Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American singer-songwriter, actress, author, and television personality. She rose to fame in 2002 after winning the first season of American Idol, which earned her a record deal with RCA Records. Clarkson’s debut single, “A Moment Like This”, topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and became the country’s best-selling single of 2002. It was followed by the release of her debut studio album, Thankful (2003), which debuted atop the US Billboard 200. Trying to reinvent her image, Clarkson parted ways with Idol management and shifted to pop rock music for her second album, Breakaway (2004). After numerous top 40 radio number-one singles, such as “Since U Been Gone” and “Because of You”, the album sold over 12 million copies worldwide and earned Clarkson two Grammy Awards.
She took further creative control for her third album, My December (2007), by becoming the executive producer and co-writing the entire album. However, her label was dissatisfied with her darker rock music and promoted the album reluctantly. Clarkson returned to the top of the charts with her more mainstream-oriented fourth album, All I Ever Wanted (2009). Its lead single, “My Life Would Suck Without You”, holds the record for the biggest jump to number one on the Hot 100 chart. Her fifth studio album, Stronger (2011), made her the first artist to win the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album twice, and spawned her third Hot 100 number-one single “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”. Clarkson became the first American female artist to achieve the best-selling holiday album of the year with Wrapped in Red (2013). Following the release of her third number-one album Piece by Piece (2015), she concluded her contract with RCA Records and signed with Atlantic Records in 2016. Her soul-influenced eighth album, Meaning of Life (2017), hit number two on the Billboard 200 and garnered her a record fifth Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album.
Clarkson has sold over 25 million albums and 45 million singles worldwide. She has had 28 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with three number one songs and eleven in the Top 10. Her accolades include three Grammy Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, four American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, and a Daytime Emmy Award. Billboard has hailed her as “one of pop music’s greatest singers” and honored her with the Powerhouse Award for her vocals. She became the first artist in history to top each of Billboard‘s pop, adult contemporary, adult pop, country, and dance charts, and was ranked nineteenth on VH1’s list of 100 Greatest Women in Music. Clarkson has ventured into film, television, and writing children’s books. She serves as a coach on the competition series The Voice and hosts the talk show The Kelly Clarkson Show.