Since her rise to stardom following her 2002 "American Idol" win, Kelly Clarkson has become a staple to pop music and has even crossed over into the country world thanks to mentor and friend Reba McEntire. Her albums have spawned hit after hit and the accompanying music videos have grown and matured as she has. Since the Breakaway era, Clarkson has had a major hand in creating treatments to her videos. AXS is taking a look at some of her most vibrant pieces thus far.
7. "Never Again"
In 2007, Kelly Clarkson came into her own as she began steering her own career. She released the controversial My December and the set was led by "Never Again," a harder hitting rock track that was written around the same time as the final recorded song for Breakaway, "Behind These Hazel Eyes." Where "Hazel Eyes" finished, "Never Again" picked back up with a more snarky attitude, portraying a trophy wife with more than honest lyrics such as, "You wrote me in a letter/ You couldn't say it right to my face/ Well give me that Sunday school answer/ Repent yourself away." The video and lyrics describe her side to a breakup with musician and producer David Hodges. Two versions were released, one airing on MTV with slight variations.
6. "Already Gone"
"Already Gone" was taken from 2009's All I Ever Wanted as the third single and the video she called her "diva video." Once again, Clarkson along with director Joseph Kahn clashed with the RCA label over the final edit of the video. The label felt it was too dark and didn't want to revisit the My December era. So in the end, the label won the battle and clipped the end of the video which was the final puzzle piece of the video. In the video, Clarkson is seen being a ghost. She's not visible except for in mirrors (already gone) while instruments are also played by ghosts. The director's cut has never been released.
5. "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"
In 2011, Clarkson released her fifth studio album Stronger and the single of the same name became her third No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 2012. Clarkson put the video together in mob style with both her backing band and extras along with fan submitted clips. The clips fans were to submit already had a dance routine that had to be learned and needless to say, her base was creative in their shots. It's one of her top videos merely for the inclusion of superfans who have followed her since day one.
4. "Catch My Breath"
Following Stronger, Kelly Clarkson released her first greatest hits in 2012. It featured three new songs as well as a holiday cut of "I'll Be Home for Christmas." Internationally, the CD can be found with a DVD of all of her music videos. "Catch My Breath" was written with musical director Jason Halbert and Eric Olson. Clarkson wrote the song to sum up her career thus far, knowing who she is as an artist and where she is going. The video perfectly accompanied the sentiment of the song by being simple but making a statement using colorful imagery. Clarkson whips her hair around and poses while poofs of color surround her and by the end, it's just her standing with those colors sucking back into her.
3. "Don't Waste Your Time"
"Don't Waste Your Time" also comes from 2007's My December but was not released as a single in the U.S. In fact, Clive Davis refused to release another single but internationally, the album has two additional releases. "Don't Waste Your Time" is majestic in a way that finds Clarkson in a castle hiding herself away from a man trying to get to her. She wears a dress reminiscent of the album's cover art while playing along a fairytale gone wrong, lying in a bed ala Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. The vines prevent the guy chasing her from reaching her as they grow over, a video that plays off of said cover art.
2. "Since U Been Gone"
In 2004, Clarkson roared onto the pop scene after a mediocre start on first album Thankful. While the album sold well as an "Idol" souvenir, Clarkson found her voice in pop rock on sophomore record Breakaway and the rest is history. "Since U Been Gone" remains a staple to her live sets and the video finds Clarkson destroying the apartment of a lover who did her wrong. Cutting, breaking glass, smearing toiletries, she doesn't hold back as she shatters every corner of the space. To this day, Clarkson still says it was one of her favorite videos to make.
1. "Behind These Hazel Eyes"
"Behind These Hazel Eyes" was the follow-up to "Since U Been Gone" and the video went dark. As noted above, the song was written about a breakup and almost didn't make the album. It had completely different lyrics and then she experience heartbreak. She rewrote the lyrics and the video reflected the darkness she felt. She wrote the treatment as a woman marrying a man but finds out there's another woman and at the altar, throws the ring in his face and rushes out the door. She doesn't make it far before she starts tripping in the woods, eventually falling in mud (which she played--no body double). The making of the video was also recorded for a TV spot explaining the song and meaning behind the video.
Related: Top 5 songs from Kelly Clarkson 'Piece by Piece'