Since winning the first "American Idol" competition in 2002, Kelly Clarkson has sold 15 million albums worldwide, and won two Grammy Awards. Her third album was recently released following a much-publicized feud with music mogul Clive Davis. VOA's Mary Morningstar has more on Kelly Clarkson's new CD, "My December."
"Never Again" is one of 13 tracks Kelly Clarkson wrote or co-wrote for her new album, My December. Some critics feel that the collection has a brooding tone with too many angry lyrics. Kelly, however, says the songs are a personal look at what she's gone through emotionally during the past two years.
"It's a different album, much like Thankful' [her first album] is different from Breakaway [her second]. My December is different from those two as well," she said. "But, you'll always get something that's real. It's just a different chapter in my life. It's got a lot of ups and downs. This one's definitely an emotional roller coaster of an album."
Kelly has written 60 songs that cover a variety of musical styles. Some will be included on her next album that she says will have Country, acoustic rock and blues influences. Kelly tells us how she chose the 13 songs for My December.
"I write a lot of different styles, and we kind of just chose this kind of style to go with," she said. "These kinds of songs fit together and tell a story. I've never had an album that's cohesive and tells a story from beginning to end. So, this is a first time for me. It's fun."
Prior to the release of My December, Kelly made headlines for the difference of opinion she had with BMG Music Group Chairman Clive Davis over the musical direction of her album. She claims the reports of dissension were "overblown," but Kelly has posted a letter on her website apologizing to Clive for comments she made to the press. Kelly also cancelled her U.S. summer tour and fired her manager, who was replaced with Reba McEntire's husband, Narvel Blackstock, who manages Starstruck Management.
First week sales of My December were strong, allowing it to debut at Number 2 on the Billboard 200. But, unlike the multi-million-selling success of her first two releases, the album's first month sales total only 500,000 copies. Kelly still feels she made the right decision to take control over the making of the album.
"Honestly, I've had some people pass in my life recently, and I guess it just kind of puts things in perspective. You're just like, 'Man, life is way too short to be a robot.' So, you might as well do the things you really want to do and accomplish things you really want to accomplish," she said. "It might not be the most popular decision, but it's the one you're kind of hanging with right now."
Kelly's new single is called "Sober," which she's quick to point out is a metaphor. She explains that the song deals with surviving any of life's challenges.
"The song is about … I think everybody has some kind of addiction, whatever it might be in your life that you can get over," she said. "And it's not hard to say 'I can get over it.' It's hard to stay the course so that's what this song's about."