No doubt, things were looking up for the instantly-famous Clarkson, but that is not to say she could just rest on her laurels. There was more work to be done. Kelly Clarkson had two hit singles within a year of winning “American Idol.” But there was no rest for the wicked. In 2003, she began working on her next album.
That same year, Kelly’s song “Miss Independent” received three MTV Video Music Awards nominations for best new artist, best pop video, and the coveted Viewer’s Choice Award. But, despite her seemingly stellar debut in the industry, things were far from peachy.
If you are scratching your head right now, trying to think if the existence of "From Justin to Kelly" was new information for you, you are not alone. Let's just say the movie didn't exactly become a cult classic. Kelly, like many others, was not a fan of "From Justin to Kelly." "It was never something I wanted to do," she later admitted to Radio.com.
However, the star revealed it was a contractual obligation, and they could have sued her for not doing it. Although "From Justin to Kelly" was a box office flop, it was a watershed moment in Kelly's career. She proved she was unafraid to take risks, even though her film was universally-panned.
Dizzying Success and Stardom
The film's flop didn't really put a dent in the young Clarkson's rise to success. She was launched into mega-stardom faster than you can say "Simon Cowell". Kelly's career began to take off at an incredible pace. She released her debut studio album, "Thankful," in 2003.
The album included some of her most iconic Idol performances — "Before Your Love" and "A Moment Like This." But the spotlight was on her hit single "Miss Inependendent," which soared to No. 1 on the Hot 100 singles chart. She also attended her first Grammy Week event in New York City in February 2003.
The Entertainment Industry Was Hostile
While "American Idol" is now taken seriously as a star-maker, things weren't like that when the show first started, which affected the way people saw Clarkson. Her sensational success on "American Idol" proved to be her undoing initially. The entertainment industry did not give her a warm welcome due to her involvement with the show.
Instead, she experienced cutting condescension and hostility for being from a talent show with a one-season run. She described the experience as "horrible," with everyone being rude to her at award ceremonies and on the red carpet. Kelly essentially spent the first few years apologizing for winning a talent show but would soon prove her detractors wrong.
For an artist who was incredibly new to the scene, Kelly had already built up an impressive resume. Then, on September 28, 2003, she crossed another milestone as a guest star on the musical drama series "American Dreams." It seems like "From Justin to Kelly" did not deter her from giving musicals another chance, and it's a good thing it didn't.
Kelly appeared in one episode as Brenda Lee, her character inspired by the real-life 1960s vocalist. Kelly, as Brenda, was almost unrecognizable in a brunette bouffant. She reprised her role the following year in the episode "Tidings of Comfort and Joy."