Kelly Clarkson trained herself well, but her singing career hit a dead-end in 2001. That was until she walked into an American Idol audition and found herself the winner of the hit contest in 2002. Kelly isn’t just the first Idol winner, she is also the most successful. Her first two albums went multi-platinum, selling over 10.5 million copies in the U.S. Alone. This success required a lot of hard work to develop her singing over the years before she finally reached star status.
She embarked on her vocal career in seventh grade. Her middle school choir teacher, Cynthia Glenn, overheard Kelly singing between classes. While Glenn was positive that Kelly must have had vocal training in the past, she was wrong. Kelly had been using music to escape problems at home and spending long hours practicing alone. Kelly accepted the invitation into the school choir and began developing her voice further with the first singing instruction in her life.
In high school Kelly began performing in musicals, such as Brigadoon and Annie Get Your Gun. The audience went wild over her performances, often telling her after each show that she had to go professional. Instead of allowing the praise to go to her head, Kelly recognized that in order to do so she would need more training than she was getting in high school choir and drama.
She began taking classical voice lessons in her later high school years. While her initial goal with voice lessons was to earn a music scholarship, she later decided she would rather remain on the stage than in a classroom. She continued her classical training and began writing her own music up until the time she graduated. At this point, with two music scholarships to choose from, Kelly decided to walk away from college and follow her dreams of performing. It was a chance that would pay off, but only after some initial failures.
Like many aspiring stars, Kelly Clarkson moved to Los Angeles. She soon landed a job as a female demo singer with acclaimed songwriter Gerry Goffin. This job didn’t last long and Kelly found herself on her way back home to Texas, almost ready to give up on her dreams. Fortunately, Kelly hadn’t just improved her vocal and songwriting skills, she had also learned to never walk away from opportunity. Shortly after her return from LA she auditioned for American Idol. Her hard work, dedication to improving her singing skills, and perseverance paid off.