Kelly Clarkson is delighted she’s finally been able to record an album on her own terms, after fulfilling the recording contract she won competing on American Idol.
The Since You’ve Been Gone singer won the reality TV show in 2002, winning a seven album contract with RCA Records – but fell out with label boss Clive Davis after he became the head of the company in 2004.
Having completed her deal by releasing her seventh album in 2015, the star was free to move labels to Atlantic Records and released Meaning of Life in October last year (17).
Speaking to Britain’s Music Week magazine, the 35-year-old pop star said her move meant that after 15 years in the spotlight, she could finally make the album she always wanted to.
“This is my first time out of my American Idol deal, the first time I get to pick my label, the first time I get to pick everything,” she told Music Week. “It was really important for me to go back to how and why I started singing,” she explains. “Even on Idol, all I did was sing Aretha Franklin or anything soulful. This is the record that people probably expected right off the bat from me, but I just never got to make this record.”
Her new R&B infused record was received favorably and reached number two in the U.S. charts.
Kelly says however, that she’s not too bothered about sales figures – something she had to explain to RCA executives who wanted her to stick with the pop style that made her a star.
“Every album I’ve made has been hurdle after hurdle of just compromising and figuring it out,” she recalled. “What was really important for me, specifically then, was to just explain to them, ‘I get that you want what’s going to make you the most money, and you want me to just regurgitate the same s**t over and over, but I can’t do that.’ It was hard to explain that money doesn’t motivate me.”
The album has produced two singles, which have fared less well in the charts, with the top performing track Love So Soft peaking at number 47 in the Billboard Hot 100 rundown.