While Kelly Clarkson was known for her singles in the pop and rock genre, country music was never off the table for her. Kelly and Jason Aldean performed a duet of Aldean’s song “Don’t You Wanna Stay” at the 2010 Annual Country Music Association Awards.
The performance received so many rave reviews that the artists recorded a studio version of the song, which fared even better – no surprises there! It received several nominations and won the Academy of Country Music Awards for Best Vocal Event of the Year in 2011. The duo also performed the hit song at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards.
Dark Clouds Over Her Third Studio Album
Kelly opted for an edgier musical direction on her next album, "My December," which was released in June 2007. The artist took more creative control this time around — producing and co-writing the songs, some of her darkest ones to date.
RCA was unhappy with how it turned out and limited album promotion. Two years later, Kelly rediscovered her old sound for her fourth studio album, "All I Ever Wanted." The single "My Life Would Suck Without You" had a unique love-song-meets-anthem vibe, becoming an instant hit. "All I Ever Wanted" received a nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album at the Grammys.
A Challenging Year
2007 proved to be the most challenging year in Kelly Clarkson's career. Tensions had been rife between her and her manager, Clive Davis, who tried to steer her away from the darker direction she took while working on her album. She ended up firing him and canceled her album tour for "My December" that year.
Although the album eventually had a late release in June and performed reasonably well, the bad blood between her and Davis had cost the project. The singer later expressed regret at how things went down between them, saying things had been blown out of proportion.
Stronger Than Ever
Kelly released her fifth studio album, "Stronger," in October 2011. The album release was delayed several times due to logistics and leaked demos. But the wait was worth it! "Stronger" drew on Kelly’s country roots, receiving massive love from fans and critics.
This empowering anthem is still being sung and listened to by anyone who needs a little courage on rough days. She was already a mega-successful star by then. Kelly has sold over 10.7 million albums in the United States. Her album sales were second only to Carrie Underwood (12.4 million in sales) from among the "American Idol" franchise.
Kelly Sings at the Super Bowl 2012
Singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl is a nerve-wracking task that can make or break careers. But Kelly Clarkson pulled it off flawlessly at the Super Bowl XIVI in 2012. To be fair, no one doubted that she had the vocals to successfully carry her through that experience.
Kelly's delivery was so spot on that it only elevated her reputation as one of the most powerful vocalists this generation had seen. Backed by a choir of children, the pop legend and O.G. American Idol winner gave a superior, lyrically-correct rendition of the song that won't be forgotten for decades.