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.
A Duet With Jason Aldean
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.
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.
Do You Feel the Love in the Air?
Things were going great for Kelly professionally, but what about the romantic front of her life? Well, romance had its turn too. Kelly began dating talent manager Brandon Blackstock in 2012. The couple grew deeper and more quickly in love, and a year later, in October 2013, they exchanged wedding vows in Walland, Tennessee.
Brandon became her manager, and she became stepmom to his two children from his previous marriage to Melissa Ashworth. Kelly legally adopted the kids — Savannah and Seth. “Wrapped in Red,” her first Christmas album, was released the same month as her wedding. Sounds like a busy month!
She Pivots to "The Voice"
Clarkson had her start as a contestant in a TV show, but that doesn't mean she was bound or chained to "American Idol" and she dipped her toes in the water of other reality TV franchises. In 2012, Kelly made appearances in and performed in the rival singing contest "The Voice."
She had previously appeared on season 2 of the show as a contestant adviser and mentor for coach Blake Shelton's team. Kelly appeared in four episodes of the series. The appearance was part of a hugely successful "Stronger" tour to promote her fifth album. Fans and even Kelly had no idea then, but she would be back on the show in a big way.