:
||Fort Worth, Texas
Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American singer who won the first season of American Idol and has since gone on to have a lucrative recording career. She has had six top-ten United States singles, including three number-one radio hits from the same album (Breakaway), and both of her albums have entered the top five on the Billboard Top 200 chart.
Clarkson was born in Fort Worth, Texas to parents of Greek, Irish, and German descent. Her parents divorced when she was six years old, after which her brother went to live with their father, her sister with their aunt, and Clarkson with her mother. She eventually moved to Burleson, Texas after fourth 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. She still managed some odd jobs such as cocktail waitress, Red Bull promo girl, and telemarketer.
American Idol competition
Clarkson auditioned for American Idol along with ten thousand other people in 2002. Impressed by her performance, the panel of judges put her through to the next round. Upon landing a final thirty spot, Clarkson was praised by the judges for her rendition of Aretha Franklin's "Respect". She moved on to the final ten, receiving a number two spot in her group. Once in the top ten, Clarkson gradually moved into the position of competition favorite, performing songs such as Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and Bette Midler's "Stuff Like That There".
On September 4, 2002, Clarkson won the competition, earning 58% of the audience vote over Justin Guarini, who had previously been leading. As the newly crowned "American Idol", Clarkson performed the ballad "A Moment Like This". Clarkson, Clay Aiken of season two and Carrie Underwood of season four were the only contestants in American Idol history who succeeded in staying out of the bottom three places in weekly voting results. Clarkson and Underwood both went on to win the competition.
Idol recording career
On October 5, 2002, Clarkson's first single, "A Moment Like This", made chart history when it jumped from number fifty-two to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This broke the long-standing record set by The Beatles in 1964, when "Can't Buy Me Love" moved from number twenty-seven to number one. "A Moment Like This" eventually sold more than 500,000 copies.
Her first album Thankful was released by RCA Records on April 15, 2003. In May 2003 it was certified double platinum by the RIAA. Thankful also received good reviews, though critics said that much of her success could be credited to the commerciality of the music. Clarkson co-wrote four of the twelve songs on the album.
Songs from the album released as singles include "Low", which peaked at number fifty-eight in the US, and "The Trouble with Love Is", which was featured on the soundtrack of the 2004 film Love Actually.
Clarkson starred with fellow American Idol contestant Justin Guarini in From Justin to Kelly which was released in the summer of 2003. The film received weak reviews and was a box office disaster. Some critics named it one of the worst movies ever made. The two stars revealed that their work in the film was stipulated in their Idol contracts.
In September 2003, Clarkson appeared NBC's American Dreams as Brenda Lee, performing "Sweet Nothing".
In December 2003, Clarkson participated in the World Idol competition. She placed second to Norwegian Idol winner Kurt Nilsen.
In 2004, Clarkson received a nomination for the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammy for her edgy top-ten hit single "Miss Independent". It was co-written by Christina Aguilera and Clarkson.
Later in 2004, Clarkson embarked on the thirty-city "Independent Tour" with fellow Idol contestant Clay Aiken.
Solo career established
On November 30, 2004, RCA Records released Clarkson's second album Breakaway. Entering the Billboard album chart at number three, Breakaway received praise from critics, who noted its harder, more rock-flavored edge, one that invited comparisons to Avril Lavigne. The album has also been characterized by Clarkson herself as being in the pop rock genre.
Clarkson took a more hands-on approach to creating Breakaway, co-writing six of the eleven tracks in the process. Producers and fellow artists also helped Clarkson craft the album, some of which include Max Martin ("Since U Been Gone", "Behind These Hazel Eyes"), Avril Lavigne ("Breakaway"), and former Evanescence band members Ben Moody and David Hodges ("Because of You", "Addicted").
Breakaway's first three singles, "Breakaway", "Since U Been Gone" and "Behind These Hazel Eyes", have all received widespread airplay in several different radio formats and made it well into the Billboard Hot 100 top-ten, peaking at number six, number two, and number six respectively. The fourth single from Breakaway, "Because of You", is currently climbing that chart, and is at number nine in its ninth week. The song became Breakaway's third number one mainstream radio hit in the U.S. following "Breakaway" and "Since U Been Gone". The song is also currently ranked at number eight in Canada.
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. Breakaway has proved to have staying power. Eleven months after its release, it has not left the top-twenty.
In 2005 Clarkson was a musical guest on Saturday Night Live and acted in two sketches. Clarkson was also named by Teen People Magazine as one of the "Hottest 25 Stars Under 25".
By July 2005 Clarkson was the top-selling American Idol contestant (and the only one having released two mainstream CDs yet), having sold approximately five million albums in the U.S. and having had six top-ten singles. Breakaway has so far sold nearly 3.4 million copies domestically (certified triple-platinum by the RIAA on July 21, 2005).
In August, Clarkson won several Teen Choice Awards and MTV Video Music Awards.
Clarkson appeared on ReAct Now: Music & Relief, a live performance broadcast on Viacom's networks MTV, VH1 and CMT on September 10, 2005. The program raised funds for the American Red Cross and the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Clarkson performed a cover of Ray LaMontagne's "Shelter".
Personal life and persona
Clarkson has a well-known conservative reputation, which is considered unusual by typical "Hollywood" standards, and she says that the public won't be seeing her in tabloids or gossip columns anytime soon.
Clarkson's personal relationships are rarely outspoken, and although some past love interests have sparked curiosity among fans and media outlets everywhere. While giving her acceptance speech for Best Female Video at the MTV Video Music Awards on August 28, 2005, Clarkson briefly thanked her beau in the crowd, essentially confirming a rumor that she was in a new relationship.
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.
Clarkson has also had her share of minor controversy, such as allegations that her work doing demos for a record company broke American Idol rules about not having a contract with a record company, and later what some saw as poor sportsmanship on her part during the World Idol competition when she realized she was not going to win.
According to the latest issue of Pop-Star, Clarkson has written a new song called "Haunted" based on a real life experience. "But it's not about me," she says. "It's about a friend of mine. We went to high school together and she comitted suicide about a year after we graduated. She was a very cool girl. It's always the people you'd never expect. I would have never thought that."
2002: The American Idol Tour
- 28-City U.S. Tour (October - November 2002)
- Two-month arena tour starring Kelly and the other American Idol finalists.
2004: The Independent Tour, co-headlining with Clay Aiken
- 30-City U.S. Tour (February - April 2004)
- The final show in St. Paul, Minnesota on April 16, 2004, featured the acoustic performance of a new song entitled "Don't", written by Clarkson and her band's lead guitarist Danny Weissfeld during the tour. "Don't" also became a part of the regular set list throughout the Breakaway tour, and is rumored to appear on Clarkson's third studio album.
2005: The Breakaway Spring Tour
- 35-City U.S. / Canada Tour (March–May 2005)
- The Breakaway Tour is Clarkson's most successful to date, selling-out a lot of venues in its 35-city stops.
2005: The Hazel Eyes Summer Tour
- Dates are currently scheduled throughout the US and Canada, the forty-six-city tour will run from July 6 opening in Lubbock, TX and ending in New York, NY on October 11.
- According to Ticketmaster, Clarkson has added four new dates to her summer tour, making stops in Puyallup, WA, New Orleans, LA, Pensacola, FL, and New York, NY (some of which were later cancelled and never performed or rescheduled).
- The July 17 Orlando, Florida concert was webcast live on AOL. A key thematic moment in her concerts is her rendition of Annie Lennox's 1992 hit, "Why", which she introduces as her favorite song. The 70-minute show features frequent sing-alongs from the audience and expressions of gratitude from Clarkson. There are rock arrangements to most songs, with an a cappella "Beautiful Disaster" and a two-acoustic guitar-only shambolic "Breakaway".
- Due to popular demand, "Hear Me" was added to the tour set list after Clarkson was, as she put it, "hated on" during the Breakaway Tour for not performing this song at any of her shows.
- The Hazel Eyes Tour features a new song called "Come Here" which is, according to Clarkson, "probably going to be on the next record".
- Several venues were cancelled, due to Kelly catching bronchitis. She did however appear on several TV shows during those times, which caused some controversy.
2005: The Addicted World Tour
- In a June 2005 radio interview on Capital FM in London, Clarkson mentioned that she would begin planning a world tour that will visit Australia, Asia, and Europe, after finishing The Hazel Eyes Tour in the U.S.
- The Addicted World Tour will start on Friday November 4, 2005, at the Challenge Stadium in Perth, Australia. Additional dates and venues are expected to be announced by RCA Records by the end of September.
- 2003: Thankful — #1 US (1 week); #1 CAN (1 week); #52 UK
- 2004: Breakaway — #3 US; #6 CAN; #6 UK; #2 AU
- from Thankful
- 2002: "A Moment Like This" — #1 US (2 weeks); #1 CAN (2 weeks)
- Released in the US as a double A-side with "Before Your Love"
- 2003: "Miss Independent" — #9 US; #6 CAN; #6 UK; #3 AU
- 2003: "Low" — #58 US; #2 CAN; #11 AU
- 2003: "The Trouble with Love Is" — #35 UK; #11 AU
- Released in the UK as a double A-side with "Low"
- from Breakaway
- 2004: "Breakaway" — #6 US; #3 CAN; #10 AU
- 2004: "Since U Been Gone" — #2 US; #1 CAN (2 weeks); #5 UK; #3 AU; #1 SA (3 weeks)
- 2005: "Behind These Hazel Eyes" — #6 US; #4 CAN; #9 UK; #6 AU
- 2005: "Because of You" — #9 US; #8 CAN
||"Before Your Love"
(1 at #1)
|Kelly's first official video, featured and world premiered on MTV's Making the Video.
||"A Moment Like This"
(1 at #1)
|Features clips of Clarkson's winning moment on American Idol.
(14 at #1)
|Nominated for Best New Artist in a Video, Best Pop Video, and Viewer's Choice at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.
Clarkson's first video to be retired from the TRL countdown.
(4 at #1)
|First video to feature Clarkson singing with a live band.
||"The Trouble with Love Is"
(0 at #1)
|Soundtrack video for Love Actually
(0 at #1)
(0 at #1)
|Soundtrack video for The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
||"Since U Been Gone"
||Alex De Rakoff
(6 at #1)
(1 at #1)
|Won for Best Female Video and Best Pop Video at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards.
Video was produced by Santa Monica-based production company FM Rocks.
||"Behind These Hazel Eyes"
(33 at #1)
(0 at #1)
Clarkson is credited with writing the complete original treatment for the video,
which underwent very few edits and was happily executed by director Joseph Kahn.
The exterior forest scenes for "Behind These Hazel Eyes" were done in one of the largest indoor sets ever built for a music video.
All interior gothic cathedral scenes were filmed in Ontario, Canada.
Set a record on TRL for the most days at number one by a solo female artist.
Clarkson's second video to be retired from the TRL countdown.
||"Because of You"
(9 at #1)
||Filmed in Irvine, California.
The very much anticipated video "Because of You" marks the second time in which Clarkson has submitted her own treatment for a video.
World Premiered on TRL on Monday, October 3, 2005.
"Because of You" became Kelly's first video to debut number one on TRL, a feat accomplished only by a handful of artists.
Number 1 on Yahoo Music's Top 100 Videos
- 2002: Issues 101 - Crystal
- 2003: From Justin to Kelly
- First solo artist to hold number-one positions on two U.S. Billboard charts simultaneously with two different singles:
- "Breakaway" — number one, Adult Contemporary
- "Since U Been Gone" — number one, Top 40
- First artist to have two songs in the top three of the Billboard Pop Airplay 100 simultaneously, with "Since U Been Gone" and "Behind These Hazel Eyes".
- "Breakaway" was number one on the Adult Contemporary charts for twenty-one non-consecutive weeks (twenty of these being consecutive), tied for the longest run for a female artist with Céline Dion (Kelly's own idol) and her song "A New Day Has Come".
Awards and nominations
American Music Awards
- 2005: Nominated - Favorite Female Artist
- 2005: Nominated - Favorite Pop/Rock Album
- 2005: Nominated - Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist
- The 2005 American Music Awards air November 22, 2005 on ABC.
- 2003: Nominated - Best New Pop/Rock Artist
ASCAP Pop Music Awards
- 2004: Won - Song Writer Award (Kelly Clarkson & Rhett Lawrence - Miss Independent)
- 2005: Won - Best Musical Buddy
- 2004: Won - Hottest Song (The Trouble with Love Is)
BDS Certified Spin Award
- 2003: Won - 50,000 Spins (Low)
Billboard Music Awards
- 2002: Won - Best Selling Single Of The Year (A Moment Like This)
- 2004: Nominated - Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (Miss Independent)
Latin Video Music Awards
- 2005: Best International Pop Artist
- 2005: Best New International Artist
- The Video Music Awards, Latin America air October 20, 2005 on MTV2.
MTV Video Music Awards
- 2005: Won - Best Female Video (Since U Been Gone)
- 2005: Won - Best Pop Video (Since U Been Gone)
- 2005: Nominated - Viewer's Choice Award (Since U Been Gone)
- 2003: Nominated - Best New Artist In A Video (Miss Independent)
- 2003: Nominated - Best Pop Video (Miss Independent)
- 2003: Nominated - Viewer's Choice Award (Miss Independent)
New Music Weekly Awards
- 2004: Won - Female Artist Of The Year
- 2004: Won - Top 40 Single Of The Year (Miss Independent)
Radio Music Awards
- 2003: Nominated - Song Of The Year / Top 40 Radio (Miss Independent)
- 2003: Nominated - Best Driving Song
Teen Choice Awards
- 2005: Won - Choice Album (Breakaway)
- 2005: Won - Choice Summer Song (Behind These Hazel Eyes)
- 2005: Won - Choice Single (Since U Been Gone)
- 2005: Won - Choice Female Artist
- 2003: Won - Choice Female Music Artist
- 2003: Nominated - Choice Summer Movie (From Justin To Kelly)
- 2003: Nominated - Choice Summer Song (Miss Independent)
- 2003: Nominated - Choice Crossover Artist
- 2003: Nominated - Choice Breakout Artist
- 2003: Nominated - Choice Breakout Movie Star, Female
- 2003: Nominated - Choice Chemistry (From Justin To Kelly)
- 2003: Nominated - Choice Love Song (A Moment Like This)
World Music Awards
- 2005: Nominated - World's Best-Selling Pop Female Artist
- 2003: Nominated - Best New Female Artist
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