by Sean Smith
In April, after fifteen successful seasons, the most popular singing competition on television finally called it quits. Once the most watched television series on all of television, American Idol crowned its final winner with Trent Harmon. Harmon beat out runner-up La’Porsha Renae to become the fifteenth winner of American Idol, and hopes to follow in the footsteps to stardom of other past winners such as Carrie underwood, Fantasia, Jordin Sparks, and Kelly Clarkson.
American Idol made its television debut on Fox fourteen years ago this week. The premiere season of Idol was anchored by judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell. The show was co–hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman. The competition came down to Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini in the finale, and of course we know that Kelly Clarkson was crowned the very first winner of American Idol. Although things weren’t all bad for Justin Guarini, as he managed to stretch his fifteen minutes of fame out long enough to star in a 2003 musical From Justin to Kelly. Which as the name suggests saw the runner up star alongside fellow Idol finalist Kelly Clarkson. Although it may have prolonged Justin’s time in the spotlight, the musical itself was not so much a success. It was awarded the dubious Golden Raspberry award for “Worst Musical” of the last 25 years.
So with American Idol recently coming to an end, and this week being the anniversary of its debut in 2002, we thought this week would be a good time to remember an early hit from Idol’s first winner. This week we take a look back at “Miss Independent” by Kelly Clarkson.
When Kelly Clarkson was crowned the Season 1 winner of American Idol, she performed her “coronation song” which was “A Moment Like This”. That song officially served as her first ever single, and it topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Clarkson won Idol in September of 2002, and the goal was to have her album done and released by November of 2002. However, due to some trouble finding songs to fill out the album which fit her persona, her debut album wasn’t released until April 15, 2003. Due to the album coming out so many months after “A Moment Like This” was released, they had to put out a new single from the record to promote the album’s release. Therefore, “Miss Independent” officially became the singer’s first single from her debut album Thankful, when it was released in the week prior to the album release.
The song “Miss independent” originated with record producer and songwriter Rhett Lawrence. It was originally titled “Miss Independence” and was first offered to the Beyonce fronted R&B group Destiny’s Child. When they turned it down, the song was shopped to Christina Aguilera. She started working on the song, recording parts of it, to include it on her 2002 album Stripped. However, it ultimately didn’t make the cut for inclusion on the album and so was left unfinished. It was then presented to Kelly Clarkson, who renamed it “Miss Independent” and added new lyrics. Hence how the track became the lead single to her debut album Thankful. Once released as the single, “Miss Independent” became a commercial success for Clarkson. It quickly climbed the charts and peaked at the number nine spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
So with American Idol coming to and end, and its debut occuring this week some fourteen years ago, this week we remember Kelly Clarkson’s 2003 single “Miss Independent”. Enjoy.
S/19 Recordings LTD/RCA Recordss
“A Moment Like This”
S/19 Recordings LTD/RCA Records
“A Moment Like This” (Winning Performance 2002)