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.
- 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.
- Bought, at auction, a ring that once belonged to Jane Austen; the British government put an export ban on the ring and allowed Jane Austen's House Museum to buy the ring back.
- Is a March of Dimes Ambassador.
- 2005, Grammy — Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: Winner
- 2006, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Female Musical Performer: Winner
- 2005, Grammy — Best Pop Vocal Album: Winner
- 2008, CMT Music Awards — Collaborative Video of the Year: Nominee
- 2011, CMT Music Awards — Collaborative Video of the Year: Nominee
- 2012, Grammy — Best Pop Vocal Album: Winner
- 2013, CMT Music Awards — Collaborative Video of the Year: Nominee
- Brandon Blackstock — Husband
- Alyssa Clarkson — Sister
- Jason Clarkson — Brother
- Steve Clarkson — Father
- Jeanne Taylor — Mother
- Jimmy Taylor — Stepfather
- Seth Blackstock — Stepson
- River Rose Blackstock — Daughter
- Savannah Blackstock — Stepdaughter
- Remington Alexander Blackstock — Son