Miss Independent

How Kelly Clarkson shed her Idol crown and stole pop music's throne

Twenty-eight million people watched Kelly Clarkson win the first installment of American Idol in 2002. While "28 million" and "winner" are positives in the context of reality television, singing the swollen talent-show ballad A Moment Like This in a prom dress with mascara cascading down your face is not the kind of thing that endears you to cool-conscious pop-music fans. Just in case Clarkson's victory tableau didn't create enough skeptics about her chances for a successful recording career, she followed it up with From Justin to Kelly, a monstrous Idol movie musical that in the most generous light is the worst...

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