Legal name: Kelly Brianne Clarkson
Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She rose to fame in 2002 after winning the inaugural season of American Idol, and has since been referred to as the "Original American Idol" and the "Queen of Covers". Her debut single, "Before Your Love"/"A Moment Like This", topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became the best-selling single of 2002 in the United States. She became the runner-up of World Idol the following year. Clarkson's debut studio album, Thankful (2003), debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. It was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) while selling over 4.5 million copies worldwide. Its lead single, "Miss Independent," reached the top ten in various nations.
Trying to reinvent her own image, Clarkson decided to part ways with American Idol management and developed a rock-oriented sound for her second album, Breakaway (2004). It sold over 15 million copies worldwide and earned Clarkson two Grammy Awards. Taking creative control of her third album, My December (2007), she served as the executive producer and co-wrote the entire album's material. However, she fought with her label, in particular Clive Davis, who was dissatisfied with her musical direction. The feud resulted the reluctance of her label to promote the album. Clarkson's fourth album, All I Ever Wanted (2009), became her second album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Its lead single, "My Life Would Suck Without You", holds the record for the biggest jump to number one on the Hot 100.
Clarkson's fifth studio album, Stronger (2011), won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album, making her the only act to receive the award twice. The album scored her third number-one song on the Hot 100, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)". Clarkson's sixth album and first Christmas music release, Wrapped in Red (2013), became the best-selling holiday album of the year, making her the first American female artist to achieve this goal. In 2015, Clarkson released her seventh studio album, Piece by Piece, which was her third album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Its title track became her eleventh top-ten entry on the Hot 100.
Apart from her work in music, Clarkson has also ventured into television and film, beginning with her leading role in the romantic musical From Justin to Kelly (2003). She is known for her vocal versatility and range. Her music has mainly dealt with themes of heartbreak, independence, and self-empowerment for women and young teens. Her musical work has also gained her numerous accolades, including three Grammy Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards, four American Music Awards, and two Academy of Country Music Awards. In a career spanning over a decade, Clarkson has accumulated 100 Billboard number-one hits and sold over 25 million albums worldwide. In 2012, she was ranked nineteenth on VH1's list of "100 Greatest Women in Music." Billboard also ranked Clarkson as the 14th-best-selling artist of the 2000s.