Kelly Clarkson should have learned a life lesson this month... The former American Idoler's comeback single My Life Would Suck Without You
recently rocketed to the Number One spot on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, setting a new record for the largest leap in the chart's 50 year history.
The lead single from Clarkson's upcoming 4th album All I Ever Wanted
has returned the singer to the top of the pops. My Life Would Suck
is her first Top 20 since 2006's Walk Away
, which peaked at #12 on the Hot 100.
It's no coincidence that Kelly's comeback single is penned by hit-makers Max Martin (Swedish writer/producer behind the Maratone hit factory) and Dr Luke (former Saturday Night Live guitarist, turned hit song writer/producer), who wrote her worldwide smash singles Since U Been Gone
, and Behind Those Hazel Eyes
Clarkson's 3rd album My December
saw an attempt by Miss Independent to head in a new "serious" direction, embracing an artistic indie sound, writing or co-writing every song on the album. Her songwriting abilities didn't appear to match her large vocal talents... the new sound turned off fans, and caused controversy with her record label.
Clive Davis - head of RCA (Sony-BMG) - was very unhappy with the album and Kelly Clarkson's change in direction. Davis reportedly wanted to dump the entire album, and urged her to record all new material, even offering her US$10 million to record some "radio friendly" tracks with previous pop/rock collaborators like Dr Luke (Lukasz Gottwald) and Max Martin.
After a very public standoff, the record company eventually gave in and My December was released. (It was reported that Clarkson pledged to Clive Davis that if he agreed to release the album "as is", she would do exactly what he and the record company wanted for her 4th album).
Davis' take on the album ultimately proved correct. My December
sold just 782,000 copies in the United States, and 2 million albums worldwide... compared to sales of over 20 million for her second pop/rock album Breakaway
Just two singles were released from the album (Never Again
). Following disappointing sales, Clarkson cancelled her US tour, and fired her manager Jeff Kwatinetz and band.
Following that up with another "artistic" album could have been a career-ender for Clarkson, and the singer probably realised that herself. Clive Davis asked the reliable Dr Luke and Max to come up with a "smash comeback" single for Kelly, the hit-making pair returning with a song that almost sounds like a sequel to 2004's Since U Been Gone
Dr Luke says he and Max tailored the lyrics especially for Kelly... One has to wonder how she feels singing lyrics that sound suspiciously like an admission that she needs their help to be a superstar, and seem to offer an apology to Clive Davis and Gottwald for the public feud, and for trying to do things her own way...
"Guess this means you're sorry, You're standing at my door,
Guess this means you take back all you said before...
Maybe I was stupid for telling you goodbye
Maybe I was wrong for trying to pick a fight
I know that I’ve got issues, But you’re pretty messed up too,
Anyway, I found out I’m nothing without you
Cuz we belong together now, yeah
Forever united here somehow, yeah
You got a piece of me, And honestly,
My life would suck without you..."
Yup, got it in one Kelly. The history of pop music is littered with singers who believed their own hype, but quickly discovered their fans weren't into their self indulgent "serious" material. Kelly's want the catchy pop/rock Kelly Clarkson they had previously voted to the top of the charts.
The massive worldwide chart success of My Life Would Suck Without You
will ensure solid sales of her upcoming fourth album - All I Ever Wanted
- due for release in mid-March. The album also features the work of Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic), and rock producer Howard Benson.