Never tying herself to a specific musical genre in particular, Kelly Clarkson was not done surprising her fans, not even after more than a decade of running a high-profile career. She released her eighth studio album, “Meaning of Life,” in 2017, the first with a distinctive soul/R&B sound.
The album was also her first with Atlantic Records. The singer toured extensively to promote the album in the States, but sales were disappointing. The album would become one of her lowest-selling albums. Regardless, it performed well initially on the airwaves and even debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 charts.
On Messing Up Barack Obama's Name
Kelly might be a mega-successful star, but fans love her for being super relatable. During an interview with Seth Meyers in 2016, the singer recalled meeting Barack Obama for the first time and how she messed up his name! Obama was a senator then.
He had recently won a Grammy (you read that right!) in the “Best Spoken Word Album” category for "Dreams From My Father." Kelly was invited to the Senate to introduce Obama, and when she got up to speak, she blanked out! She could not remember his name or the Grammy category. Obama did not seem to mind, however. He even invited her to perform at his Presidential inauguration.
She Releases a Children's Book
Not one to shy away from new adventures, Kelly tried her hand at a different kind of art and released the children's book. Titled "River Rose and the Magical Lullaby," it was named after her daughter River Rose, and published in 2016 — the same year she gave birth to her son, Remington.
The story is a lyrical lullaby that helps take a young girl on an epic dream adventure. Kelly’s whimsical first book made it to the prestigious New York Times Bestseller list. Kelly added a second holiday-themed book to the collection. "River Rose and the Magical Christmas" in 2017.
Kelly Clarkson's most prominent instrument is obviously her voice, but knowing she has a career as a singer makes you forget that she can do other things with it too. In 2017, Clarkson took on a new project and got a voice role in the animated Christmas film, "The Star," where she voiced Leah, the horse.
She starred alongside a stellar cast, including Oprah Winfrey, Aidy Bryant, Keegan-Michael Key, and others. The film tells the story of an adorable equine who witnessed the birth of Jesus Christ. This was not Kelly's first rodeo. In 2011, she voiced herself in an episode of the popular cartoon series "Phineas and Ferb."
On Why She Joined "The Voice"
Kelly Clarkson returned to "The Voice" in 2017 as a mentor and adviser after first appearing on the show a few years earlier in 2012. In 2018, she became one of the four coaches in season 14. The decision to join the rival series did raise some eyebrows.
Many perceived it as a slight to "American Idol" — the show that discovered her and made her career. Kelly clarified to reporters that she genuinely thought "Idol" was over when she signed on for "The Voice." "American Idol" had already aired a farewell season in 2016 until ABC brought it back in 2018.