Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American singer, songwriter and occasional actress. Clarkson came into prominence after becoming the winner of the inaugural season of the television series American Idol in 2002 and later was the runner-up in the television special World Idol in 2003.
Clarkson was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up in the small town of Burleson, a suburb of Fort Worth. She is the third and youngest child of Jeanne Rose, a first grade English teacher of Greek descent and Stephen Michael Clarkson, a former engineer of English descent.
Clarkson's siblings include her older brother and sister, Jason and Alyssa. When Clarkson was six years old, her parents divorced after seventeen years of marriage. The family settled in Burleson, where Clarkson's mother married her second husband, Jimmy Taylor.
Clarkson's family struggled financially, and after her parents divorced, music became her refuge. Clarkson attended Pauline G Hughes Middle School and Burleson High School. She wanted to become a marine biologist but changed her mind after seeing the movie Jaws. In seventh grade, a teacher (Mrs. Cynthia Glenn) overheard her singing in a hallway and asked her to audition for the school choir; Clarkson told the teacher that she had never received professional vocal training.
In high school, Clarkson performed in musicals such as Annie Get Your Gun, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Brigadoon. She sang at her high school talent show, after which an audience member shared some inspiring words with her: "God has given you this gift. You've got to sing. You're destined to sing." Clarkson continued singing and soon started classical training, hoping that music would be her ticket to a college scholarship.
Upon high school graduation, Clarkson was offered full scholarships to The University of Texas at Austin, University of North Texas, and Berklee, but decided against college because she had "already written so much music and wanted to try it on her own," and she figured "you're never too old to go to college." Clarkson later turned down two recording contracts from Jive Records and Interscope Records in the late 1990s, stating "They would have completely pigeonholed me as a bubblegum act. I was confident enough that something better would come along." She went to Los Angeles in late 2001 to pursue a career in music, but worked as a waitress and appeared as an extra in such shows as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and Dharma & Greg to support herself. She worked with songwriters such as Gerry Goffin and recorded five tracks between January and March 2002 to try to get a record deal, but returned to Texas after four months in Los Angeles.
Main article: Kelly Clarkson discography
- Thankful (2003) [#1 U.S.; #41 U.K.; #5 Canada; #33 Australia]
- Breakaway (2004) [#3 U.S.; #3 U.K.; #4 Germany; #20 France; #6 Canada; #2 Australia; #47 Italy; #43 Spain]
- My December (2007) [#2 U.S.; #2 U.K.; #2 Canada; #4 Australia]
- All I Ever Wanted (2009) [#1 U.S.; #3 U.K.; #2 Canada; #2 Australia]
- Stronger (2011)
|2002||"A Moment Like This" 1||1 2||-||-||-||23||Thankful|
|"Before Your Love" 1||-||-||-||-|
|"The Trouble with Love Is"||101||35||11||-||-|
|"Since U Been Gone"||2||5||3||-||8|
|2005||"Behind These Hazel Eyes"||6||9||6||-||15|
|"Because of You"||7||7||4||-||4|
|2007||"Never Again"||8||9||5||12||19||My December|
|"Up to the Mountain"1|
(featuring Jeff Black)
|"Because of You" 3|
(Reba featuring Kelly Clarkson)
|"Sober" 1||110||-||-||-||-||My December|
|"One Minute" 4||-||-||36||-||-|
|"Don't Waste Your Time" 5||-||-||-||-||-|
|2009||"My Life Would Suck Without You"||All I Ever Wanted|
|"I Do Not Hook Up"|
|2010||"All I Ever Wanted" 6|
Note 1: Released only in the U.S.
Note 2: "Before Your Love" was released as a b-side with "A Moment Like This" in the U.S.
Note 3: Released only in the U.S. and Canada.
Note 4: Released only in Australia.
Note 5: Released only in the U.K.
Note 6: Future release.