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Kelly Clarkson

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Kelly Brianne Clarkson was born on April 24, 1982, in the small town of Burleson, Texas. Clarkson originally aspired to be a marine biologist, but a teacher at Pauline Hughes Middle School heard Clarkson singing in the hallway and encouraged her to join the choir. Right after, she started starring in school plays and continued on with her involvement in choir. A regular in choral activities, Clarkson was also granted a spot in the Texas All-State Choir. After graduating from high school, she made some demos financed by the different occupations she took. She didn’t draw much attention from record labels so she decide to move to Los Angeles to try her luck.

Kelly Clarkson was able to get an appearing as an extra on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. But, Kelly was forced to return to Texas because her apartment burned down. Once back in Burleson, Clarkson took a job as a promoter of Red Bull to help pay the bills. Just when Kelly was ready to give up, her best friend convinced her to try out for a new television program American Idol, a singing contest where the public votes for the winner.

Upon entering the show, Kelly Clarkson was able, with her interpretation of Aretha Franklin's "Respect," to impress the judges Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson. On September 4, 2002, Clarkson had made it to the final against Justin Guarini, whom she beat by taking 58% of the votes. After winning the competition, Clarkson performed the ballad "A Moment Like This", the song written for the winner of American Idol. That first single went from No. 52 to No. 1 on the Billboard charts, a new "leap to number one" record (previously held by the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" in 1964, which went from No. 27 to No. 1).

On April 5, 2003, Kelly Clarkson’s album Thankful was released. It debuted at number one on both the U.S. Billboard 200 and Canadian albums chart. Her second single from that album “Miss Independent”, which she co-wrote with Cristina Aguilera, reached the top ten of the U.S. and Canadian singles charts, and earned Clarkson a 2004 Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

On November 30, 2004, Kelly’s second studio effort, titled Breakaway, was released. Though sales were initially low in comparison to Thankful’s, single releases proved very successful. “Breakaway", co-written with Avril Lavigne, was used in the soundtrack for The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004) and achieved considerable success across the world. “Since U Been Gone”, second single of the album earned Clarkson her first Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and an award for Best Pop Vocal Album. Her Following singles “Behind These Hazel Eyes” and “Because of You” enjoyed extreme success too.

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