Kelly Clarkson's career is one made from big dreams and hard work. Many may say that winning the first season of "American Idol" was the easy way in, and perhaps it was, but the exposure she received in such a short time is what any other artist gets over the course of several years. Before "Idol," she pursued her dreams, sending out demo tapes only to be returned even by former label RCA, and moving out to California as a late teenager proved to be disaster. Her apartment burned down within the hour that she moved in and lived in her car for three days. Moving back to Texas, her school friend Jessica gave her the audition papers for "American Idol" when no one knew what the show was or what would become of it. Needless to say, the rest is history and she's become a household name thanks to her drive, dedication and work ethic while creating her own destiny. Earlier this month she sat down with Steve Harvey to discuss her career including the very public feud over the direction of third record My December.
Harvey and Clarkson dabbled on her performance for President Barack Obama's second term inauguration in 2013 as well as her relationship with husband Brandon Blackstock who is a manager for the superstar. "We're over-communicators. Because I think we worry about it because I am such an artistic person and my mindset is different than that of a manager, so it's more of the business side. You know, I'll be like 'Quit managing right now. Just listen like a husband' and he'll be like 'Okay, stop being dramatic like an artist and let's wrap this up'," Clarkson says.
Continuing on about her placement as the last born, she giggles, "I'm like watch me and love me! And he does!" Harvey chimes in, "You crazy!" and admitting so, she fires back, "You're crazy! I saw some of the things you were saying before the show started!"
The humor continues when Harvey asks Clarkson what "jumping" is to her. "Exercise, but I don't!" she laughs. "Why is she on the show? She funny as hell! You need another show! (sic)," Harvey shouts with excitement.
Harvey went back to the beginning when Clarkson was on "Idol" as her first major jump following up with the movie musical she and runner-up Justin Guarini did "From Justin to Kelly." She quickly quips, "Once again we come back to when you hit bottom, you just bounce right back on up!" She told Harvey that as the winner she was contractually obligated to do the movie as she has so many times in the past in her own defense.
The show host then brings up the jump she made taking the reigns of her own destiny with third record My December, a record she and her backing band wrote entirely. The album received pushback from label RCA, more specifically Clive Davis as he tried every trick in the book to get Clarkson to back down. She stood her ground even after being offered a large sum of money to rework or change several songs suited for radio. She described her experience as a songwriter when she attempted to get hit song "Because of You" on her first record. It was rejected and she fought for it on the second record after he told her that the song "didn't rhyme" and that she was a "sh**y writer" (Clarkson corrected his story when Davis released a memoir). Telling Harvey and the audience, "It ended up being No. 1 worldwide... even though it didn't rhyme."
My December was perhaps one of the strongest jumps Clarkson has made in her career. It was her artistic record she needed to make after touring four times in support of Breakaway and wearing herself thin. Teaming up with Reba McEntire who later became her mother-in-law, McEntire showed her the ropes on having a successful career but also being happy.
Since that time, Clarkson has gained much control over her career and now that her RCA contract has ended, she's signed with Atlantic Records where the label is excited to work on her ideas. The first record will be released in 2017 and is slated to be an urban pop record versus the usual pop rock found across her catalog including the Grammy winning albums Breakaway and Stronger. In the future, Atlantic will also allow Clarkson to release the long awaited country album through their very own country division.
Now at 34, Kelly Clarkson has learned more about herself and how to steer her visions and the world is watching in delight with every note she sings.