Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American pop singer, songwriter, and occasional actress. Clarkson made her debut under RCA Records after she won the highly-publicized first season of the television series American Idol in 2002.
She was originally marketed as a pop musician with her debut album Thankful (2003). With the release of her multi-platinum second album, Breakaway (2004), Clarkson moved to a more rock-oriented style of music. Clarkson’s third album, entitled My December, was released on June 26, 2007. According to Sony Music, Clarkson has sold over 20 million albums worldwide. Clarkson has had eight of her singles become Top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Her first three albums sold over 9.5 million copies in the United States. In 2008, she joined VH1’s list of 10 sexiest women of the new millennium at #8. She also hit #28 on Vh1’s Top 30 Hottest Rock Front Women. As of 2008 she is one of the 10 most played artists on adult contemporary radio. Clarkson’s fourth album titled All I Ever Wanted was released on March 10, 2009, and debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. 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 position in chart history. She is currently 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 has sold over 10.1 million albums in the United States, becoming the highest-selling Idol winner. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Clarkson is also ranked on the top 200 album sellers of the Nielsen SoundScan era at number 187.
Kelly Brianne Clarkson was born in Fort Worth, Texas and grew up in the small town of Burleson, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth. She is the third and youngest child of Jeanne Rose, a first grade teacher, and Stephen Michael Clarkson, a former engineer. She is of part Greek ancestry. Clarkson’s siblings include her older brother Jason, and her older sister Alyssa. When Clarkson was six years old, her parents split up after seventeen years of marriage. As a result, Jason went to live with her father, Alyssa went to live with an aunt, and Clarkson remained with her mother. Clarkson frequently moved around Texas while her mother managed several professions in order to support the family. The family settled in Burleson, where Clarkson’s mother married her second husband, Jimmy Taylor.
Clarkson’s family struggled financially, and music became her refuge after the first divorce. Clarkson attended Pauline G Hughes Middle School and Burleson High School, originally aiming to become a marine biologist. 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. Around this time, Clarkson decided to pursue singing. She sang at her high school talent show, after which a gentleman shared some inspiring words with her: “God has given you this gift. You’ve got to sing. You’re destined to sing.” Clarkson did continue to sing and soon started classical training, hoping that music would be her ticket to a college scholarship.
Clarkson worked numerous odd jobs during and after high school, such as mowing lawns, helping her contractor stepfather build porches, and working in a movie theater starting at age 16 and until she moved to Los Angeles. She also worked for Papa John’s, Subway, Six Flags Over Texas, Starbucks, and sold vacuums door to door (her latter experience which she described with a well-intended pun: “It sucked.”). She attended Crestmont Baptist Church in Burleson during her high school years.
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.
(acting roles only)
|Year||Film / Show||Role||Episode|
|2002||Sabrina the Teenage Witch||as an extra||The Whole Ball Of Wax|
|2002||That 80’s Show||as an extra||Valentine’s Day (S1, Ep2)|
|2002||Issues 101||Crystal (as an extra)||Theatrical Film|
|2002||MADtv||Herself / Skits||Season 8, Ep 1|
|2003||From Justin to Kelly||Kelly Taylor||Theatrical Film|
|2003||American Dreams||Brenda Lee||And Promises To Keep|
|2004||American Dreams||Brenda Lee||Tidings of Comfort and Joy|
|2004||King of the Hill||Herself / Dawn||Stressed For Success|
|2005||Saturday Night Live||Herself / Skits / Musical Guest||Host – Jason Bateman|
|2007||Reba||Kelly||And We Forgive Those|
|2009||Saturday Night Live||Herself / Musical Guest||Host – Tracy Morgan|