Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American pop rock singer-songwriter and actress. Clarkson rose to fame after winning the inaugural season of the television series American Idol in 2002 and would later become the runner-up in the television special World Idol in 2003.
Clarkson has released four albums to date under RCA Records: her multi-platinum debut album Thankful (2003) (which was nominated for a Grammy Award and sold more than 4 million copies worldwide), her multi-platinum second album Breakaway (2004) (which won two Grammy Awards and sold more than 12 million copies worldwide), her platinum third album My December (2007), and her latest platinum album All I Ever Wanted (2009) (which was nominated for a Grammy Award and sold more than 7 million copies worldwide). Her albums have sold over 10.6 million copies in the United States. Clarkson is the only American Idol contestant to have reached number one in the UK. She claimed number one on March 1, 2009, when "My Life Would Suck Without You" debuted number one on downloads alone. Clarkson is also ranked on the top 200 album sellers of the Nielsen SoundScan era at number 187. Eleven of Clarkson's singles became Top 20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. She has two number one singles in the Billboard Hot 100 to date.Her single, "My Life Would Suck Without You", advanced from No. 97 to No. 1 on the Hot 100 in its first week of release, breaking the record for the largest leap to the top position in chart history.
Clarkson has toured extensively worldwide as a solo act. She has performed in other versions of American Idol such as Pop Idol, Swedish Idol, Canadian Idol, Australian Idol, as well as other singing competitions such as The X Factor and Superstar K. After Clarkson's appearance on the CMT Crossroads and her duet version of "Because of You" (2007) with Reba McEntire, they co-headlined the 2 Worlds 2 Voices Tour (2008). As of 2009, her solo version of "Because of You" (2005) is the biggest single from an American Idol album, with sales of seven million singles worldwide. In December 2009, Billboard ranked "Because of You" as the seventh most successful pop song of the decade. Billboard named Clarkson the "most successful American Idol of all time", factoring in album sales, singles sales, and radio plays. Billboard ranked Clarkson the #14 artist of the 2000-10 decade. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Clarkson is the highest-selling Idol winner worldwide, with around 36 million singles and 25 million albums sold around the world.