Nashville, Tennessee

Mr. Know It All by Kelly Clarkson

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So what
You've got the world at your feet
And you know everything about everything
But you don't Read full Lyrics
Recorded in February of 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee, on the album Stronger, Kelly Clarkson released a song where she said, on MTV News, "It is unlike any other song I ever came up with." I have to agree with her statement. Up until that point, her strongest song had been "Since You've Been Gone," but most of her other singles had more of a bubblegum feel to them. From the time I first noticed a nervous 16-year-old on the huge world stage of American Idol, I saw a flicker of a flame of a new star burning.

Lake Watauga in Centennial Park, Nashville<br>Photo: Ryan KildariLake Watauga in Centennial Park, Nashville
Photo: Ryan Kildari
The single "Mr. Know it All" was officially released on September 5, 2011, after a bit of a controversy with Internet leaks, and then eventually re-released as a country version in April of 2012. So this song defies most of your basic classification. Just when you think you've figured it out, Clarkson comes along and changes it up. It has seen its share of news; which brings me to the music video.

Filmed in Nashville, Tennessee, on August 25, 2011, and directed by Justin Francis, it features Clarkson in a dark warehouse surrounded by tabloid headlines and entertainment gossip reports about the singer and her career. Some of the headlines include: "Why So Single, Kelly?" "Sponsors Drop Kelly Clarkson, Too Thin, Too Fat," "Music Leaks," "Kelly Has No Style," "Clarkson Has Differences With Label," and "Kelly Forgets Her Old Friends." The theme of the video is taken from a line in the song, You don't know a thing about me. This was Clarkson's way of taking a shot at the paparazzi and media outlets that have been taking shots at her since her debut appearance and win on Idol. The video premiered on September 26, 2011.

"I think there is a free spirit side of me, and then there's the feisty performer in me, then there's the funny side of me. I mean, obviously, you have to be funny to have a big, giant wall of doubt with actual headlines of your life on the wall. It's a little fun; a little feisty," Kelly Clarkson said on MTV News.

Though we only see the inside of this warehouse during the video shoot of "Mr. Know it All," the video takes place in the beautiful city of Nashville, Tennessee, better known as Music City.

The Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, Tennessee, c 2006<br><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/90897227@N00/131798720" target="_blank">Sean Russell</a>, via Flickr, CC 2.0The Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, Tennessee, c 2006
Sean Russell, via Flickr, CC 2.0
Nashville was named the capital of Tennessee in 1843 and runs along the Cumberland River. It was founded in 1779 and named for Francis Nash, an American Revolutionary War hero. Mr. Nash was a brigadier general from the North Carolina Continental Army, serving under General George Washington, and died on October 4, 1777, at the Battle of Germantown.

Most people think of country music when they first hear the name Nashville, but this great little city is known for so much more than just country. It features some of the following famous and recognizable venues:

The Parthenon in Centennial Park – which is a full-scale reconstruction of the original temple in Greece
Country Music Hall of Fame Museum
Grand Ol' Opry House
Ryman Auditorium
CMA Music Festivals
Honky Tonk bars all along Lower Broadway, 2nd Avenue and Printer's Alley
Tennessee State Fair
Home of The Nashville Network (TNN) television stations
Country Music Television (CMT)
EMI Christian Music Label
Word Records
Nashville Film Festival
Tennessee Titans

Kelly Clarkson is no stranger to country music, so it's not surprising to find she filmed one of her more "rock-themed" songs in the country capital. Perhaps that's all just an extension of the rebellion she speaks about in the song, "Mr. Know It All."

Mr. Know it All
Well, you think you know it all
but you don't know a thing at all


What a powerful opening to a great song. I can only imagine this was a little back-handed swipe at the media that's been swiping at her for years. Kudos to Ms. Clarkson - for showing her claws and fighting back.

Mr. Bring Me Down
Well, you like to bring me down, don't ya?
But I ain't laying down
Baby, I ain't going down


I think every person walking on the face of the earth has had someone or some group of people intent on bringing them down; criticizing everything they do in life from what they look like to their every little mistake and failure. Since entering into the spotlight at such an early age, Kelly has had to deal with her share of doubters and naysayers, living her every move in the public eye. Most of us often receive such scrutiny from our friends and family, but Ms. Clarkson has been on the receiving end from the same pools we pull from and many, many strangers who don't know her personally.

Oh, you think that you know me
That's why I'm leaving you lonely
'Cause Baby, you don't know a thing about me
You don't know a thing about me


Sometimes it takes standing up to critics to see a way above the criticism, so it doesn't trap and keep its victims bound in self-doubt and self-pity. Kelly called the wall in the video The Wall of Doubt, because it was filled with all those naysayers who've doubted her as an artist. She's got the last laugh, because she has shown them she's not a flash in the pan, but is a force to be reckoned.

T.L. Gray
November 13, 2015

T.L. Gray is a best-selling published author, literary agent, editor, blogger, and contributing writer to various print and online magazines. When this active outdoor enthusiast isn't hiking down some wild, adventurous, backwoods trail, or cooking gourmet food, she is listening to an eclectic assortment of music or playing her acoustic guitar.
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Comments: 1

  • Jaimee from TexasI love this song so much. Kelly is my inspiration. I always talk about how much I love her. I'm her HUGEST fan! I think you did a wonderful job.I heard that in because of you, no one liked the song. I loved it. Someday I want to see the wall of doubt. I want to do the same with my room. I love you so, so, much.
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