Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American singer, songwriter and occasional actress. Clarkson came into prominence after becoming the winner of the inaugural season of the television series American Idol in 2002 and later was the runner-up in the television special World Idol in 2003.
In 2003, Clarkson released her debut album, Thankful, which was a commercial success and established herself in the pop music industry. After parting ways with her management, Clarkson developed a more rock-oriented music with the release of her critically acclaimed sophomore album, Breakaway (2004), which sold more than 13 million copies worldwide and which garnered Clarkson more worldwide success as a pop rock artist. In 2007, Clarkson took full creative control for her third album My December, which had a more rock-inspired sound and was met with controversy and moderate success. Clarkson later returned to a more pop-oriented sound with All I Ever Wanted (2009), which became a commercial and critical success. The album’s lead single, “My Life Would Suck Without You” (2009), surpassed “A Moment Like This”‘s record for the biggest leap to number one on a single week in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, a milestone it still holds today. Furthermore, it also became her first number one single in the United Kingdom. Clarkson‘s fifth studio album, Stronger, was released in 2011, containing elements from synthpop, R&B and country music. The album’s single, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” (2012), became her longest number one single and eventually became her best-selling single in the United States.
In a career spanning a decade, Clarkson has become the most successful Idol contestant around the world, with album sales of over 21 million worldwide, according to Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan. Clarkson’s work also gained her numerous accolades, including two Grammy Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, four American Music Awards and a Women’s World Award. Billboard also ranked Clarkson as the 14th best-selling artist of the 2000s, as well as also being ranked on the top 200 album sellers of the Nielsen SoundScan era at number 187.