Artists of 2012: Kelly Clarkson Celebrates Decade in Music, Gets Engaged

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It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since Kelly Clarkson stepped onto the American Idol stage and won all of our hearts with her southern hospitality and booming voice.

A decade after her big win, Kelly solidified herself as the Ultimate Idol when she outsold fellow AI winner, Carrie Underwood and earned herself the title of best-selling single from an American Idol contestant. Her hit song “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” has sold over 3.5 million copies since it’s 2011 release, edging her past Underwood 2006 hit, “Before He Cheats.”

The hit song isn’t just a big seller, but also earned Kelly four GRAMMY nominations including Record Of The Year and is featured on her recently released greatest hits album.

The compilation record, Greatest Hits- Chapter One, takes a look back at some of her biggest singles like “Since U Been Gone” and features two new songs including “Catch My Breath” that talks about the pressures of fame.

In the video, the singer, who turned 30 this year, also shows off a glammed out look and her newly dyed blond hair.

But it’s not just Kelly’s music that makes her so popular, it’s her ability to empower her fans by saying exactly what’s on her mind.

In Lucky Magazine, Kelly spoke out about the pressures to be stick-thin in the music world and why you don’t have to be a size 2 to be accepted.

“The hardest thing about being in this business is just being able to be yourself,” Clarkson said. “People act like there’s this one set of rules to follow to be a pop star and I think, ‘Well, you say I’m a pop star, so maybe that’s not true.’”

Kelly also fought back against the UK newspaper, The Mirror, who printed made-up quotes. The paper claimed Kelly admitted she struggled with anorexia and said “No one should be as famous as me.”

“I said in the interview, when asked about fame, that I have no desire to be as famous as Britney or Madonna,” Kelly clarified on Twitter. “I said that kind of fame was too much for any person and that I have experienced a portion of what they deal with and that I didn’t handle that well and I’m happy where I’m at in my career.”

She ended by writing, “I love when people take what you say and twist it to make you sound obnoxious and arrogant…Nice job Mirror!”

In addition to touring behind her 2011 album, Stronger, Kelly spent part of the year helping fellow up and coming musicians on the show Duets. Though she has no plans to become a reality show judge, she enjoyed her time as a mentor.

“A lot of times in this industry people are always trying to climb a ladder. I don’t need to climb a ladder,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “I love that I could help someone accomplish a dream. I think what I got out of that experience is I love being involved in that.”

If all this professional success wasn’t enough, earlier this month Kelly got engaged to her boyfriend, Brandon Blackstock.

Kelly’s a lucky lady (just look at that rock!) and if we didn’t love her so much, we might hate her.

What are we saying, we could never hate Kelly!

Here’s to another decade of hits.

- Shannon Carlin, CBS Local

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