Kelly Clarkson's Biography
Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American pop rock singer-songwriter and actress. Clarkson rose to fame after winning the first season of the television series American Idol in 2002 and would later represent the United States in the World Idol competition in 2003.
Clarkson has released four albums to date under RCA Records: her double-platinum debut album Thankful (2003), her multi-platinum second album Breakaway (2004) (which has won two Grammy Awards), My December (2007), and her latest album All I Ever Wanted (2009) (which was nominated for a Grammy Award). Her albums have sold over 10.5 million copies in the United States.
Clarkson is the only American Idol contestant to have reached number one in the UK. She claimed number one on March 1, 2009, when "My Life Would Suck Without You" debuted number one on downloads alone. Clarkson is also ranked on the top 200 album sellers of the Nielsen SoundScan era at number 187.
Eleven of Clarkson's singles became Top 20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Her single, "My Life Would Suck Without You", advanced from No. 97 to No. 1 on the Hot 100 in its first week of release, breaking the record for the largest leap to the top position in chart history.
Clarkson has toured extensively worldwide as a solo act. Performing in other versions of American Idol such as Pop Idol, Swedish Idol, Canadian Idol and Australian Idol. After Clarkson's appearance on the CMT Crossroads and her duet version of "Because of You" (2007) with Reba McEntire, they co-headlined the 2 Worlds 2 Voices Tour (2008).
Billboard named Clarkson the "most successful American Idol of all time",factoring in album sales, singles sales, and radio plays.Billboard ranked Clarkson the #14 artist of the 2000-10 decade.
According to Nielsen SoundScan, Clarkson is the highest-selling Idol winner worldwide, with around 36 million singles and 23 million albums sold around the world.
Kelly Brianne 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 teacher, and Stephen Michael Clarkson. 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."
2002–03: American Idol and World IdolMain articles: American Idol (season 1) and World Idol
Clarkson won the first season of American Idol on September 4, 2002, earning 58% of the vote to 42% for runner-up Justin Guarini. Choking back tears, Clarkson performed the ballad "A Moment Like This", the song written for the winner of American Idol, which would subsequently appear on her debut album, Thankful. When released as a single in October 2002, it set a record on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart when it rose from number 52 to number one. This achievement was largely due to the impact from Idol as the CD single managed to sell 236,000 copies in its first week of sales in the U.S.; it spent five weeks at number one in Canada.