Kelly Clarkson began her career over 14 years ago and she's solidified her talent as unstoppable. Her record is impressive coming from a television competition with over 20 million albums sold worldwide, three Grammy Awards, several No. 1 albums and is now a book publisher. In her prime, she became known as the queen of anthems. It began with her first album Thankful (2003) and has carried all the way to 2015's Piece by Piece (thus far). Her anthems were either a kiss off or a message of empowerment and those songs have become staples to memories of Kelly Clarkson. AXS is taking a look at he top 5 selections from her catalog.
Taken from her first record, "Miss Independent" was the song that introduced Clarkson to the world outside of the songs she performed on "American Idol." Originally started by Christina Aguilera and finished by the singer-songwriter, it's still a song that the Grammy winner loves to perform because it's always gone through transformations. It's a song she doesn't particularly like on record, but enjoys being able to give it fresh vibes on tour.
When Miss Independent met "Mr. Know It All," it was a recipe for disaster. The track was released in 2011 as the lead single to parent album Stronger and was a moderate hit for Clarkson. It was more of an introduction to the album before the second single became the top hit and was a track about how the world may think they knew who she was but she's made it clear she's doing her own thing without a care. It wasn't a self-penned write but the video portrays actual media clippings of rumors and other stories that have tried to tear her down.
It was Breakaway, the sophomore record, that put Clarkson on the map as a genuine artist. In contrast to her first blend of songs on Thankful, she showed off her rock chops and edgy style in the monster track "Since U Been Gone." She and the producers wanted more guitars and in the end won out against RCA's idea. To this day, it's still a staple to her setlists and while it was the hot track globally, she changed up the vocals regularly and gave one of the most memorable MTV Video Music Award performances. The video is revengeful as she obliterates an apartment (but split her pants commando in the process of filming!).
Written by Sia, Clarkson included the track on sixth album Piece by Piece. It's a message of reaching new heights after falling straight to the ground. It was released as the second single from the album and the video depicts people finding the inner strength to better themselves. Clarkson loved the demo so much that in the final master release she kept Sia's original background vocals in place. It was the final song recorded for the album and she had already given birth to first born River Rose. Clarkson recorded the album while pregnant.
"Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" was titled "What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)" for the album release but was reversed for simplicity on radio. It became Clarkson's third Hot 100 No. 1 in early 2012 released as the second single for the album of the same name. It once was the best-selling "American Idol" alumni track before Phillip Phillips' "Home" was featured in the 2012 U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team clips for the Olympic Games. Not only a pop hit, it became a dance anthem and the video features actual fans performing the dances asked for the contest.
Kelly Clarkson is working on a new album under a new contract with Atlantic Records. The record will be released in 2017 and is taking on a more soulful approach, an album she's been wanting to make since the "American Idol" days in 2002.