Kelly Clarkson is busy promoting and gearing up to tour her No. 1 album Piece by Piece released earlier this year. Since winning the first season of "American Idol" in 2002, Clarkson has had a career of ups and downs from winning Grammy Awards to disputes with the label to selling close to 25 million albums worldwide. She remains a favourite in pop music and AXS is taking a look at some of her career highlights.
It all began in 2002 when Kelly Clarkson signed up for "American Idol". Week after week she showed off her powerful soulful vocals singing songs from Aretha Franklin to Celine Dion. Being the underdog, she worked hard and never once was in the bottom contestants. She would go on to win and her first song "A Moment Like This" because a Hot 100 No. 1 and broke a Beatles record for fastest jump to No. 1.
Clarkson's 2004 sophomore record Breakaway put her on the map as the it girl. In 2006, she earned Grammy nominations and "Since U Been Gone" earned her the award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Choking on her words, Clarkson's joy as she took home her first trophy is why she's still loved today.
In April 2008, Clarkson not even being Catholic had the opportunity to sing for Pope Benedict XVI. She performed "Ave Maria", a song she says she's loved since she was young.
In a once and a lifetime chance, Clarkson was asked to perform for President Barack Obama's inauguration in Jan. 2013. She wowed watchers and viewers worldwide with her classy rendition of "My Country Tis of Thee". It would not be the first time Kelly Clarkson has met Obama. In 2006 as part of the What's the Download campaign, an effort to show Capitol Hill the damages of piracy, she presented then Senator Obama with a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word.
1. Starting a family and giving birth to first child
In 2013, Clarkson married Brandon Blackstock, step-son of mentor and country queen Reba McEntire. Blackstock's father Narvel has managed Clarkson's career since June 2007. The two had a private ceremony and in June 2014, Kelly Clarkson gave birth to her first child River Rose. Her latest album Piece by Piece was recorded during pregnancy making it one of her most vocally emotional albums to date. Clarkson jokes she wants to "be knocked up" when recording her next album down the road. It's a new chapter that Clarkson never thought would happen with a gypsy heart but has clearly shaped how she is approaching her career and being a mother.