Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American pop rock singer-songwriter and actress from Burleson, Texas. Clarkson came into prominence after becoming the original winner of the inaugural season of the television series “American Idol” in 2002 and would later become the runner-up in the television special “World Idol” in 2003.
In 2002, Clarkson signed a $1 million, two-album recording deal with RCA Records and began recording her debut album “Thankful,” which was released in 2003. The album debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 Albums chart was certified 2x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The 2002 release of its first single, “A Moment Like This,” broke The Beatles' record for the biggest leap to #1, from #52, in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.
After parting ways with her management, Clarkson developed a more rock-oriented music with the release of her critically acclaimed 2004 sophomore album, “Breakaway,” which sold more than 12 million copies worldwide and which garnered Clarkson more worldwide success as a pop rock artist. The album became her most successful studio album to date, being certified 6x platinum by the RIAA. The album's single, “Because of You,” became the best-selling single by an “Idol” contestant worldwide.
In 2005, Clarkson's recording deal was extended to six albums. In 2007, Clarkson released her third studio album, “My December”. The album stirred a conflict with RCA which was quickly resolved within that year. Despite being certified platinum by the RIAA, the album failed to match the sales of its predecessor by suffering poor publicity for its uncommercial nature and thus became her least selling album to date.
Clarkson later returned in 2009 to a more pop-oriented sound with “All I Ever Wanted,” which became a commercial and critical success. The album's lead single, “My Life Would Suck Without You” currently holds the record for biggest leap to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, breaking her own record of “A Moment Like This” as well as earning her first #1 single in the United Kingdom. Clarkson's fifth studio album, “Stronger,” was released in October 2011.
In a career spanning almost a decade, Clarkson has become the most successful “Idol” contestant worldwide, according to Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan. Clarkson's work also gained her numerous accolades, including two Grammy Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, and a Women's World Award.