Kelly Clarkson is just the latest in a long line of music artists who start to believe their own hype and think "they" are the sole reason for their success. Clarkson has been involved in a very public feud with SonyBMG records boss Clive Davis, over the direction of her new album My December
Outside of the United States - where Clarkson shot to prominance through the first series of American Idol in 2002 - she was a virtual nobody. That was until Swedish/US tunesmiths Max Martin and Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald were drafted in to pen a couple of pop/rock tracks for her second album Breakaway
The first of these, "Since U Been Gone", became a massive worldwide hit and remains the biggest hit of her career. The followup single "Behind Those Hazel Eyes" was another smash hit for the trio.
But when it came to her third album, Clarkson ignored the suggestions of her record company to work with professional songwriters, and chose instead to write songs with members of her own band.
Those new album tracks were slammed by executives at pre-release preview meetings, with RCA and SonyBMG reportedly offering her US$10 million to record some new "radio friendly" tracks, preferably including a few with Max Martin and Dr Luke.
Clarkson continued with her bad decisions, firing her manager Jerr Kwatinetz after disagreements with her new songs and musical direction. She was then forced to cancel a planned summer US tour to promote My December
, because of poor ticket sales. The lead single from the new album peaked at #8 on the US Billboard Top 100, before quickly dipping out of the Top 20.
She recently told reporters, "I’ve sold more than 15 million records worldwide, and still nobody listens to what I have to say. Because I’m 25 and a woman." Uh, no... It's because your bosses know it is much harder to persuade people to buy bad music. Clarkson's new songs basically lack a "hook"... that essential indefinable element that makes certain songs stick in your mind, and become popular hits.
The highway of music is littered with former stars who slipped from glory after deciding to leave their Pop Svengalis and head in a more serious direction (often with self-penned songs)... The Four Tops, Diana Ross, The Monkees, The Righteous Brothers... through to more recent artists like Kylie Minogue (who returned to pop after crashing as "indie Kylie"), Jason Donovan, Bananarama, Britney Spears (who enjoyed a brief career boost when she returned to Sweden for "Toxic"), the Spice Girls, and almost every other boyband/girl group/pop star who learned just how quickly they could be dropped once the hits dry up.