If you are scratching your head right now, trying to think if the existence of “From Justin to Kelly” was new information for you, you are not alone. Let’s just say the movie didn’t exactly become a cult classic. Kelly, like many others, was not a fan of “From Justin to Kelly.” “It was never something I wanted to do,” she later admitted to Radio.com.
However, the star revealed it was a contractual obligation, and they could have sued her for not doing it. Although “From Justin to Kelly” was a box office flop, it was a watershed moment in Kelly’s career. She proved she was unafraid to take risks, even though her film was universally-panned.
Kelly Is an Unforgettable Idol
Despite some questionable song choices, people started to notice Kelly on the show. Paula Abdul loved her right off the bat, praising the singer's voice and personality. Simon needed more convincing, but even he was bowled over during "1990’s Week,” after which he compared her to Mariah and Celine.
When the finale rolled around, and she performed "A Moment Like This," there was no doubt a star was born. Her life irrevocably changed on September 4, 2002, when she became the first winner of “American Idol.” It was a tight contest between her and runner-up Justin Guarini, but Kelly had taken everyone’s breath away.
A Moment Like This
After winning the title on the show that changed her life, Kelly was overwhelmingly everywhere, reaping immense popularity and numerous fans. Kelly Clarkson's first single, "A Moment Like This," debuted on the charts less than two weeks after she won "American Idol."
The single quickly rose to No. 1 on the Billboard 100 and became the year's best-selling single. After that, 2002 went by in a daze, with Kelly performing for several end-of-the-year shows on some of the biggest radio stations in the US. Later that year, she also made her film debut in the rom-com musical “From Justin to Kelly.”
Dizzying Success and Stardom
The film's flop didn't really put a dent in the young Clarkson's rise to success. She was launched into mega-stardom faster than you can say "Simon Cowell". Kelly's career began to take off at an incredible pace. She released her debut studio album, "Thankful," in 2003.
The album included some of her most iconic Idol performances — "Before Your Love" and "A Moment Like This." But the spotlight was on her hit single "Miss Inependendent," which soared to No. 1 on the Hot 100 singles chart. She also attended her first Grammy Week event in New York City in February 2003.
No Rest for the Wicked
No doubt, things were looking up for the instantly-famous Clarkson, but that is not to say she could just rest on her laurels. There was more work to be done. Kelly Clarkson had two hit singles within a year of winning "American Idol." But there was no rest for the wicked. In 2003, she began working on her next album.
That same year, Kelly’s song "Miss Independent" received three MTV Video Music Awards nominations for best new artist, best pop video, and the coveted Viewer's Choice Award. But, despite her seemingly stellar debut in the industry, things were far from peachy.