It's no secret by now that Kelly Clarkson is working on her upcoming seventh non-holiday studio album. She excitedly took to Facebook Live in June 2016 to announce her new record deal with Atlantic Records after completing the "American Idol" contract she was awarded for winning the first season in 2002. The new album will have something in common with those "Idol" days and Clarkson has been more than ready to release this new set.
"Listening 2 songs 4 my album we're working on #mariah meets #aretha meets #whitney meets #mefromidoldays meets #2017 meets #yallaintready," Clarkson took to Twitter to gush over the album planned for release mid next year with a single potentially dropping in April. She then went on to say, ""....meets #envogue."
That's big news for fans of the singer-songwriter who's been itching to make a soulful record since those days. Over the course of her career she's focused on the pop rock styling that has made her a superstar. Though she's thrown in hints of alternative rock (My December) and dabbled in the country world where she's been welcomed, Clarkson has never had full control of her creativity to reach her truest potential.
Creating the soulful record taking a direction of greats like Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin will take her back to "American Idol" when she performed songs by two of those artists. In week one when voting began to form the top 10 contestants, she belted out Franklin's "Respect" as well as one of the final songs she would be judged on during the last competition. Clarkson famously let her pipes soar in her take on "Natural Woman," a song written by Carole King and made famous by Franklin. She would sing one more by the Michigan resident, "Don't Play That Song." Clarkson not once was in the group facing elimination and she took on Carey's "Without You" on competition night and on results night, the second night being much stronger and powerful.
Clarkson has performed songs by each of the artists during her tours over the years. In 2011, she recorded the Smoakstack Sessions for two EPs and included a recording of Franklin's "I Never Loved A Man" for the 2012 second installment. Vol. 2 was the companion piece for Greatest Hits - Chapter One following 2012's Grammy winning Stronger.
Throughout her career, Kelly Clarkson has referenced her liking of the music released in the 1990s including Carey and Houston. In 2007, she released third record My December and mentioned the songs playing of the album Tragic Kingdom (No Doubt) and Jagged Little Pill (Alanis Morissette).