Kelly Clarkson

April 24, 1982
  • Kelly Clarkson explored her heritage when she appeared on TLC's ancestry-themed series Who Do You Think You Are?. She was excited to discover that her great-great-great-grandfather, Isaiah Rose, was a Civil War veteran who became a sheriff, then a Republican Ohio State Senator in 1906. "I could not be more proud of this man," the singer said as she leafed through historical documents detailing Rose's service, including his time as a prisoner of war.
  • Clarkson portrayed the singer Brenda Lee on American Dreams, a nostalgic TV series set in the 1960s; she performed Lee's enduring Christmas staple "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" and her hit "Sweet Nothin's."

    Clarkson was thrilled to step into a legend's shoes, but she initially had a different legend in mind: Jazz and Pop singer Rosemary Clooney, who she calls her "all-time favorite performer." After recording the show, though, she had a new appreciation for Lee. She told Soundspike.com: "My mom told me about Brenda Lee and I got to know a lot more about her when I did the show. She's very cool. She was very Rock. She started out doing Country and then she got real Rock. That was cool."
  • Clarkson belted out "My Country, 'Tis Of Thee" at President Obama's 2013 inauguration, but it was Beyonce's "The Star Spangled Banner" that drew more media attention. While Clarkson gave a passionate live performance, Beyoncé (eventually) admitted she lip-synched hers, which Clarkson thought was completely understandable. When asked for her opinion about the controversy, she told Nashvillegab.com: "It really didn't matter to me; take it from a girl that has stood there. It's the most nerve-wracking environment I've ever been in. Everything in your heart and soul is praying to God that you don't mess up. And why is it, because that event isn't about me or Beyoncé or James Taylor, we're just the jazz hands on the side. It's about the President and it's a historical event and it's about our country. I could totally see why someone wouldn't want to mess that up and pre-tape it." As for the practice of lip-synching, Clarkson confided that she's never done it so far because she's terrified something will go wrong like "the track would skip."
  • Clarkson joined Reba McEntire's family when she married the country singer's stepson, Brandon Blackstock, on October 20, 2013. McEntire's husband, Narvel Blackstock, is also Clarkson's manager. Along with the nuptials came two stepchildren - daughter Savannah and son Seth - from Brandon's previous marriage.
  • In 2012, Clarkson nearly became the envy of every Jane Austen fan when she bid on a rare piece of the author's jewelry at a Sotheby's auction in London. The singer was willing to pay over $230,000 for a turquoise and gold ring she hoped to use as her engagement ring, but the British government wasn't ready to part with the item without a fight. Culture minister Ed Vaizey pleaded with potential UK buyers to claim the "national treasure" for the nation. Someone listened and anonymously bid against Clarkson and won. As a consolation, her husband (then fiancé) had a replica made for her.
  • The production of Clarkson's third album, My December, was rife with controversy. Gossip rags caught wind of a feud between the singer and music mogul Clive Davis, who was then the head of Sony-BMG, and gathered every scathing quote and juicy tidbit they could. Davis feared the darker tone of the album would affect sales and even wanted Clarkson to eschew her own original songs for lighter pop covers to make the record more commercial. Clarkson dug in her heels and refused to alter her work (and rightfully so - it was certified Platinum).

    After the album's release in June, 2007, she downplayed the conflict on her website, stating "Much of this has been blown way out of proportion and taken out of context. Contrary to recent characterizations in the press, I'm well aware that Clive is one of the great record men of all time. He has been a key advisor and has been an important force in my success to date." Contrary, indeed, to her own words. She made it perfectly clear in an earlier interview with USA Weekend that she didn't include Davis as part of her professional family: "I'm going to be real honest with you: I am not a fan. I do respect him [Clive Davis], but I don't want to barbecue with him. We don't braid each other's hair. And despite the rumors, he is nowhere near a father figure."
  • The Beatles' fandom took a crushing blow in 2002 when Clarkson's debut single," A Moment Like This," beat the band's 38-year-old record of a single's largest leap to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Can't Buy Me Love" jumped from #27 to #1 in 1964, while "A Moment Like This" rocketed from #52 to the top in its second week. Since then, the record has been broken numerous times (changes in eligibility have made it an easier feat), but Clarkson secured the title again with whopping jump from #97 with "My Life Would Suck Without You" in 2009.
  • Remember when the shark in Jaws tore into Robert Shaw until blood gushed out of his screaming mouth? Kelly Clarkson does, too. She blames the Spielberg movie for ruining her dream of becoming a marine biologist (someone should tell her the marine biologist, played by Richard Dreyfuss, survived in the end).
  • Growing up in Burleson, Texas, she had a number of odd jobs. She worked at Eckerd drug store, a movie theater, and a comedy club (where she was a waitress).
  • As a teenager, she performed at the theme park Six Flags Over Texas. She had made a demo tape and dreamed of moving to New York or Los Angeles to pursue a career in music, and she got that opportunity in 2001 when a girl she was working with moved to LA and needed a roommate. Her dreams were crushed when she went broke, but after returning to Texas she auditioned for a new show called American Idol, which worked out well for her.
  • When she first moved to Los Angeles, she worked as an extra - you might be able to spot her in the background on episodes of Dharma & Greg and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
  • Kelly Clarkson is the first American Idol contestant to score 100 #1s on Billboard's national domestic music charts, current, recurrent and catalog. She achieved this milestone when "Piece by Piece" jumped to the top of Digital Songs and Pop Digital Songs in March 2016.
  • Kelly Clarkson turned down two full-ride scholarships to The University of Texas at Austin and the Berklee College of Music.
  • The songstress revealed during a special show for SiriusXM listeners at New York City's Highline Ballroom that her husband Brandon Blackstock is the only man she has ever been "sexually attracted" to. Clarkson admitted that she was a little concerned about the fact that previous boyfriends didn't excite her.

    "I honestly thought I was asexual," the singer noted, before adding that everything changed for her when she met Brandon. "I'd never been turned on like that in my whole life," she gushed. "I was like, 'Oh that's that feeling... okay! That's what they were talking about in Waiting to Exhale.' I just got it. I just didn't have a clue."
  • Clarkson didn't want to come first on American Idol because the winner was contractually bound to make a musical rom-com and she knew she was "no Meryl Streep." After she was declared the champ, Clarkson pleaded to be relieved from the contractual obligation to star in a film, but she couldn't get out of it.

    The American Idol winner's fears were realized. The film Clarkson made, From Justin to Kelly, was panned by the critics and won the Golden Raspberry Award for "Worst 'Musical' of Our First 25 Years" in 2005.
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