Though Clarkson once told PEOPLE "it would be unfair" to date because of her hectic schedule, she falls for Graham Colton, the leader of the opening act for her Thankful promotional tour. But, the relationship ends six months later. "I'm not sad, really, because our relationship made me believe in love again," she tells the German magazine Bravo.
At the Grammy Awards, Clarkson walks away with two statues – for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album. Clarkson is the first Idol to win music's most prestigious award. The night holds one other shining moment for Clarkson: She meets Madonna. "I love you, but you're Madonna," Clarkson gushes. "You probably don't do hugs." She does.
By the end of April, Clarkson's Breakaway has been on Billboard's Top 20 chart for 61 consecutive weeks, a
distinction shared in the last quarter century only by
Celine Dion and Shania Twain.
Clarkson's third national tour, Addicted, begins with a performance in West Palm Beach. "This definitely is going to be the biggest show she's ever done, in terms of audience and production," her manager Jeff Rabhan tells the AP. "And Kelly's going to do what she does best, which is knock the vocals out of the park."
NASCAR names Clarkson their spokesperson. Reports also attach the Grammy winner to racecar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., but she shoots down the rumors. "We met last year at California Speedway for literally 2.2 seconds, and we ran into each other at Daytona. I said, 'Hey, boyfriend, what's going on?' He hadn't heard of it," Clarkson tells Sports Illustrated.
Despite push back from RCA, Clarkson debuts her harder, angrier rock single "Never Again," telling MTV News, "My label literally sent me a Lindsay Lohan track from her last album and wanted me to record it for my new album." The single, which peaks at No. 8 on Billboard, kicks off her upcoming album, My December.
The music industry has been buzzing about turmoil between Clarkson and RCA chief Clive Davis, who reportedly voiced concerns that My December didn't have a guaranteed radio hit. Her manager, Jeff Kwatinetz, defends the album, but just weeks before the album's release, Clarkson parts ways with him.
With her upcoming single, "My Life Would Suck Without You," Clarkson dons a glossy new look for her much-lighter sound. Her fourth album (due out on March 17) is reportedly titled Masquerade. An RCA exec says Clarkson is "in a period where she wants to take on the pop world again."
Nine years after being crowned the first American Idol, Clarkson releases her fifth album, Stronger. "It's got some urban influences, some pop rock, a little country," the 29-year-old singer tells Rolling Stone. But the real highlight is the singer's newfound confidence. "I'm trying to hone in on my inner Tina Turner," she tells the music magazine. "I wish I could hone in on her freaking legs – that would be even better."
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