Born in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 24, 1982, Kelly Clarkson’s parents, Jeanne Ann Rose and Stephen Michael Clarkson, got divorced when she was just six years old, and Kelly has since had an estranged relationship with her father.
She ended up staying with her mother while her brother, Jason, moved in with their father. Her sister, Alyssa, went to live at their aunt’s. Kelly later shared that she tried to make things right with her father but felt incredibly “let down.” Years later, the multiple-award-winning star sang a song about her rough childhood in her gut-wrenching hit song “Because of You.”
Marine Biologist Dreams, Quashed!
You would think that someone of Clarckson's status would have had her sight set on music from infancy, but that's not the case here. Long before realizing her love for music, Kelly had decidedly different ambitions for the future. She dreamed of becoming a marine biologist, but a defining event derailed her dreams before they could even take shape.
Kelly did not almost drown or have close encounters in the sea. Instead, she made the grave error of watching the classic film, "Jaws." As a result, young Kelly was deeply traumatized and resolved never to find work that had anything to do with the ocean!
She Turned Down Three Scholarships
Going to college, for many young Americans, comes with a hefty price tag. However, Clarkson could have avoided that price tag had she chosen to get higher education. You see, Kelly had no less than three full college scholarships waiting for her after graduating high school. The world was her oyster, but she decided to turn down all scholarships.
Kelly was serious about becoming a singer and chose to seize that opportunity instead. Her loved ones did not understand the unusual decision, but Kelly would take the road less traveled. However, even the best-laid plans fall apart, as the aspiring singer would soon discover.
She Worked Several Odd Jobs
In 2001, she relocated to Los Angeles, the capital of the entertainment industry, to find her big break in music. However, it's not like people could magically know about her talent right away, so Kelly had to keep working once she arrived in L.A. to survive. The aspiring singer took on many side hustles, and working in the fast-food industry was one of them.
Kelly worked as a cocktail waitress at a comedy club. She also found jobs at Subway and Papa John's. Having experienced the hardships first-hand, Kelly has always related to the daily struggles that servers and others in the hospitality industry go through.
The Initial Disappointment That Was Los Angeles
Things did not go as planned in L.A., and she returned to Burleson, Texas, working several odd jobs to pay the bills. However, the aspiring star saw it as a temporary setback. She didn't give up and continued working on her dream. A year later, Kelly was back in Los Angeles, where she successfully auditioned for the first season of a singing competition called "American Idol."
Kelly sang Aretha Franklin's "Respect" for her audition and nailed it. It was an audition to be remembered — one for the history books of the successful reality show. She even managed to impress a normally-surly Simon Cowell.