Yes To Hollywood: Kelly Clarkson Goes From Waitress To Idol To $45 Million Icon

Kelly Clarkson is one of the biggest names in music and has continued to be America’s favorite rising star. Starting off as a new contestant on the very first American Idol, she has made her way through the music industry to become an international mega sensation. She has released an unprecedented number of hit songs, and has truly evolved in front of the world to become one of the most famous, beloved faces to her millions of followers across the globe. Stylecaster reports that things haven’t always been this lucrative and successful for Clarkson. In fact, she’s a true rags to richest story, and her life’s journey tells the tale of how a waitress became a multi-millionaire, and had a whole lot of fun pursuing her passion along the way.

Humble Beginnings

One of the most endearing qualities that Kelly Clarkson possesses is her humble, down-to-earth nature. In spite of her success and incredible launch to fame, she has never forgotten where she came from, and she really didn’t come from very much. Clarkson had very humble beginnings. In fact, Stylecaster reports that at the time of her American Idol audition, she had very little in life. They quote her as saying; “I had nothing to my name,” she said. “Literally, I had to make that top to go to this audition. I had like no clothes, no nothing.”

Prior to her audition, Clarkson had received a number of music scholarships for colleges in her area, but she was not interested in going to school without having a solid direction to move towards or career path in place. She was driven by the necessity to earn enough money to simply make ends meet, and took on odd jobs just to get by. She worked as an entertainer at Six Flags, and even took on a job at Subway.

She had her eyes on trying to do background vocals for someone to get her name out there in the world of music, and decided on a whim to just move to LA in pursuit of her musical dreams. Without much to lose she decided that if she wanted to attend school there would always be a time to go back and do that later in life.

She took on jobs as a cocktail waitress at a comedy club and worked at Papa John’s as well. Driven by the pressure of finding any type of work to just pay for her most immediate needs and utilities, Clarkson threw her name in the mix and tried her luck at an audition for an upcoming singing show called American Idol. The show had not yet launched or seen any success and nobody knew if the winner of the show would even be truly launched into stardom at all. This gamble proved to be the one that changed every part of her life.

The Breakthrough: American Idol

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The very first season of American Idol was poised to be a huge one, albeit an experimental one. Being a new show, there were no guarantees that anyone would tune in, and as the first series of its kind, there were also no absolutes in the way of understanding how many votes would be generated and what sort of viewership  the producers could expect.

There was certainly a lot of buzz surrounding the launch of American Idol, but absolutely no history to draw upon for reference or guidance.

When Kelly Clarkson decided to audition for the show, she had no idea what to expect, as it had never aired before. She put her head down and gave in to the grind, making it past the auditions and through all the various levels of the competition before becoming the very first winner of American Idol.

Even still, this was a monumental moment that offered no guarantees. She had no idea what would materialize after her big win. Time revealed the true success of her win, as she clinched an immediate $1 million contract with RCA, and Prevention reports that this led to her first single A Moment Like This hitting number 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 twice, and her second album Breakaway won two Grammys.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

Musical Hits

In the vast world of music that is saturated with a number of artists that are successful in their own right, from a series of different genres, it’s astounding to see that Kelly Clarkson still shines so brightly and continues to gain fame and notoriety each year. Not only has she remained current in the music scene, but she has also dominated as a leader of hit songs and instantly recognizable music and lyrics.

Her talent is undisputed and over the course of her career, Kelly Clarkson has released a whopping 8 studio albums, in addition to 5 extended plays, a full compilation album, and an impressive 43 singles.

Billboard reports that; “In 2016, she made history and became the first American Idol contestant to achieve a whopping 100 Billboard No. 1 hits.”

She’s taken her musical success to the road and has earned millions of dollars while embarking on 5 tours between 2002 and 2019. The list of accolades she has racked up along the way are too numerous to list, as her talents were vastly recognized across various spectrums and across a number of musical genres.

The Voice

Clearly defining her talents as an artist isn’t the only way Clarkson has generated her impressive fortune. She has also proven to be able to take those talents and put them to great use by further developing the musical skills of other contestants that are starting on the same path now that she once began with.

She has seen huge success as one of the judges on The Voice and her team took home some wins in seasons 14, 15, and 17. As a judge, coach, and mentor, she has helped cultivate the careers of other aspiring young artists while padding her income with a huge judges salary.

Her time spent judging on The Voice is paying Clarkson an impressive $14 million per season, which amounts to $28 million each year, and that’s before bonuses and pay bumps are extended.

Other Incredible Projects

Clarkson hasn’t wasted a moment of her fame. She has gone on to pen two children’s books; River Rose and the Magic Lullaby and River Rose and the Magical Christmas, and has provided voiceovers for a number of animated movies such as UglyDolls and  Trolls World Tour.

She also has her very own talk show called The Kelly Clarkson Show which has amassed a following of well over 2 million people and continues to be ranked among the highest talk shows created.

There’s no end in sight for Clarkson, and the world waits in wonder to see what musical gifts she will offer next.

READ NEXT: No Doubt: The Ways Gwen Stefani Became A Rich Girl

Sources: Stylecaster, Prevention, Screenrant, Billboard



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