Things You Might Not Know About Kelly ClarksonPublished on March 31, 2017. Updated April 14, 2020
Kelly Clarkson is one of the most famous winners of American Idols. Since winning the show back in 2002, she’s gone on to have a really successful career as a singer and songwriter, selling over 70 million records worldwide and scoring 100 number one hits on the Billboard charts. Even though she’s been famous for about half her life, there’s still a lot that fans don’t know about the Grammy-winning, so here are 11 things you didn’t know about Kelly Clarkson:
11. Getting Into Music
Clarkson’s talent was discovered in middle school when the choir teacher heard her singing in a hallway and asked her to audition for the school choir. Clarkson had never received any professional training, but she began performing in musicals, including Annie Get Your Gun, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Brigadoon. She also began receiving classical training in the hopes that it would help her land a college scholarship – which it did. She was offered full scholarships to The University of Texas at Austin, University of North Texas, and Berklee College of Music, but later declined them because she wanted to pursue a music career.
10. Before American Idol
Before she won American Idol, she was offered two record contracts, one with Jive Records and the other with Interscope, but she turned them both down. “They were like, ‘You have to lose 20 pounds and basically sign your life away’ – and I was small then, by the way. I don’t want to start a relationship with somebody who says something like that. And this is my gift, and they wanted to take all the profit from me working my butt off. Why would I?” she told Good Housekeeping.
9. Family and Upbringing
Kelly Brianne Clarkson was born on April 24, 1982, in Fort Worth, Texas, to Jeanne, a first grade teacher, and Stephen Michael Clarkson, an engineer. She has two older siblings, a brother Jason and a sister Alyssa. Her parents divorced when she was six years old and she continued to live with her mother while her brother moved in with her father and her sister went to live with an aunt. Her father remarried and she has two younger half brothers from his second marriage. She and her siblings were raised as Southern Baptists. “I always grew up in church. I was the leader of our youth group. I’ve always grown up pretty close to church and with God. But I think I’ve just gotten a lot closer just because He’s the only one I can lean on,” she said.
8. Why She Auditioned for American Idol
When she auditioned for American Idol, she did it for the money. “My goal was just to be a backup singer – I never intended to be in front. But then my apartment in LA burned down and I had to move home, I had no money and I had to sleep in my car for three days. I just auditioned for this thing that said they’d pay you, and it happened to be American Idol. I didn’t go into it thinking this would happen; I went into it thinking it might pay my electric bill,” she told The Guardian.
7. Clive Davis Feud
Kelly and Clive Davis’ feud began back when she was recording her album My December. As the head of Sony, he wasn’t happy with the album and called it too dark. He wanted her to make significant changes to it or scrap the album and start again, but she refused to change any of her material. While the controversy seemed to disappear for a while, it was reignited again when Kelly canceled her tour for the album and fired her manager, Jeff Kwatinetz. According to the singer, disappointing ticket sales were a factor in her canceling her tour. She also claimed that Davis offered her $10 million to remove five songs from her album in favor of five more radio-friendly songs of his choosing, but she refused that offer. Although the two seemed to make peace, they were back at it again in 2013 when Davis released The Soundtrack of My Life and proceeded to detail his professional disagreements with the star. Once again, Kelly stood up for herself, accusing him of getting the details wrong and of bullying her.
6. Husband and Family
Back in 2009, the “Since U Been Gone” singer claimed that she had no desire to have children and that she didn’t think she’d be a good mother. That all changed in 2013 when she married Brandon Blackstock, the son of her manager Narvel Blackstock, who at the time was married to Reba McEntire. The couple welcomed their first child, River Rose, in June 2014, and their second child, Remington Alexander, in April 2016. She also has two stepchildren from Brandon’s first marriage. The couple met back in 2006, but only began dating in 2011 when he and his first wife, Melissa Ashworth, separated.
5. Jane Austin Super Fan
The “Stronger” singer is a huge Jane Austin fan. Her favorite book is Persuasion, but her favorite Jane Austin character is Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. She’s an even bigger fan of the character, Jane Eyre. “She’s thrown every hurdle known to man – she was never shown love, she was thrown into that orphanage, she was fighting just to exist, and then she ends up falling in love with this tortured guy. And I love that she never caved or succumbed to a dark side. When you’re thrown into the worst parts of your life, that’s what really shows your character,” she told Rolling Stone.
4. Getting Card Line
Clarkson teamed up with American Greetings to design and create her own line of greeting cards that are sold at Walmart. According to the songstress, the cards are funny. “Even if you’re sad or it’s a birthday card or a sweet one for your mom, it can still be funny. My sense of humor is a little crass. I’m a little white-trash and a little class,” she said.
3. Marijuana Legalization
The “Breakaway” singer doesn’t smoke pot, but she thinks it should be legal. “I just think it’s funny that we legalize something as destructive as alcohol or pills and not that,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong, I love me some alcohol, but I don’t know anybody in rehab because of pot. And I know a ton of people that have died either from liver cancer or behind the wheel. We legalize things that are so disturbing for our bodies, but one that’s completely fine, we say, “No, that’s bad for you.” I’m like, “Okay, enjoy your scotch. Enjoy your Xanax.”
2. Getting Fixed
After having two really difficult pregnancies, the American Idol winner decided that she was done having kids, so she had her tubes tied and had her husband get a vasectomy. “I was literally pregnant with Remi, and I was like, ‘You are getting fixed. This will never happen to me again,’” she said on The Jenny McCarthy Show. “If something happens, it’s a miracle of God. I literally told my OBGYN on the table while open, ‘If I get pregnant again, I will find you!’”
1. Growing Up Fast
After her parents’ divorce, the “Behind These Hazel Eyes” singer’s family was broke. She had to grow up fast and learn the value of hard work and self-reliance quickly. “We were living from last paycheck to last paycheck,” she told Elle. She had to work multiple jobs, at a movie theatre concession stand, as a phone solicitor, and as a waitress. “I had a really big issue with self-consciousness when I was young. I was highly emotional. I worried so much. For most of my childhood I was walking on eggshells trying to make everybody happy,” she said.