Rock, Pop, American Idol Finalists & Winners, Television Personality, Grammy Award Winner, Songwriter, Female, 2000s, 2010s
Kelly Clarkson has joined some impressive company in the world of female Top 40 radio. She is one of only three females to simultaneously place two singles as a lead artist in the top five of the Mainstream Top 40 chart.
To date, ‘Breakaway’ is one of the Top 5 best-selling albums of 2005. She can currently be seen in the ongoing “Got Milk” ad campaign and recently appeared on "Saturday Night Live" during the February sweeps as both musical performer and actor.
Thankfully, Kelly Clarkson's childhood dream to be a marine biologist did not come true and instead in September 2002 she became a household name when her soulful voice captured the hearts and minds of the United States of America and she was voted the "American Idol".
The twenty year old from Texas performed live every week for ten weeks to an audience of 25 million on America's biggest ever TV show, despite never having had a professional singing lesson, and received 57% of the vote in the final head to head. In fact her singing voice was to her, such a natural and normal part of her life, it didn't strike her that she had something so special. In fact the enormity and beauty of her voice was recognized quite by accident.
At 13 years old, a late bloomer by choral standards, Kelly was singing to herself in the corridor at Pauline Hughes Middle School in Burleson, Texas, when a teacher asked her to consider joining the choir. "Nobody really realized I had a talent until I got in there. My teacher really pushed me since I was behind everyone else who had been doing it since 4th grade. From there on, I had a niche."
Her classical training through the choir was, as she describes it, "fundamental to me being able to use my voice and adapt it to different styles of music". She developed quickly and before long was wooing audiences in State and regional competitions, whilst earning a living as a waitress, pharmacy assistant, at the movie theatre and even at the zoo!
It was a strange twist of fate that really put Kelly on the path to music though. Having moved to Los Angeles after graduation, she began sending out her demo tape and trying get into the music industry. However this came to an abrupt end when her apartment burned down leaving her nearly destitute. The young singer headed on a 24-hour drive home with nothing.
It was her best friend, Jessica who was determined for Kelly not to give up and suggested she tried out for "American Idol". Kelly knew nothing about it. "I went and tried out for fun and here I am!"