Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American singer and songwriter. In 2002, she rose to fame after winning the first season of American Idol, and has since been established as “The Original American Idol.” Her debut single, “A Moment Like This”, topped the US Billboard Hot 100 and broke the record for the biggest jump to number one in the chart’s history; it became the best-selling single of the year in the country. She became the runner-up of World Idol the following year.
Clarkson’s debut studio album, Thankful (2003), has been certified 2× platinum and sold over 4.5 million copies internationally. Its lead single, “Miss Independent,” became an international hit, earning Clarkson her first Grammy nomination. She developed a rock-oriented sound with the release of her second album, Breakaway (2004). It has been certified 6× platinum and sold over 15 million copies worldwide, earning Clarkson two Grammy Awards, including one for the hit single “Since U Been Gone.” She later took full creative direction of her third album, My December (2007), which has been certified platinum. Its lead single, “Never Again,” became a top ten hit. Clarkson’s fourth album, All I Ever Wanted (2009), debuted at number one, and became a critical and commercial success. Its worldwide hit single, “My Life Would Suck Without You”, surpassed “A Moment Like This” for the biggest leap to number one on a single week in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 Chart from number 97, a record it still holds today. Her fifth album, Stronger (2011), generated international chart-topping singles, “Mr. Know It All” and “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).” The latter is the best-selling single by an American Idol alumni to date; it has sold over five million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album, making Clarkson the first and only artist to win the award twice.
In 2012, Clarkson released Greatest Hits – Chapter One; its lead single, “Catch My Breath,” became her twenty-fourth entry on the Hot 100 and eleventh million-selling single. Clarkson’s sixth album and first Christmas-themed release, Wrapped in Red (2013), became the best-selling holiday album of the year, making her the first American female artist to achieve this goal. In 2015, Clarkson released her seventh studio album, Piece by Piece, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 Chart, becoming her third number one album in the United States.
In a career spanning over a decade, Clarkson has accumulated ninety-one number ones on the Billboard charts and eleven international number one singles, and has sold over 25 million albums worldwide. She is known for her vocal versatility and range. Her music has mainly dealt with themes of heartbreak, independence, and self-empowerment for women and young teens. Apart from her work in music, Clarkson has also ventured into television and film. Clarkson’s film debut was in the romantic musical From Justin to Kelly (2003) and she also appeared in American Dreams as Brenda Lee, in Reba, on The Voice as a guest advisor, on Duets as a mentor and judge. Clarkson’s musical work has also gained her numerous accolades, including three Grammy Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards, four American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, two American Country Awards, and a Women’s World Award. In 2012, Clarkson was ranked nineteenth on VH1’s list of “100 Greatest Women in Music.” In 2013, Clarkson was ranked number 105 on Joel Whitburn’s “Top 500 Artists Of All Time,” number 5 on both “Top Billboard 200 Female Artists” and “Adult Contemporary Artists,” number 27 on “Top Billboard 200 Artists,” and number 75 on Billboard’s “Hot 100: Top 100 Artists.” Billboard also ranked Clarkson as the 14th-best-selling artist of the 2000s and one of the top 200 album sellers of the Nielsen SoundScan era at number 187.