In 2002, Kelly Clarkson became the first ever winner of the Fox television series American Idol. After ten seasons, many critics believe Clarkson is still the best singer the show has ever produced. She's second in all-time record sales for American Idol winners behind country music star Carrie Underwood.
Down-to-earth and friendly, Clarkson performs an accessible blend of rock-pop that garners both critical acclaim and commercial success. In the decade after winning American Idol, the singer released five studio albums, appeared in numerous television shows, and sold thousands of Kelly Clarkson tickets. She's also won two Grammy Awards and three MTV Video Music Awards.
Clarkson was born in 1982 in Forth Worth, Texas. She began singing in her school's choir in the seventh grade and performed in musicals while attending high school. Wanting to land a career in music, Clarkson skipped college and moved to Los Angeles even though she was offered three full scholarships. She also turned down two recording contracts because she was afraid they'd turn her into a bubblegum act. Clarkson auditioned for American Idol in May of 2002 and won the singing competition the following the September.
Her first album, Thankful, was released in 2002. The lead single off her debut, "A Moment Like This" broke the record for making the biggest leap to number one. The song went to the top spot after being number 52 the previous week—she broke a mark set by The Beatles.
For her next album, Breakaway, Clarkson went with a more rock and roll sound. It worked. Breakaway sold in excess of 12 million copies and featured the single "Because of You," the most successful single ever released by an American Idol.
Clarkson went further into the rock genre for her third studio album, My December. Despite having full creative control over the project the work is widely regarded as her weakest effort. Clarkson went back to her pop roots for her 2009 offering, All I Ever Wanted.
The opus was her second to debut at number one and contained her second number one single, "My Life Would Suck Without You." Once again, Clarkson established the mark for a single making the biggest leap to number one. Her fifth studio work, Stronger, dropped in October of 2011 and debuted at number two.
In 2003, Clarkson had the honor of starring in one of the worst films of all-time, From Justin to Kelly. The film bombed at the box office raking in just $5 million (it cost $12 million to produce). The movie was so bad it received the Razzie Award for the "Worst Musical of Our First 25 Years."