TODAY IS CHRISTMAS 2.0 TBH

30 years ago today, a vocal legend was born.

10 years ago, she was crowned America's first Idol, and her success has furthered the singing competition television genre for better or for worse. She broke the record for biggest leap to #1 in the United States—not once, but twice!—a record previously held by The Beatles and Britney Spears, with the hits "A Moment Like This" and "My Life Would Suck Without You". To date, she has sold over 60 million records worldwide—including the figures for the recent hits "Don't You Wanna Stay" (with Jason Aldean) and "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)".

She has since been named the best voice in the history of pop music and won multiple Grammy awards. She currently holds the record as the only person in history to have ever topped Billboard's Hot 100, Dance/Club Play Songs, Country Songs, Adult Contemporary, and Adult Pop Songs charts. She remains the only American Idol alumnus to ever top charts outside of North America and has been named as one of the best-selling artists of the last decade. She is the artist most recently cited as responsible for ushering in a new wave of dance/pop. To celebrate, here's a count-down of the ten best singles from the one and only: Kelly Clarkson!




10. Miss Independent



How could we not include this song? Christina Aguilera's first hit as a songwriter for another singer, "Miss Independent" was Clarkson's first success unrelated to American Idol—it spent six weeks at #1 on the Mainstream Top 40 charts and peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Miss Independent" began Clarkson's reign as the queen of female empowerment anthems and was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2004 Grammy Awards.


9. Breakaway



Co-written by Avril Lavigne, "Breakaway" was the lead single from the album of the same name and introduced us to the Kelly that we now know best: pop/rock Kelly! This song was a major sleeper hit, tied with Celine Dion for most weeks spent at #1 (21) on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and peaked at #6 on the Hot 100. The song's popularity caused Kelly's sophomore album to be renamed "Breakaway", and the album would go on to become the best-selling album worldwide by an American Idol alumnus.


8. Never Again



Released as the first single from her underrated third studio album "My December", "Never Again" received positive reviews from music critics, with many citing it as a darker counterpart to "Since U Been Gone" (Breakaway, 2004) and as one of her best releases. To date, it holds Clarkson's personal record for highest debut on the Hot 100 (#8), where it peaked.


7. Mr. Know It All



The lead single off her fifth album "Stronger", "Mr. Know It All" is notable for becoming Clarkson's ninth top 10 hit in the United States and first #1 in Australia. It is currently Clarkson's second-best debut in the US, entering the Hot 100 at #18.


6. My Life Would Suck Without You



"My Life Would Suck Without You" is Kelly Clarkson's second #1 hit in the US. It was the lead single from her fourth album "All I Ever Wanted". Upon its coronation, it became her second song to break the record for biggest leap to #1 (97-1) in the US (where it stayed for two weeks), which was previously held by Britney Spears's "Womanizer". This is the only song by an American Idol alumnus to hit #1 in the UK.


5. Dark Side



This song is just so good that it had to be included on this list! "Dark Side" is Clarkson's upcoming third single worldwide, due to succeed "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)". The song has garnered critical acclaim for its "spooky music-box melody that cuts in every time the big beat and goth histrionics briefly cut out" and is currently rumored to have a June 2012 release.


4. Since U Been Gone



A major and critical success, "Since U Been Gone" solidified Clarkson's 'break away' from the American Idol public image. It was her second single from her sophomore album, peaking at #2 on the Hot 100 and spending 6 weeks at #1 on the Mainstream Top 40 charts. It has since become one of Clarkson's biggest hits and won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.


3. Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)



"Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" is the second single off of Clarkson's fifth album of the same name and has become Clarkson's biggest hit in the United States. It spent 3 week at #1 on the Hot 100, became her biggest radio hit with 162 million audience impressions, and sold over 3 million digital copies in the US. The song was also a worldwide hit and became Clarkson's first song to chart in territories such as Finland and Brazil.


2. Behind These Hazel Eyes



One of Clarkson's personal favorites from her second album (so much that she once intended to name her second album after it), "Behind These Hazel Eyes" was released as the third single from "Breakaway" to much success. Clarkson wrote both the lyrics and the video treatment for the song herself, and the song peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.


1. Because Of You



A heart-wrenching ballad written by Clarkson when she was only 16, "Because Of You" was the fourth single from "Breakaway". It has since become her best-selling single worldwide (and the best-selling single from any Idol alumnus), having sold well over 7 million copies. It reached #1 in many territories including the Billboard Pop chart and peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was eventually re-recorded with Country music legend Reba McEntire and peaked at #2 on the Country charts.



sources are linked to within the text; happy birthday to my queen!
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