Kelly Clarkson Clarkson is American Idols first-season winner and the first pop star born from the series. Her post-Idol career started off swimmingly, with the smash ballad A Moment Like This topping the U.S. charts. The goodwill carried over to her debut album, 2003s Thankful, which entered the charts at the top and sold nearly 300,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. But it was her follow-up, 2004s Breakaway, that transformed Clarkson from the girl who won American Idol to an international superstar with crossover appeal, thanks in part to the spunky hit Since U Been Gone. Breakaway spent a whopping 103 weeks on the album chart, and its to-date sales in the U.S. have approached the 6-million mark. Clarkson continued on the rock path with the darker My December, which was released last summer after a much talked-about battle with her record label over its content. Clarkson confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that she was told the album was just too negative. It had a strong debut, entering the pop chart at No. 2 after selling 291,000 copies, but it fell off after 18 weeks. Additionally, a summer arena tour was scrapped because of poor ticket sales and was rescheduled for the fall at smaller venues.
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