When you hear the words American Idol, probably the first thing that pops into the minds of many people is the name Kelly Clarkson. The hit TV show’s first season winner has gone on to have a hugely successful career as a singer, songwriter, and TV personality adored by millions around the world.
Here is the story of how she became the first winner of American Idol and some of the paths that life has led her down since then.
The Early Years
Born in 1982, Clarkson began singing in the seventh grade when she joined her middle school choir. Her love of music continued through high school with her almost accepting a scholarship upon graduating. Clarkson had other plans, though, and set about trying to establish a career as a singer by traveling to Los Angeles. Her efforts were for naught as she was turned down by almost every U.S. record label.
Down but not defeated, Clarkson returned to Burleson, Texas where her friends encouraged her to audition for the first season on the new singing competition, American Idol. She received her Golden Ticket to the next stage in the competition, which took place in Hollywood, California.
Becoming America’s Next Pop Star
Throughout her season on the show, Clarkson never placed in the bottom three, a common sign of voter dissatisfaction. On September 4, 2002, Clarkson won the singing competition by getting 58 percent of the vote over fellow singer Justin Guarini. After winning, Clarkson was signed to a record deal with RCA Records.
Her Fame Grows
Her first released single quickly climbed to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, breaking a record previously held by The Beatles for the biggest leap to the number one spot. Over her career as a singer, Clarkson has released a total of 8 albums and 3 number one singles in the U.S.
Her albums include “Thankful (2003), “Breakaway” (2004), “My December” (2007), “All I Ever Wanted” (2009), “Stronger” (2011), “Wrapped in Red” (2013), “Piece by Piece” (2015), and “Meaning of Life” (2017).
She has also appeared in a variety of T.V. shows, including “Saturday Night Live,” “Nashville,” and “The Kelly Clarkson Show.” In addition, after winning in 2002, Clarkson and fellow idol contestant and runner-up Justin Guarini appeared in a musical romantic comedy called “From Justin to Kelly.”
Life and Family
In addition to her singing career, Clarkson also is married to Brandon Blackstock and has two kids, her husband’s two kids, and two of her own, a girl and a boy.
This month, during Kelly’s Meaning of Life tour, her husband came up with a brilliant way to surprise her. During a concert in Greenville, South Carolina, when Kelly performed “Piece by Piece”, Brandon snuck onstage with a guitar in his hand, taking the place of her guitarist. For those who are unaware, “Piece by Piece” is an emotional song that Kelly had written about him.
At first, Kelly doesn’t even notice Brandon’s there— but when she does, what follows is an emotional cameo of the two performing the song together. As you can imagine, the crowd went absolutely wild and took to social media to sing out their praises. Amongst the postings, Twitter user @SamanthaB_24 wrote: “@kelly_clarkson and her husband @BBlackstock give me hope, and makes me believe in a successful loving marriage! This was the best way to end the #MeaningOfLifeTour.”
— Samantha Bennett (@SamanthaB_24) March 31, 2019
And you know what? We definitely agree.
Watch the touching video below!
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