Kelly Brianne Clarkson was born on April 24, 1982. She is an American singer-songwriter and occasional actress. Kelly made her debut under RCA Records after she won the first season of the television series American Idol in 2002.
Kelly has released four albums to date: her debut album Thankful (2003), her multi-platinum second album Breakaway (2004) - won two Grammy Awards, My December (2007), and her latest album All I Ever Wanted (2009). Her four albums have sold over 10.4 million copies in the United States and over 23 million worldwide.
Eleven of Kelly's singles became Top Twenty hits on the Billboard Hot 100. 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.
Kelly was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up in the small town of Burleson. She is the third and youngest child of Jeanne Rose, a first grade teacher, and Stephen Michael Clarkson. She has an older brother, Jason and older sister, Alyssa. When Kelly was six years old, her parents divorced after seventeen years of marriage. The family settled in Burleson, where her mother married her second husband, Jimmy Taylor.
Kelly's family struggled financially, and after her parents divorced, music became her refuge. She attended Pauline G Hughes Middle School and Burleson High School. Kelly wanted to become a marine biologist but changed her mind after seeing the movie Jaws. In seventh grade, a teacher, Mrs. Cynthia Glenn, overheard her singing in a hallway and asked her to audition for the school choir; Kelly told the teacher that she had never received professional vocal training.
In high school, Clarkson performed in musicals such as Annie Get Your Gun, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Brigadoon. She sang at her high school talent show, after which an audience member shared some inspiring words with her: "God has given you this gift. You've got to sing. You're destined to sing." Kelly continued singing and soon started classical training, hoping that music would be her ticket to a college scholarship.
Upon graduation from high school, Kelly was offered full scholarships to The University of Texas at Austin, University of North Texas, and Berklee, but decided against college because she had "already written so much music and wanted to try it on her own," and she figured "you're never too old to go to college."