Kelly Clarkson & Breakaway

"Because of You" At the age of sixteen, Clarkson wrote the lyrics to this song to cope with her emotions.The later composition would result in the use of the piano and a full orchestral arrangement.During the promotional tour of Breakaway (2004), Clarkson appeared on Saturday Night Live on February 12, 2005.Distancing herself from her American Idol image, Clarkson took more creative control with her second studio album Breakaway, and through considerable experimentation, developed a rock-oriented image. Her second album (2004), yielded four U.S. top ten singles and won two Grammy Awards. The album released by RCA Records on November 30, 2004.[16] Unlike her previous effort, it debuted within the U.S. top five and Canadian top ten, and sales were initially low in comparison to Thankful.However, the single releases from Breakaway proved very successful, and allowed it to become only the fourth album in history to stay in the Billboard 200 Top 20 for a consecutive year, as well as, being certified five-times platinum in the U.S. on January 18, 2006 and 5x platinum in Canada in May, 2006. With Clarkson's wins at the American Music Awards, RCA announced Breakaway was certified 5x Platinum by the RIAA.[20] In Australia, the album reached number two and spent 52 weeks in the top 10 and was certified 6x Platinum;however, it experienced a delayed release in the UK. Clarkson co-wrote six of the songs with several songwriters, such as former Evanescence band members Ben Moody and David Hodges, and producer Max Martin. Breakaway received different responses from critics; Rolling Stone commented that "on Kelly Clarkson's second album,she embraces her rock side rather than the pop pageantry that put her on top of the American Idol heap".TeenInk noted the strength of her vocals on Breakaway, and praised the change from pop music to contemporary rock: "[Clarkson] retains the incredible power and beauty of her voice while switching to rock".Stylus magazine also enjoyed Clarkson's foray into rock music, however, she was called out because of her American Idol image, which reviewer Charles Merwin believed she had yet to lose. He praised the non-singles and wrote that they "maintain a quality high".All Music Guide called the album "a nice, low-key relief".

Clarkson appeared on numerous television programs during the promotional tour for Breakaway, some of which included Saturday Night Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show and The View; she performed the first two singles "Breakaway" and "Since U Been Gone" on Saturday Night Live, which became her first major telecast appearance in order to support the album. Clarkson received added publicity when, during the chest-waxing scene in the movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin, her name is screamed out by the title character (played by Steve Carell).

"Breakaway," written by Avril Lavigne, served as the original song for The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004) and achieved considerable success across the world; it became Clarkson's third top-ten single in the U.S. and fourth top-ten single in Canada. It reached number ten in Australia, and number 22 in the UK. The song's contemporary pop-rock ambience was one of the several tracks including a stronger rock-influenced sound that had not been heard on Thankful. The second single "Since U Been Gone", which was 'produced' by Max Martin, became the most successful release from the album. Its music video presented Clarkson singing to an underground audience with a full band; cutscenes of Clarkson destroying a former boyfriend's apartment were incorporated. The song's strong rock ambiance allowed it to reach number two in the U.S. and the top five across the world. It also earned Clarkson her first Grammy Award for "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance"; she won a second award for "Best Pop Vocal Album".
"Since U Been Gone" (2005) presented Clarkson with a rock music-influenced sound that had not been heard on her previous efforts.

The third and fourth single releases, "Behind These Hazel Eyes" and "Because of You", also followed with chart success. The video for "Behind These Hazel Eyes" broke the record for days at #1 for a female artist with 33 out of 50 days #1 on TRL. "Because Of You" became Clarkson's biggest worldwide hit, her first to reach the number one position on the world chart show, where it held for two consecutive weeks (a rare event) in 2006. The video for "Because of You" won the 2006 MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video, her second consecutive win in that category (The first being from "Since U Been Gone"). The fifth single from Breakaway, "Walk Away", was a top 20 hit in the U.S. and a top five hit in Canada. Breakaway spent 103 weeks on the Billboard 200. It fell out of the Billboard 200 in late November and was moved to Billboard's Pop Catalog. Breakaway was the tenth best selling album of 2006 in the US, adding nearly 2 million additional sales to the 2005 and 2004 sales. As a testament to Clarkson's continuing popularity, she was the most-played artist of 2006 on American radio, despite releasing only one single in the entire year, Walk Away. On December 23, 2006, American Top 40 radio show host Ryan Seacrest announced during a countdown of 2006's most popular songs that Clarkson had had a song in the American Top 40 for 111 weeks, making her "the most successful female artist in AT40 history." She was also the most broadcast artist of 2006 in Australia and Because Of You was the third most broadcast song of the same year, despite being released in 2005.

In the summer of 2006, Clarkson lent Ford Motor Co. a song titled "Go," written by Clarkson and Rhett Lawrence (Miss Independent). The song is being used in the company's new advertising campaign, "Bold Moves."

While on tour in Europe in 2006, Clarkson began writing and composing songs for her third album. Three possible new songs from her upcoming CD were performed during the Addicted Tour, including "Maybe," "Anymore," and "Yeah". It is possible that it also may include the hit Ford Commercial song, "Go". Recording commenced on the album in the summer of 2006; Clarkson will likely release the new album in early 2007. One of the guest musicians on the album will be punk rock legend Mike Watt (Minutemen, Firehose, Iggy Pop & The Stooges), who contributes his bass skills to six tracks on the disc. According to Music Week and HMV, Clarkson's third album will be released in 2007, however, the actual release date, track list, and album title have not yet been confirmed by management.

In addition to her roles as spokeswoman for for the acne treatment Proactiv and Vitamin Water, Clarkson has partnered with NASCAR for the 2007 season. She will appear in televised advertising spots, perform at pre-race concerts, promote NASCAR Day and appear at the Champions' Banquet in December.