Kelly Clarkson won American Idol more than 20 years ago. We can’t believe it either! Photo: knowinsiders.
Kelly Clarkson won American Idol more than 20 years ago. We can’t believe it either! Photo: knowinsiders.

Who is Kelly Clarkson?

Kelly Brianne Clarkson is an American singer, songwriter, actress, author, and television personality. She rose to fame for winning the first season of American Idol in 2002, which earned her a record deal with ‘RCA Records,’ ‘19 Recordings,’ and ‘S Records.’

Her first single, "A Moment Like This," jumped from No. 52 to No. 1 on the Billboard charts, and her second album, Breakaway, earned two Grammy Awards. As reported, Clarkson followed with numerous hit singles, including "Because of You" and "My Life Would Suck Without You." The artist has also published children's books, serves as a coach on The Voice and hosts a daytime talk show.

Kelly Clarkson: Biography

Quick Facts

Also Known As Kelly Brianne Clarkson
Born April 24, 1982 (age 40) • Fort Worth • Texas
Zodiac Sign Taurus
Awards And Honors Emmy Award (2020) • Grammy Award (2005)
Spouse/Ex- Brandon Blackstock
Father Stephen Michael Clarkson
Mother Jeanne Taylor
Siblings Jason Clarkson
Children Remington Alexander Blackstock, River Rose Blackstock
Notable Works “Breakaway” • “Meaning of Life” • “My December” • “Piece by Piece” • “Stronger”
Hometown Fort Worth, Texas

Tough Childhood & Early Life

Kelly Brianne Clarkson was born on April 24, 1982, in Fort Worth, Texas. Clarkson graduated from Burleson High School in 2000, where she sang in the school choir. After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a music career.

When Kelly Clarkson was just 6 years old, her parents ended up getting divorced; not surprisingly, the experience left a mark on the singer. But being the artist that she is, Clarkson opened up about the split in the song "Because of You," which gives listeners insight into Clarkson's feelings on the matter.

According to, after Kelly Clarkson's parents split up, the "Since U Been Gone" singer clearly ended up being closer to her mother. In fact, as Clarkson tells it, she and her father have been estranged for some time. "I've never really been in touch with him," she revealed in an interview with Skavlan in 2017. And while many people feel sad for Clarkson when they hear this, she's honestly not too bothered. "I think if you don't grow up with it, it's hard to miss something you never had." Still, it's a touch sad, even if Clarkson has made peace with it.

That's not to say that Clarkson hasn't done her best to mend any brokenness in her family, though. "I definitely tried a few times in my life, and I did that more for my brother," she continued. "He really is that kid that really wanted everybody to come together." But in the end, Clarkson says it's healthiest to not keep toxic people in your life, no matter who they are — and she's not wrong.

Who Is Kelly Clarkson -  the first 'American Idol' winner: Biography, Personal Life, Career and Net Worth
Mother-daughter bond: The Grammy Award-winning singer's father divorced her mother, Jeanne Ann when Kelly was just six. Photo: Daily Mail.


After completing her graduation in 2000, Kelly Clarkson was determined to pursue her musical dreams. Subsequently, she recorded a demo with the money she saved by doing a number of odd jobs. She was so confident of making it big in the music industry that she declined two recording contracts from ‘Jive Records’ and ‘Interscope Records’ during this time, as reported.

In 2001, she moved to Los Angeles to look for opportunities, and ended up working as an extra in television series, such as 'Sabrina, the Teenage Witch' and 'Dharma & Greg.' She eventually got to work as a vocalist with songwriter Gerry Goffin, and recorded five demo tracks, hoping to land a record deal.

She suffered a major disappointment when most US recording studios rejected her, stating that her voice sounded 'too black.' Finally, after a fire catastrophe, she returned to Texas heartbroken, and started working as a telemarketer and waitress.

Not long after returning home, Kelly Clarkson's friends encouraged her to audition for "American Idol." It was the very first season of the show, and the producers were still playing it by ear as the series progressed. Clarkson eventually made it to the final round and won the entire contest, launching her career in earnest. As an "American Idol" winner, Clarkson was signed to RCA Records by Simon Fuller, the creator of the show. Her debut single, "A Moment Like This," eventually ascended to the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2002, it was the top-selling single in the United States.

When she auditioned for American Idol, Kelly Clarkson was homeless

When Kelly Clarkson first tried out for American Idol, as reported, she legitimately didn't know what she was auditioning for. At the time, Clarkson just knew that whatever the gig was paid, and figured she'd wind up as a backup singer or something. "I didn't go into it thinking this would happen," she revealed in a chat with The Guardian. "I went into it thinking it might pay my electric bill."

Clarkson's circumstances were actually quite dire at the time, too, as she'd run into some pretty bad luck. "My apartment in LA burned down and I had to move home," she continued. "I had no money and I had to sleep in my car for three days." Who would have guessed that based on what a powerhouse performance she gave on the show!

Success Following Fame

She started her music career on September 17, 2002, with the double-A-side singles ‘Before Your Love’ and ‘A Moment Like This.’ The former became the best-selling single of 2002 and both singles jumped a record 52 positions to top the 'Billboard Hot 100' chart.

On April 15, 2003, she released her debut album ‘Thankful’ which received positive reviews from critics. The album debuted at number one spot on the 'US Billboard 200,' while its lead single ‘Miss Independent,’ was a top ten hit in the US.

With her second album 'Breakaway,' which was released on November 30, 2004, she decided to break away from her 'American Idol' image and adopted a rock music style. The album surpassed the commercial success of her debut album and also earned her two 'Grammy Awards.'

Who Is Kelly Clarkson -  the first 'American Idol' winner: Biography, Personal Life, Career and Net Worth
Photo: AP/ Lucy Nicholson.

On June 22, 2007, she released her third studio album 'My December' in which she once again experimented with darker themes and a heavier rock sound. However, it caused a dispute with her producer and music mogul, Clive Davis, who wanted her to record songs with more universal appeal. While the album received positive reviews, its sale numbers suffered for lack of promotion.

Clarkson, who had started co-writing her songs from her third album, continued to do so in her next album 'All I Ever Wanted' which was released on March 10, 2009. For this album, she denounced the darker themes and collaborated with a number of popular artists, which helped it debut at number one on the 'Billboard 200.'

Following the success of her country duet 'Don't You Wanna Stay' with Jason Aldean in 2010, she decided to adopt country music for her fifth studio album, 'Stronger.' The album, which released on October 21, 2011, was a critical and commercial success and earned her another 'Grammy Award.'

She received critical acclaim for her live performance of 'My Country, 'Tis of Thee' at the second inauguration of the U.S. President Barack Obama in January 2013. Her next album 'Wrapped in Red' was a Christmas record which released on October 25, 2013, and contained five original songs that she co-wrote.

Her seventh studio album 'Piece by Piece' tells a single story of heartbreak through its songs. Released on February 27, 2015, it became her third album to debut at number one on the 'Billboard 200' chart. She released the songs ‘Love So Soft’ and ‘Move You’ in 2017.

In the animated movie ‘The star,’ which is based on the birth of Jesus, she lent her voice alongside Oprah Winfrey, Steven Yeun, and Tyler Perry. She also appeared as a coach in the show ‘The Voice.’ Kelly released the song ‘Broken and Beautiful’ which is the lead single from the ‘Uglydolls: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack’ on March 27, 2019.

Kelly Clarkson: Personal Life

Kelly Clarkson married Brandon Blackstock, the son of her manager Narvel Blackstock, on October 20, 2013, at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. The couple welcomed a daughter in June 2014 and a son in April 2016.

Who Is Kelly Clarkson -  the first 'American Idol' winner: Biography, Personal Life, Career and Net Worth
Kelly began dating Blackstock in February 2012 and the couple married the following year in October 2013 (pictured at the Broadway musical Finding Neverland in New York in July 2015). Photo: Daily Mail.

A Messy Split

The American Idol alum filed for divorce from Blackstock in June 2020 after nearly seven years of marriage. "They clashed on so many levels, and being in quarantine together heightened their problems to the point of no return," an insider revealed at the time, as reported.

Us Weekly confirmed in November 2020 that she was granted primary custody of their two children. The talent manager’s father Narvel Blackstock’s company also sued Clarkson in September 2020, claiming that she owed them $1.4 million in unpaid commissions. She countersued, accusing the management company of violating California Labor Code.

“She could no longer trust Brandon, and she felt that Brandon was just using her for her money and lifestyle,” a source told Us in August 2021 of the issues that led to their split. “She had tremendous resentment toward him. She just wasn’t willing to look the other way anymore.”

Single Again

Us confirmed in September 2021 that Clarkson was declared legally single. However, she and Blackstock continued to hash out the details of their divorce. She attempted to have him evicted from their Montana ranch but ultimately gave him a 5.12 percent share of the property in January 2022. Amid the drama, she dropped her ninth album, When Christmas Comes Around, in October 2021.

Leading up to a trial over their property, a source told Us that Clarkson would “not even entertain the idea of settling with Brandon,” adding that he would “not get one penny from her that isn’t ordered by the judge.”

When Kelly Clarkson was super thin, she was majorly depressed

While Kelly Clarkson has always been beautiful, inside and out, fans of hers can tell you that in her early days of fame, she was quite slender. But what you might not have known was that at that time, Clarkson wasn't doing well at all. "When I was really skinny, I wanted to kill myself," she confessed in an interview with Attitude. "I was miserable, like inside and out, for four years of my life." Unfortunately, because Clarkson was considered attractive, no one knew she was suffering.

Staying so thin had some pretty negative impacts on Clarkson's body, too. "I like wrecked my knees and my feet because all I would do is put in headphones and run," she continued. "I was at the gym all the time."

To be clear, Clarkson wasn't miserable because she had to be skinny — quite the opposite, in fact. "I said I was miserable [and] as a result I became thin," she tweeted after her Attitude interview was published.

During her pregnancy, Kelly Clarkson was extremely sick

Who Is Kelly Clarkson -  the first 'American Idol' winner: Biography, Personal Life, Career and Net Worth
Kelly Clarkson and her kids Remington and RiverWeiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal

On June 12, 2014, Kelly Clarkson gave birth to her first child with Brandon Blackstock, River Rose Blackstock, which Clarkson jubilantly announced in a tweet. Naturally, the new parents were ecstatic about their bundle of joy. However, what fans only learned later was that Clarkson had severe sickness when she was pregnant with her daughter. "I got really sick to where I was losing weight at first," she confessed in an interview with CBS News. "And then I got scared, you know, because I couldn't stop getting sick, non-stop." Clarkson even had to be hospitalized at one point, as she was vomiting so much.

However, for as rough as Clarkson's first pregnancy was, any discomfort and pain faded once her beautiful daughter arrived. "I'd go through it all again," she continued. "I had the perfect baby."

Indeed Clarkson did go through the gauntlet again, as she gave birth to her son, Remington Alexander Blackstock, two years later on April 12, 2016. "He is healthy [and] we couldn't be happier or more in love," she gushed in another tweet.

Kelly Clarkson Net Worth: How much is she worth?

What is Kelly Clarkson's net worth?

Kelly Clarkson is an American singer, songwriter and reality TV star who has a net worth of $45 million. Kelly Clarkson is best known for her music career, which was launched thanks to her appearance on the reality TV show "American Idol." Clarkson's impressive net worth is a result of a series of intelligent financial moves in addition to her success in the entertainment world. She also became a successful writer, most notably in the genre of children's books, as reported.

Real Estate

According to, in June 2018, Kelly bought an $8.5 million 10,000-square-foot mansion in Encino, California. That was her family's primary residence. She had previously been renting an LA home that had been burglarized a number of times. Kelly listed the Encino home for sale in May 2020 for a tad under $10 million. The price was reduced to $9 million and then finally $8.24 million when it finally sold in September 2021.

Around the same time as the 2018 Encino purchase, Kelly listed her Tennessee home for $8.75 million. She paid $3 million for the 20,000-square-foot Henderson, Tennessee house in 2012. This property is located on a lake and has 7 bedrooms and 4 acres of property. In 2020, they lowered the price to $7.5 million. In June 2020 they finally sold this home for $6.3 million.

In Montana, she owns a remote 275-acre ranch that features a rustic log cabin that was purchased in 2015 for $2 million. This is the ranch that today is worth a reported $17 million according to the couple's own legal filings. In June 2020 Kelly – on her own now – paid $5.5 million for a new mansion in Los Angeles.

Who Is Kelly Clarkson -  the first 'American Idol' winner: Biography, Personal Life, Career and Net Worth
Photo: Cut from the clip of

Kelly Clarkson Salary from The Voice

Kelly's salary for being a judge on "The Voice" is $560,000 per episode. That works out to around $14 million per season. In previous seasons, her total salary from "The Voice" was $13 million. In total, between 2012, 2017, 2018, and 2019, Kelly has earned $53 million working on "The Voice" alone, before taxes. Combined with her music earnings, Kelly has earned just around $100 million during her entire career to date.

Net Worth Milestones

Kelly was first added to CelebrityNetWorth in November 2009 with a net worth of $5 million. Her net worth topped $10 million for the first time in 2012. By 2012, thanks largely to earnings from The Voice, her net worth was boosted to $18 million. By 2017 her net worth had grown to $30 million. In 2020 her net worth topped $45 million for the first time. For what it's worth, Justin Guarini's net worth as of 2020 was $700,000.

This is all about Kelly Clarkson’s net worth, bio, personal life and career that we summed up from various sources. We hope this information will provide clear concepts about her.


Why is Kelly Clarkson not on 'The Voice' in 2022?

'The Voice' has not been renewed for season 22 in 2022 yet, meaning that it is also yet to be confirmed if Clarkson will return as a coach.

Why did Kelly Clarkson get divorced?

Kelly Clarkson filed for divorce in June 2020 citing "irreconcilable differences" in her marriage with Brandon Blackstock. The proceedings were finalized a little over a year later in 2021.

When did Kelly Clarkson win 'American Idol'?

Kelly Clarkson won the first season of 'American Idol' on Sept. 4, 2002. Before then, Kelly was working as a cocktail waitress in Texas.

How many kids does Kelly Clarkson have?

Kelly Clarkson has two kids. River Rose Blackstock was born in 2014 and Remington Alexander Blackstock was born in 2016.

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