A Moment Like This

Album: Thankful (2002)
Charted: 1
  • Clarkson was the first winner on the US TV show American Idol, and this was released as her first single after she performed the song on the show. In a sign of how American Idol would influence the music industry, the song broke the record for the biggest jump to #1 in the history of the US Hot 100 chart when it soared 52-1 on the week of October 5, 2002. That record had been held for 37 years by The Beatles; in April 1964, "Can't Buy Me Love" rose from 27-1.

    Clarkson's record was beaten in 2007 by Maroon 5's "It Makes Me Wonder," which went 64-1.
  • Jorgen Elofsson, who has written songs for many pop acts including Westlife and Britney Spears, wrote this with John Reid of the house music act Nightcrawlers. The song was written specifically for the show, with lyrics about achieving a dream. Each of the American Idol finalists recorded the song in case they won, and Clarkson took the prize over Justin Guarini with 58% of the vote.
  • This was the biggest-selling single in the USA in 2002. It was not released in the UK.
  • Clarkson's American Idol performance of this song ended in tears, providing the show with perhaps its first iconic moment. Clarkson was indeed in the "moment" when she sang it - she claims that she doesn't remember crying when she sang it.
  • Clarkson's success was still a longshot even after she hit with this song. Many critics felt her performance was overwrought and contrived, and that she would fail without the Idol machine backing her up. Over the next few years it became clear that Clarkson was genuine, and also very talented. Much of her success can be attributed to her keeping a distance from the trappings of fame, which kept her focused and authentic.
  • In December 2006, this song was recorded by Leona Lewis, the winner of Series 3 of the British reality show The X Factor. Her single set a record for the fastest-selling UK download when this shifted 50,000 copies in its first half hour of release and sold 571,000 copies in its first week, taking it to the top of the chart. Despite not being released until December 20, it ended the year as the UK's second best selling single, beaten only by Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy."
  • Clarkson explained why she never wants to perform this song again in a 2011 interview with Entertainment Weekly: "Here's the thing: I get it. It was a moment thing for whoever won [American Idol], but that song wasn't written for me. I loved singing it for the finale. That's what it was for, but you ain't going to catch me anytime soon or ever singing that song again. Someone would have to be dying in front of me, saying, 'My last wish is for you to sing that song!' for me to sing that song."
  • This song really was a rare "moment" - an original track by a new singer breaking out of the Idol ambit to top the chart. In Season 2, the show took a different approach, completing the competition with the two finalists - Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard - each singing three songs, with one from each designated as their first single. Aiken's single song was a new one called "This Is The Night," and Studdard's was "Flying Without Wings," a huge UK hit for Westlife in 1999 but virtually unknown in America. They were released on the same day to create a competition among fans, and the ploy worked; Aiken became the first new artist to debut at #1, and Studdard came in at #2. The singles were propelled by their flip sides, as Aiken's single was backed by "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and Studdard's by "Superstar." Measured by digital downloads (which takes the flip side songs out of the equation), here's the tally:

    "A Moment Like This" - 420,000
    "Flying Without Wings" - 42,000
    "This Is the Night" - 36,000

    And when the Studdard/Aiken singles came out, digital downloading was far more popular. The B-side to "A Moment Like This" was a new song called "Before Your Love."
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Comments: 5

  • Brian from Boston, MaKelly has a nice voice I will give her that.But let me ask everyone a few questions.Why is American idol still on? Do we really need more singers? I think part of the problem is that we have too many.What we need are more musicians that are skilled in all aspects of music.There is more to being a good act than just a good voice.I think when a show like American Idol makes someone famous overnight and then hires a proffesional songwriter to give them a hit record this gives the singer no incentive to develop skills.There was a time when singers and bands had to start off small.They would play nightclubs and bars for many years.All these years improved their skills and as a result we the listeners got to listen to very talented singers and songwriters.There are literally thousands of people in the world with good voices but that alone should not get anyone a recording contract.Just look at all the mediocre music we have today.If kelly Clarkson did not sing this song they would have just given it to another American Idol contestant.
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnCorny song but Kelly makes it work somehow. That voice - my fave winner.
  • Jessica from Oxford, United Kingdomwhy do american idol winners never release their songs in the uk =[ i'm waiting for david cook still!
  • Mikeisha from Washington, Dc, MdClarkson put a great deal of soul into this song. I love how the song relates to her winning "American Idol."
  • Jailene from K-town, WaDude, this song is the very reason I love Kelly.
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