Kelly Clarkson's lyrics are every bit as engaging
as the vocal range and music behind them. To date, Clarkson has
delivered two albums, Thankful and Breakaway, which
have each achieved popular success. Clarkson has also received two
Grammy Awards because her work on Breakaway.
Most of the Kelly Clarkson lyrics from her two albums feature love
lost, love found and the pain involved in loving adult relationships.
"Miss Independent" from the Thankful album was
co-written by Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Rhett Lawrence and Matt
Morris. The release of this song sparked some controversy in that,
apparently, Christina Aguilera, who had previously passed on the
song, was miffed that Clarkson had recorded the rock hit without
"Miss Independent" is lyrically interesting because it
connects the independence of the protagonist with a past hurt. This
newfound independence was not the healthy kind as one might expect,
but a reaction to the pain caused by a past lover.
"What's Up Lonely" on the same album was never a hit
single but is one of the most lyrically interesting offerings from
this artist. The protagonist sings to parts of herself such as "lonely"
and "heartache" and not to another person, though they
way it is worded it seems as if she's talking to someone else. And,
as if she were talking to another person, she says it's time for
that relationship to go away.
Another of Kelly Clarkson's lyrics that became is big hit was the
song "Breakaway", which was co-written by Avril Lavigne,
Michael Gerrard and Bridget Benenate for an upcoming Avril Lavigne
album. Lavigne passed on the song, Clarkson recorded it and though
it started off slowly, it became one of Clarkson's biggest hits.
"Breakaway" breaks from Clarkson's usual theme of love
songs and engages the idea of real independence and risk-taking.
Another of Kelly Clarkson's interesting lyrics are those in the
song "Because of You", also on the Breakaway album,
which was co-written by Clarkson, David Hodges and Ben Moody. According
to Clarkson, this is her most personal song since she wrote it when
she was 16-years-old to deal with the emotional pain of lost love.
Later, Clarkson would engage the other songwriters to help finish
the song and it would go on to become a hit.
"Because of You" deals with the relationship of a child
to an adult and the wounds felt because of that relationship. The
protagonist discovers that deep-seated fear and a need for safety
as the result of this relationship are getting the way of adult
From Thankful and Breakaway, Clarkson has moved musically
from pop to rock. Lyrically, however, Kelly Clarkson remains on
track with self-revealing love songs that show strength in vulnerability