Not only does this diva have the distinction of being the very first American Idol winner, she’s also one of the most successful. With her powerhouse vocals and down-to-earth charm, Clarkson literally became an overnight sensation on Idol in 2002. Despite an embarrassing big-screen debut in the critically lambasted movie musical Justin to Kelly (which she was contractually obligated to star in opposite runner-up Justin Guarini), Clarkson made 2003 her year, with her best-selling debut album Thankful spawning a number of hit singles. Her 2004 follow-up, Breakaway, was also a smash and earned the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album. And she’s maintained steady success since: her albums My December (2007) and All I Ever Wanted (2009) were both critical and commercial hits.

Fast Facts

  • Never had a formal singing lesson.
  • Held jobs at a comedy club (as a waitress), a pharmacy (an assistant), a movie theater and a zoo.
  • Worked for songwriter Gerry Goffin as a vocalist after moving to L.A. to try to break into the music business.
  • Moved back to Texas to regroup after her L.A. apartment building burned down.
  • Winner of the first season of American Idol; runner-up was Justin Guarini.
  • On the heels of her American Idol victory, her debut single, "A Moment Like This," went to No. 1 on the Billboard charts and was the best-selling single of 2002. Her debut album, Thankful, also hit No. 1.


  • 2006, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Female Musical Performer: Winner
  • 2005, Grammy — Best Pop Vocal Album: Winner
  • 2012, Grammy — Best Pop Vocal Album: Winner
  • 2008, CMT Music Awards — Collaborative Video of the Year: Nominee
  • 2013, CMT Music Awards — Collaborative Video of the Year: Nominee
  • 2005, Grammy — Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: Winner
  • 2011, CMT Music Awards — Collaborative Video of the Year: Nominee


  • Jeanne Taylor — Mother
  • Jason Clarkson — Brother
  • Jimmy Taylor — Stepfather
  • Alyssa Clarkson — Sister
  • Steve Clarkson — Father
  • River Rose Blackstock — Daughter
  • Seth Blackstock — Stepson
  • Brandon Blackstock — Husband
  • Savannah Blackstock — Stepdaughter

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  • Birth Name: Kelly Brianne Clarkson
  • Birth Place: Burleson, Texas, United States
  • Birthday: April 24, 1982, Taurus
  • Profession: Singer, Actor
  • User Rating:4.8 out of 5 (944 ratings)
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