Kelly Clarkson: biography
Kelly Brianne Clarkson is an American singer, songwriter, and television personality who came to prominence after starring on the show American Idol and representing the United States in the 2003 competition World Idol.
Childhood and youth
Kelly's birthplace is Fort Worth, Texas. She was born on April 24, 1982. She is the third and the youngest child in the family of Jeanne Ann (née Rose), a first grade English teacher of Irish race and Stephen Michael Clarkson, a former Canadian engineer – a Welshman. Clarkson has a brother Jason and a sister named Alyssa. At the age of 6, Kelly had to get through her parents' divorce – their 17-year marriage was destroyed. Her brother decided to live with dad; sister moved to the aunt's and Kelly herself stayed with her mother. They continually changed states – Jeanne worked different jobs to earn a living. As a child, Kelly didn't understand the reason for such an often change of places of life. They eventually settled down in Burleson, where her mother met and married Jimmy Taylor.
Clarkson studied at the Pauline Hughes Middle School. Initially, she had dreamt about becoming a marine biologist till her teacher, Cynthia Glenn, overheard her singing in a hallway and asked her to audition for the school choir. Clarkson admitted she had never taken professional choir classes earlier. Having graduated, she entered Burleson High School where was involved in musicals, such as Brigadoon.
By her graduation year (2002), Kelly had recorded a demo and wanted to send it to recording companies. So, she started working several jobs to save money for paying for the demo. She received a few responses and decided to move to Hollywood trying to find other opportunities to get to a stage. As a result, she got acquainted with Gerry Goffin who helped her record 5 demo tracks. Unfortunately, he couldn't support her a lot – he had a terminal illness.
Kelly succeeded to play in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and Dharma & Greg. Also, she was invited to appear in one episode of the movie Issues 101 (2001). Six months later, Kelly's house burnt and she had to return to Texas. There she played in a theatre, worked as a barman, singer in Six Flags and helped Red Bull with promotion.
As a teen, Clarkson had idols - Clair Huxtable from The Cosby Show and Dixie Carter from Designing Women.
In 2002 Clarkson applied for an audition for the inaugural season of the reality television series American Idol: The Search for a Superstar and successfully went through it. Later, she won the poll on September 4, 2002 – she grabbed 58% of votes, while her opposer Justin Guarini had 42%. With teardrops of happiness Kelly sang the track "A Moment Like This" which was written primarily for an American Idol's winner. She would include the song in her debut album "Thankful".
In December 2003, because of a contract, Kelly Clarkson had to take part in the competition World Idol. Her opposers were the winners of the first Idol's seasons from around the world. She sang «(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman» and finished second after the Norway representative. Kelly immediately left the show saying she had a headache.
As we know, many stars who have ever taken part in TV-shows, leave a stage some time later, but this story is not about Kelly. She met the producers Rhett Lawrence and Clif Magness. When the American Idol finished, she signed a contract with RCA Records. Later, she was blamed in working with them before her victory of the Idol – the rules of competition said that a person could not take part if he were connected with a label.
Soon Clarkson released her first album "Thankful". It reached No. 1 on the USA Billboard 200. For its promotion, she appeared in many episodes of the American Idol in 2003. The same year, she took part in Australia NRL final. The album contained aspects of pop, contemporary R&B, and gospel music. It was certified double platinum by the RIAA, platinum in Canada, and gold in Japan and Australia. It peaked at No. 41 on British charts and No. 33 on Australian charts. In general, the album received excellent feedback.
Its second single «Miss Independent» got to the first ten best American and Canadian songs and brought Clarkson the Grammy Award nomination for "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance" at the 46th Grammy Awards. In Great Britain and Australia, the track reached No. 6 and 3. The album's single "Low" peaked at No. 2 in Canada, while got only to the 58th place in the USA. The last album's song "The Trouble with Love Is" was used as the soundtrack of British romantic movie Love Actually. Her first video album, "Miss Independent", was released on November 18, 2003, and was certified gold by the RIAA.
At the beginning of 2004, Kelly started working on her new studio album which was later called Breakaway. She co-wrote six of the tracks with pop and rock songwriters such as former Evanescence band members Ben Moody and David Hodges, Kara DioGuardi, Dr. Luke, and Max Martin. The album was released on November 30, 2004, on the RCA Records label and peaked at No. 3 in the USA and No. 6 in Canada.
Its singles happened to be successful, and "Breakaway" became the fourth album in history to stay on the Billboard 200 TOP – 20 within one year. Its longevity allowed it to become the third-best-selling album of 2005 in the US and it was certified sextuple platinum by the RIAA. Totally, the musician succeeded to sell more than 12 million copies worldwide – it is the best her album.
Its title track, "Breakaway" was used as the soundtrack of the Disney movie The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. The song was Kelly's third career single to get to the TOP-10 in America. In Canada, it peaked at No. 4, in Australia – at No. 10, in Great Britain – at No. 22. The album's single "Since U Been Gone" produced by Max Martin became the most successful. It reached No. 2 in the USA and got to the TOP – 5 worldwide. Also, it brought the musician her second career Grammy Award. The second and third singles, "Behind These Hazel Eyes" and "Because of You," also followed suit—peaking at number six and number seven on the Hot 100, respectively. "Because of You" became Clarkson's biggest single worldwide.
During Kelly's Europe tour in 2006, she started creating songs for her third album "My December." Its first single was the song "Never Again" - it reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Clarkson released the song "Sober" as its second single. The singer appeared in the final of the sixth American Idol season with the song "Never Again." "My December" was released on June 26, 2007, and got the second place in the USA with more than 291 000 sold copies domestically. Its sells' level worldwide was evaluated at 3 million copies.Later she revealed two new songs - "One Minute" and "Don't Waste Your Time." Generally, they were not of a huge success. The first one became popular in Australia, the second – in Germany.
Clarkson released her fourth album "All I Ever Wanted" on March 10, 2009. Dr. Luke, Martin, and DioGuardi, and new collaborators Howard Benson, Claude Kelly, Ryan Tedder, Glen Ballard, Matt Thiessen, and Katy Perry helped her with its recording. The album garnered Clarkson a nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 52nd Grammy Awards.
Its first single was the song «My Life Would Suck Without You» - it succeeded to get to the third place on the Billboard Hot 100. Its initial place was 97 – it made the biggest jump to number one on a single week since Britney Spears did it with "Womanizer." This song became Kelly's second single to get the first place in America. Moreover, it was her first number 1 single in Great Britain. It was followed by two more top-twenty singles, "I Do Not Hook Up" and "Already Gone."
Also, the album included the fourth song - "All I Ever Wanted." In October 2009 Clarkson started a worldwide tour with the album – she traveled around Europe, South Africa, Oceania, and Asia. The tour was closed in May 2010, in China.
In August 2010 Kelly announced she had recorded the song "Don't You Wanna Stay" with country singer Jason Aldean for his new album "My Kinda Party." It got to the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and has sold over 2.7 million copies.
On October 24, 2011, the world could hear Kelly's fifth studio album - «Stronger.» The musician started working on it in November 2009 and planned to release it in 2010 but had to postpone the date.
Its first single "Mr.Know It All" was released on September 5, 2011 and reached No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100. On October 2, 2011, Kelly performed with the song at the NRL Grand Final 2011 in Australia. As a result, the track appeared at the top of the Australian charts. The album also included the song "What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)" - released in December 2011. It topped sixteen Billboard charts, becoming her third number one on the Hot 100.
Moreover, the track became popular in other countries. The song was nominated for three Grammy Awards—Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance. In June 2012, the last albums song was released - "Dark Side."
In November 2012, the musician released the album with her best hits called «Greatest Hits — Chapter One» in honor of the 10th musical career anniversary. Also, the collection included such songs as «Catch My Breath,» «Don’t Rush» and «People Like Us.»
At the 2018 Billboard Music Award ceremony Kelly performed with the song “Medley.” The same year, she released the Christmas Album.
In her career, she has been invited to many talk shows and reality shows, such as The Voice.
Clarkson's total current net worth is evaluated at $45 million.
In 2012 the star began a relationship with a talent manager Brandon Blackstock. Interestingly, he is a son of her former manager Narvel Blackstock and former stepson of Reba McEntire. They met at the Super Bowl in 2012 – there Kelly performed with songs. In her future admissions, Kelly said she had questioned her sexuality before their meeting. They engaged several months later - it evoked many rumors about her probable pregnancy.
On October 20, 2013, the couple tied a knot. Their wedding took place at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. Besides, the spouses are colleagues – Brandon has become her manager.
Two months later Kelly's cell phone was full of anonymous messages claiming Blackstock to have betrayed her. One woman called her and said Brandon had raped her, another one tried to convince Clarkson her husband was not exactly who she thought he was.
Brandon has babies from the previous marriage – a son and a daughter. Together Blackstock and Clarkson have a daughter, River Rose (born June 12, 2014), and a son, Remington "Remy" Alexander (born April 12, 2016). Nowadays the family lives in Encino, Los Angeles, California but has another house in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
Clarkson's song "Piece by Piece" beautifully documents what it means to see Blackstock be a great father to their kids and a loving husband to her. However, that reality can sometimes feel bittersweet, since she never had that growing up with her estranged dad.
In 2007 Kelly was invited to the American Idol episode called Idol Gives Back with the song "Up to the Mountain". The show was dedicated to raising money for poor people, disabled people, and victims of natural disasters.
Also, the same year, she took part in the American concert Live Earth with the same song. The event was devoted to changing climate awareness. Kelly was a member of the March of Dimes charitable organization. She contributed to the Houses of Hope – the organization aimed to provide orphanages for children in South Africa who have been affected by HIV/AIDS, abuse and poverty.
Clarkson also supports the charities Save the Children, UNICEF, "Do Something" and "STOMP Out Bullying" and music causes like the Save the Music Foundation.
Earlier Kelly owned a ranch where took care of unwanted animals, such as amputee goats, blind dogs, and horses that survived colic.
Clarkson was a guest star at a benefit concert on March 1, 2013, arranged by the organization that provides access to education for children around the world. In 2013 the star became the Citizen Watch Co. brand ambassador.
In her career, Kelly was named the first artist to top each of Billboard's pop, adult contemporary, adult pop, country, and dance charts. She got the 90th place on VH1's list of 100 Greatest Women in Music. Television channel Fuse included Clarkson among "30 Greatest Musicians to Come From Singing Competitions" list.
- Kelly Clarkson gave her voice to one of the characters of the upcoming ‘UglyDolls’ animated feature.
- Kelly has a horse called The Unicorn.
- In 2016 the star was invited to perform in the 2016 American Idol final. There she sang the “Piece by piece" and literally made the audience cry. She even had judge Keith Urban bawling, too.
- Before her musical career, Clarkson planned to become a marine biologist but gave up these thoughts after watching Jaws.
- The music band No Doubt is one of Kelly's favorite bands. As a genuine fan, she has even covered several of their songs.
- Clarkson has 13 tattoos all over her body. The Japanese symbol on her neck means "blessed."
- Kelly has a license to carry a concealed handgun.
- The star is an author of a children books series. Her daughter inspired her for this work.
- In 2018 Kelly Clarkson announced that she lost 37 pounds of weight due to crediting a diet based on Dr. Steven Gundry’s best-selling book The Plant Paradox.
- Thankful (2003);
- Breakaway (2004);
- My December (2007);
- All I Ever Wanted (2009);
- Stronger (2011);
- Wrapped in Red (2013);
- Piece by Piece (2015);
- Meaning of Life (2017).
- Issues 101 (2002);
- From Justin to Kelly (2003);
- Broke (2011);
- The Star (2017);
- Uglydolls (2019);
- Trolls World Tour (2020).