After the multi-platinum breakthrough success of her first two albums, Thankful and Breakaway, Kelly Clarkson was ready to show a different side of herself. She embraced darker themes and heavier rock music on My December, but RCA head Clive Davis was dissatisfied with the results, asking for significant changes to the album. Clarkson refused and My December hit shelves in its original form. Even with the Top 10 single "Never Again," the label put so little enough promo muscle that Clarkson was forced to cancel the accompanying tour.
My December is one of her lowest-selling records, but also one of her most creatively interesting and striking. Sticking to her guns made us respect Kelly even more than we did after her big American Idol win.
With the reveal of her fourth album, All I Ever Wanted, Kelly was the first to point out just how supernaturally amazing she looked on the cover. She posted on her blog:
"We decided the cover of the album and just in case you haven't seen it I'll post it! It's very colorful and they have definitely Photoshopped the crap out of me—but I don't care, haha! Whoever she is, she looks great, ha!
Everyone gets Photoshopped all the time, but Kelly is real enough to blog about it.
In a revealing interview with Blender magazine, Clarkson talked about her trick to figure out how serious a stuffy nose can be. "If you have a cold you have to check," she said, explaining that you've got to scope out the contents of a just-used tissue. Why? "To see how sick you are!" Dr. Clarkson, ready for real talk whenever you are.
Kelly must have been feeling particularly candid with Blender, because she also let her particular shower habits slip, too. The mag wrote: "Kelly Clarkson pees in the shower. ('Anybody who says they don't is lying,' she adds, in her scrubby Texas twang)." The comment prompted debates about bathroom etiquette in the shower everywhere from BuzzFeed and OK! Magazine to Glamour and BabyCenter.com.
Kelly covered women's nutrition and health magazine Self in the summer of 2009, saying: "When people talk about my weight, I'm like, 'You seem to have a problem with it; I don't. I'm fine!' I'm never trying to lose weight—or gain it...I'm just being!" A refreshing take on the matter at a time when more than a quarter of girls admitted to bulimic and anorexic tendencies and symptoms.
Self went on to...Photoshop Kelly Clarkson for the cover shot? Editor-in-chief Lucy Danziger defended the move, saying, "Of course we do retouching...Did we alter her appearance? Only to make her look her personal best." Fortunately Kelly's quotes speak louder than any "enhanced" pics.
In the 2012 presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Kelly Clarkson said she would waver from her usual political party after learning its candidate's views on gay rights and women's rights, telling the U.K.'s Daily Star:
"I can't support Romney’s policies as I have a lot of gay friends and I don't think it’s fair they can’t get married. I'm not a hardcore feminist but we can't be going back to the '50s...I've been reading online about the debates and I'm probably going to vote for Obama again, even though I'm a Republican at heart."
Obama later picked Kelly to perform "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" (a performance she absolutely nailed live) at his second inauguration. Kelly showed that we should vote with our hearts and minds rather than by party lines.
Just a month after getting married to husband Brandon Blackstock, the singer was quickly spilling the details about their sex life and how they were desperate to have a baby together. "We are not announcing anything right now; we're not, no!" she told Jay Leno when asked if she was expecting on The Tonight Show. "Practice makes perfect...We're trying, trying, trying like rabbits!"
Kelly Clarkson: The realest rabbit around.
Forget the sexytime comments: Kelly got even more real chit-chatting about her pregnancy, telling Ellen DeGeneres:
"Oh my god, it is so upsetting when I ask women, 'Oh, were you sick?' and they say, 'No.' I want to hit all of them with my car. I vomit a good dozen times a day, it's bad. I vomited before coming out here and I had a peppermint. I'm not even kidding, it's so bad. It's so gross."
Hilarious, gross, but so real we're sure millions were applauding Kelly's willingness to go there.
Talking to CBS Sunday Morning, Kelly proved that she's moved on from her tough childhood (which included poverty and multiple divorces) when she laughed about it on national TV. Kelly showed the important lesson of shrugging off past struggles instead of holding grudges and bad blood. Watch Kelly get real (and real funny) at the 2:15 mark in the interview above.