Born April 24, 1982 in Forth Worth, Texas, Kelly Clarkson's talent originally emerged at high school when her starring performances in various musical shows inspired her to study music. She won the very first season of American Idol in 2002, finishing with an emotive performance of the big ballad "A Moment Like This" – written especially for the competition winner – which sold over 236,000 copies in its first week of release, going to number one in the US and Canada. She followed it with an equally successful debut album, Thankful (2003), a movie, From Justin to Kelly, and became an international star, gradually moving from ballads to a rockier approach on second album Breakaway (2004), writing the title track with Avril Lavigne. She went on to sell over 20 million albums around the world and topped the UK charts in 2009 with "My Life Would Suck Without You." Her first number one on Billboard's Hot Country Songs came with the duet with Jason Aldean, "Don't You Wanna Stay." Her fifth studio album, Stronger, came soon after, and debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. It won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album and was certified platinum. The title single earned her the top position on no fewer than 16 Billboard charts and was nominated for three Grammys. A Greatest Hits album followed to mark her first ten years in the industry, with three brand new songs including a duet with Vince Gill. After performing "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2013, she released her sixth album Wrapped in Red, a festive record featuring eleven covers and five originals. This was quickly followed by Piece By Piece, her final record under her contract with RCA. "Heartbeat Song" was the first single to be released from Piece By Piece, earning her a top ten in the UK. Turning to other talents, in 2016 Clarkson announced the release of her first novel, a children's book titled Rive Rose and the Magical Lullaby. In the same year, she contributed her vocals to First Lady Michelle Obama's awareness song "This Is for My Girls," promoting her education initiative Let Girls Learn. 2017 saw her sign up to be a judge on the talent show The Voice, as well as announce her eighth album, Meaning of Life. In October 2021, Kelly Clarkson unwrapped her ninth studio album, When Christmas Comes Around..., her second full-length festive release, which featured cover versions of Christmas songs, as well as original tracks and duets co-written with Chris Stapleton, Ariana Grande, and Brett Eldredge. Preceded by the singles "Mine," "Me," and "Favorite Kind of High," her tenth studio effort Chemistry came out in 2023 and served as a concept album that documented a romantic relationship from beginning to end.