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Category: Kelly Clarkson

Which 'American Idol' rivals have the best shot to win awards?

March 19, 2009 | 11:30 am

Let's forget for a moment who has the best shot to win "American Idol." Who among the  live show participants has the best chance to go on and contend for the top showbiz awards?

Remember that Jennifer Hudson only came in seventh place in Season 3, but went on win the Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG, Critics Choice, BAFTA and New York Film Critics Circle awards for her performance in "Dreamgirls" as well as best R&B album at the recent Grammys for her debut disc "Jennifer Hudson."


Season 3 champ Fantasia recorded a R&B duet with Hudson — "I'm His Only Woman" — that contended at those Grammys. Fantasia earned four Grammy nominations in 2006 for her first album ("Free Yourself") and  three more in 2008 for her second ("Fantasia"). She has three Billboard Awards, including the prize for top-selling single of 2004 ("I Believe").

Ruben Studdard, who won Season 2 by a whisker, picked up a Grammy nod in 2004 for best male R&B vocal performance ("Superstar"), but he lost to his idol, Luther Vandross. Runner-up Clay Aiken, who won three Billboard awards and was fan choice at the 2003 American Music Awards, has yet to pick up any Grammy noms.

Season 1 champ Kelly Clarkson won Grammys in 2006 for best female pop vocal performance ("Since U Been Gone") and pop album ("Breakaway"). She also won best female video twice at the MTV Music Video Awards — "Since U Been Gone" (2005) and "Because of You" (2006)  — as well as six Teen Choice Awards, four American Music Awards, and a People's Choice Award. And now that  Clarkson's fourth album — "All I Ever Wanted" — just entered the Billboard charts at No. 1, it's likely that more kudos are ahead.

Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks released her self-titled debut album in the fall of 2007 to good reviews and sales, including two platinum singles ("Tattoo" and "No Air"). The latter of those was with Chris Brown and landed them a recent Grammy nod for pop vocal collaboration.

While Taylor Hicks won Season 5 of "American Idol," he has never been nominated for any showbiz prize (and, let's be honest, has little hope in the future — what were voters thinking in 2006, eh?). However, fourth-place finisher Chris Daughtry scored four Grammy nominations for his group's self-titled debut "Daughtry." And they won four American Music Awards in 2007.

Season 4 champ Carrie Underwood is the only "American Idol" ever  nominated for best new artist at the Grammys, which she won in 2007, in addition to best female country vocal performance ("Jesus, Take the Wheel"). She repeated in that category in both 2008 ("Before He Cheats") and 2009 ("Last Name"). Carrie Underwood has also won five American Music Awards, five Country Music Assn. Awards, six Academy of Country Music Awards, and six CMTs.

So what about the current crop of "American Idol" contestants? Which ones have the best awards potential? I posed that question in The Envelope's Gold Derby forums and discovered that most support goes to Kris Allen, Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert and Lil' Rounds. Here are just a sample of comments from our posters:

Try Again: "Adam —  If the material is good or popular, he will no doubt get an AMA, VMA nomination. Allison — She seem the most poised to earn multiple nominations from the AMAs, VMAs and Grammys. She could do well with the right material to get a couple of nominations."

Gucci: "At this point, Lil' Rounds is the only one to me that has potential to land some Grammy nominations within the R&B field."

LKMOSCAR: "Allison is the only one as of now."

DJWolff: "Kris Allen seems to be the only contestant with some viable marketability. However, Adam Lambert has a huge following. He can definitely exploit the emo-Tokio Hotel route and win VMAs on his own (especially if they're fan-voted)."

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Will Kelly Clarkson win any Grammys for her No. 1 album 'All I Ever Wanted'?

March 18, 2009 |  2:48 pm

As another one of the hopefuls gets booted off of "American Idol" tonight, consider which of the remaining 10 is likely to match the achievements of Season 1 champ Kelly Clarkson. Her fourth album — "All I Ever Wanted" — just entered the Billboard charts at No. 1.That bounced U2 from the top of the perch. The Irish band ended up in the third position for the second week of sales for "No Line on the Horizon."


Kelly Clarkson pulled off this impressive feat with a flurry of promotional appearances, including singing her No. 1 single "My Life Would Suck Without You" on last week's live "American Idol." Back in January, she broke a Billboard record when that first cut from the album jumped 97 places in just one week. And while critics are divided about her return to a more familiar style, the impressive sales of that single, and to some extent the album, could help raise  Clarkson's profile come Grammy nominations time.

However, while it is tempting to tout this album as Kelly Clarkson's comeback, the first week sales are actually below those for her last effort — the introspective 2007 disc "My December." That album, which boasted a different sound from the pop princess, was met with confusion by critics and fans alike and barely went platinum in the end. That it was characterized as a disappointment was due more to the staggering success of her second album — "Breakaway" — than the failure of this third one.

After all, the breakthrough "Breakaway" sold 6 million copies and won Kelly Clarkson a pair of 2006 Grammy Awards for best female pop vocal performance ("Since U Been Gone") and pop album. By comparison, "Thankful" — the debut album that followed in the wake of her 2002 crowning as the first "American Idol" — went double platinum but failed to impress the critics.

Of the other six "American Idol" winners to date, only one really wowed the recording industry with their first efforts. That was Season 4 champ Carrie Underwood who was named best new artist at the 2007 Grammy Awards. And she has won three consecutive Grammys for female country vocal performance: 2007 ("Jesus, Take the Wheel"), 2008 ("Before He Cheats"), and 2009 ("Last Name").  Carrie Underwood has also won five American Music Awards, five Country Music Assn. Awards, six Academy of Country Music Awards, and six CMTs.


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Photo: RCA

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Kelly Clarkson comes home to 'American Idol'

March 10, 2009 | 12:58 pm

The lucky 13 "American Idol" contenders who made it through to tonight's live show would do well to take a few minutes out of their hectic day and listen to Season 1 champ Kelly Clarkson as she rehearses for her appearance. After all, she is the prime example of how to handle the sudden success that can come with appearing on this TV talent contest.


Tonight, Kelly Clarkson will be belting out her smash hit "My Life Would Suck Without You." Back in January, that single broke the Billboard record as it jumped from  No. 97 to the top spot in just one week. It was the first cut off her new album, "All I Ever Wanted," which is out today. And while this is only her fourth album, it is being touted as her comeback.

After being crowned the first "American Idol" winner back in the summer of 2002,  Clarkson's debut disc "Thankful" went double platinum but met with only moderate critical approval. Her sophomore effort — "Breakaway" — was her breakthrough, selling 6 million copies and winning her Grammys in 2006 for best female pop vocal performance ("Since U Been Gone") and pop album. However, third time was not the charm as her introspective 2007 release "My December" barely went platinum and failed to impress the critics as well.

With this new album, Clarkson is said to have hit her stride once more. Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times called the disc "a masterful rapprochement with the mainstream, full of cheerfully ear-snagging tunes, inventive production, exhilarating vocals and enough inherent Kelly-ness to put aside fears that her label bosses implanted blond electrodes in her brain to make her behave." And Leah Greenblat of Entertainment Weekly found, "the introspection Clarkson favored so heavily on 'December' is still there; now, though, she has perspective." However, there were those reviewers who were disappointed like Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune, who bemoaned that this album, "allows no room for the down-to-earth voice that Clarkson brings to her blog entries, the plainspoken charm she evinces in her concerts. She deserves better."

Among the other "American Idol" alumni, Season 4 champ Carrie Underwood has hauled home the most music awards hardware. She won the 2007 Grammy as best new artist and another for female country vocal performance ("Jesus, Take the Wheel") and she repeated in that category in both 2008 ("Before He Cheats") and 2009 ("Last Name").  Underwood has also won five American Music Awards, five Country Music Assn. Awards, six Academy of Country Music Awards, and six CMTs.

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