Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is a Grammy Award-winning American pop singer and actress. Clarkson made her debut under RCA Records after she won the highly-publicized first season of the television series American Idol in 2002. She was originally marketed as a pop musician with her debut album Thankful (2003), which yielded her first and only U.S. number-one single. With the release of her multiplatinum second album Breakaway (2004), Clarkson moved to a more rock-oriented style of music.

Early life

Clarkson was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up in the small town of Burleson, Texas. She is the third and youngest child of Jeanne Ann Rose, a first grade English teacher of Greek and Irish descent, and Stephen Michael Clarkson, a former engineer of Welsh extraction. Clarkson’s siblings include her brother Jason, and her sister Alyssa. When Clarkson was six years old, her parents split up after seventeen years of marriage; her brother went to live with her father, her sister went to live with an aunt, and Clarkson remained with her mother. Following the separation, Clarkson frequently moved around Texas while her mother managed several professions in order to support the family. Clarkson has since stated that, being six years old at the time, she did not understand why her family had been constantly moving. Eventually, the family settled in Burleson, Texas where Clarkson’s mother married her second husband, Jimmy Taylor.

Clarkson attended Pauline Hughes Middle School when she reached seventh grade. She had originally wanted to become a marine biologist, but during the same school year, a teacher overheard her singing in a hallway and asked her to audition for the school choir. Clarkson told the teacher that she had never received professional vocal training before. Following middle school, she attended Burleson High School and performed in musicals such as Brigadoon.

Upon graduation in 2000, Clarkson worked several occupations to finance her demo CD that she had been hoping to market toward record labels. She received few responses though, and eventually decided to move to Hollywood to seek out other opportunities in music, one of which was a mentorship under songwriter Gerry Goffin. However, Goffin fell ill, and to make ends meet, Clarkson appeared as an extra on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and played a small role in the film Issues 101, which was released in 2002. Following four months in Hollywood, Clarkson was discouraged and returned to Texas, where she worked at a cinema, and as a cocktail waitress, telemarketer and a Red Bull promoter. (