Since bursting onto the music scene 10 years ago, Kelly Clarkson has released 4 studio albums (Thankful, Breakaway, My December, All I Ever Wanted), sold over 20 million albums worldwide, 10 million albums in the US and has had 7 singles in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. She is the recipient of 2 Grammy Awards, 2 American Music Awards, 2 MTV Awards and 11 Billboard Awards. Clarkson’s last effort, 2009’s All I Ever Wanted debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and produced the smash singles “My Life Would Suck Without You” and “Already Gone.”
Kelly Clarkson has this to say about the first single, “Mr. Know It All” was the last song that we got for the album, and we’d already kind of finished the album. And it came about through—my manager called me and my A&R guy Jeff Aldrich, too, had gotten this song, and they said, “Oh, they’d really love her to sing it.” I was like, “Oh man we’re done with the album, come on…” And they sent me the song and then I said, “Ok cool, I’ll listen, it might be great, you never know.” And it was. I love the song. It’s super sassy; it’s different from everything else that is on the radio. It’s different from what I’ve done, or released especially as a first single, so um… It’s a real sassy and fun song and I love the point of, like, people think they know you but they don’t ‘cause there’s many different sides to people, so it’s ignorant to think you know someone completely, so um… I love that mentality.
Clarkson co-wrote five tracks on Stronger, a process she feels is therapeutic. Her favorite song on the album is “You Love Me,” which she says she wrote following an incident that she thought would break her. “It was probably the most hurt I’ve ever been in my life,” she admits. “But by writing about it, I got to work through it and get it out of my system.” The remainder of the songs were written by a host of A-list songsmiths, including Rodney Jerkins, Ester Dean, Bonnie McKee, and Toby Gad, whom Clarkson says really took the time to get to know her style. She also credits her producers, Jerkins, Kurstin, Abraham, and Gad among them, for what she says is the biggest difference between Stronger and her previous albums.
“What separates this album are the vocals,” she says. “They sound richer and fuller, and, for the first time, how I sound when I’m performing live. The producers I worked with just let me sing and be me. They didn’t strip away the personality. And it was one of those things where if the people I’m working with have confidence in me, I have more confidence in myself and that changed everything. I can’t wait to perform these songs on tour. I think that’s the best way to get to know an artist, and where you get to see actual personality, because we can’t hide much onstage.”
And how does she think her fans around going to react to Stronger? “I have an indication that they know they’re going to love it,” she says. “I ran into a fan the other day in Target. It was a mom and her daughter and they were just like, ‘Oh my God, we don’t even care what you put out if you could just put something out.’ It’s funny, they didn’t even care what it was. I love that people still get excited about new music.”
STRONGER available in music stores nationwide starting November 2011, only from Ivory Music & Video, the official licensee of Sony Music in the Philippines.