Three-time Grammy Award winner Kelly Clarkson has begun working on her seventh non-holiday studio album. The upcoming record is slated for 2017 and it will be the first under her new recording contract with Atlantic Records after a 14 year "arranged marriage" with RCA Records from winning the inaugural season of "American Idol." Through those years, she's recorded a mix of styles on debut album Thankful in 2003, moved to an edgier pop rock on 2004's Breakaway which exploded her career, an alternative rock sound on the controversial My December, a blend of glossy sounds on All I Ever Wanted then followed up with the cohesive pop rock Stronger. In 2015, she released the No. 1 album Piece by Piece and the tour was cut short due to pregnancy with her second child.
Now, she's branching out under the new deal to record an album of songs she's been wanting to sing since the beginning of her career. On Oct. 4, she released the children's book "River Rose and the Magical Lullaby" and while promoting the new project, she touched base on what the new album will and won't be. While on the book tour, she sat down with People magazine to discuss the new music.
"It’s a better suit for my personality. It’s a record I’ve been dying to make since I was a kid. Now’s the time," she told the publication.
Bringing in friend and producer Greg Kurstin, she's ready to get to work with those who know her well and have created solid music she can be proud of. Kurstin produced the Hot 100 No. 1 "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," "Dark Side" and "People Like Us" along with the entire Wrapped in Red holiday album. He also produced and co-wrote eight of the Piece by Piece deluxe edition songs. Though Stronger may have been one of her best albums to date, she met with writers to let them know the direction of the upcoming album.
"I just came from L.A. and met a ton of writers to be like, ‘Hey, just in case you want to know where we’re going with this album, do not send, like, ‘Stronger 2.0,’ you know?”
Excited about the new venture, Clarkson will get to show off her chops even more than she has in the past. The new album will be a soulful record as heard during her Facebook Live sessions in June where she sang songs like Aretha Franklin's "Something He Can Feel" and Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is." Over the years, she's performed covers from such artists fueling her desire to reach into the depths.
Stronger of course in 2013 won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album. It was the second time Clarkson won the award and is the only artist to do so. She leads the category with the most nominations when Piece by Piece would be nominated for the 2016 ceremony.