Kelly Clarkson is gearing up to release her seventh non-holiday studio album under a new deal with Atlantic Records. Her venture with RCA Records was already arranged for her after winning "American Idol" in 2002. During that time, she put out a string of hits and has over 90 No. 1s across all Billboard charts. Some singles were bigger than others but nonetheless there was something special about each one. AXS is looking at the top 5 singles throughout her career.
The lead single from her iconic sophomore record Breakaway, "Since U Been Gone" took Kelly Clarkson from just "American Idol" winner to superstar. She took a heavy pop rock turn on the album and it was just the beginning. "Since U Been Gone" was intended for Hillary Duff and upon Clarkson recording the song, she and the producers fought to have the guitars that made the song what it was. It won her the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2006 ceremony.
"My Life Would Suck Without You" was called her "comeback" by mainstream media after a very public feud with Clive Davis over the direction of her third record My December. The label would not release the fourth All I Ever Wanted unless Clarkson teamed up with Dr. Luke for another hit track. It was a success though, debuting at No. 97 with only a few days left of the week then bolting to No. 1 on the Hot 100. Clarkson broke the fastest jump to No. 1 record in 2002 with her debut song "A Moment Like This," a feat set by the Beatles, then did it again seven years later.
In 2012, Kelly Clarkson released her greatest hits with a few new tracks included. She wrote "Catch My Breath" about where she was at in life and where she was going. It's that song when she realized it's her life, her time, and she's going to make the best of it here on out. It's lighthearted and airy with an infectious chorus.
At 16, Clarkson wrote "Because of You" about her broken home. She asked for it to be released on her debut album Thankful but did not prevail. She fought for it to be included on Breakaway and was still met with challenges from then CEO Clive Davis. He didn't like the song but in the end, she won and it became a worldwide hit that fans to this day still sing along with when she's on stage. It was re-recorded in 2007 as a country duet with Reba McEntire after the two had already cut a song for her Duets album. McEntire liked the song so much they scrapped "A Lot Like You" and redid the hit together.
Clarkson's 2011 album Stronger won her the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album, the only artist to win it more than once and the artist with the most nominations in that category. The title track was destined to become her biggest hit with its soaring dance vibe and words of empowerment. It became Clarkson's third Hot 100 No. 1 and is the second best-selling "American Idol" alumni track following Phillip Phillips "Home." "Stronger" will now be a staple to Clarkson's career for many years to come.
Surely there are many more great hits in Clarkson's extensive catalog such as "Behind These Hazel Eyes" and "Already Gone," but at least these songs mark milestones for the singer-songwriter.