Kelly Clarkson was the first winner of American Idol. She remains arguably the most talented vocalist the show has produced. With each album Kelly Clarkson's reputation for pop vocal skill rises. This is a guide to her best songs.
Kelly Clarkson kicked off her fifth studio album Stronger with this aggressive, uptempo anthem about survival. She worked with producer Greg Kurstin, known for his work with Pink and Tegan and Sara among others, and Swedish songwriter Jorgen Elofsson. The result was a four million selling #1 smash hit across pop, dance, and adult pop charts. "Stronger" was nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards.
"Since U Been Gone" is not only one of Kelly Clarkson's finest moments, but also the first collaborative project of Max Martin and Dr. Luke. Reportedly, Kelly Clarkson pushed to have more of a rock feel to the song. The result was a #2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and one of the most critically acclaimed songs of the decade.
This is the lead single from Kelly Clarkson's album All I Ever Wanted. It was a return to collaborating with Max Martin and Dr. Luke. The song set a unique Billboard Hot 100 record by leaping from #97 to #1 in its second week on the chart. That is the largest leap to the top spot ever on the chart. "My Life Would Suck Without You" is Kelly Clarkson's second #1 hit in the US and her first, and the first for any American Idol contestant, in the UK. It has sold over two million digital copies.
Avril Lavigne co-wrote the song "Breakaway." Kelly Clarkson originally recorded it for the soundtrack to the movie Princess Diaries 2, but it later became the title song of her second studio album. "Breakaway" spent a phenomenal 20 weeks at #1 on the adult contemporary chart.
"Walk Away" was released as Kelly Clarkson's fifth single from the album Breakaway. It was the first and only single from the album to miss the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it did reach #12. It is a slightly edgy rock oriented production. "Walk Away" crossed over to the dance chart and reached #5.
This is the lead single for Kelly Clarkson's fifth studio album Stronger. The sound moves in a more R&B oriented direction than she has yet explored on a single. Her vocals continue to mature, and "Mr. Know It All" shows her skills well. The song landed in the top 10 of the iTunes digital sales chart within days of release.
According to the controversy that erupted, this is the song that Kelly Clarkson would have preferred to keep in the vault. Upon release it received a lot of notoriety for the similarity in sound to Beyonce's "Halo." Kelly Clarkson publicly accused producer and songwriter Ryan Tedder of re-using portions of the other song in the creation of "Already Gone." Despite the issues surrounding it, "Already Gone" is one of Kelly Clarkson's most powerful vocal performances and a haunting ballad. It spent eight weeks at #1 on the adult pop radio chart and has sold over a million digital downloads.
Kelly Clarkson says that she considered dropping "Never Again" from her album My December because of its "nastiness." It does seethe with anger, and was not only included on the album, but also became its lead single. The result was another top 10 pop hit for Kelly Clarkson leading off a critically well received album.
Kelly Clarkson wrote "Because Of You" with David Hodges and Ben Moody, both former members of the group Evanescence. She wrote the first version of the song as a 16 year old trying to cope with the emotional distress caused by the divorce of her parents. The single became the fourth top 10 hit from the album Breakaway. "Because Of You" was re-recorded in 2007 as a duet with country star Reba McEntire. That version went to #2 on the country chart.