Stronger (Kelly Clarkson)

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Stronger is the fifth studio album by American recording artist Kelly Clarkson. The album was released on October 21, 2011 in Australia and October 24, 2011 in the United States and the United Kingdom through RCA Records. The thirteen-song set (seventeen on the deluxe edition) features Clarkson collaborating with new musicians Greg Kurstin, Steve Jordan, Rodney Jerkins, Toby Gad, Brian Kennedy and Ester Dean, as well as recording with longtime collaborator Howard Benson. Wanting to stray away sonically from her previous albums, Clarkson’s main objective was to record her vocal performances as it is heard in her live sets, and used as little auto-tune processing as possible. The album also marked the first release by Clarkson that did not cause a conflict with RCA, her previous records, most notably My December, were released amidst conflict and controversy.Clarkson began writing new material for the album in November 2009 while touring and finished recording in February 2011. For the recording sessions, Clarkson drew inspiration from Tina Turner, Prince, Radiohead and Sheryl Crow among others. Clarkson also mixed R&B, country, urban, dance-pop and soul with her established pop rock character to develop a more diverse pop music material. The album’s lyrical content mainly explores themes about heartbreak, vengeance, forgiveness and empowerment using metaphors about Clarkson’s relationships around people.The record is predominantly a pop rock album, with several music critics noting the predominant R&B and country influences Clarkson explored in Thankful and All I Ever Wanted as well as dance-pop themes which Clarkson has newly developed. Originally planned to be released in late 2010, the release date of the album was pushed back several times. Upon its release, Stronger received mostly favorable reviews from critics, who noted the album’s lack of progression unlike her previous albums but notably praising Clarkson’s vocal performance. The album became a commercial success. In the United States, the album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and has sustained commercial longevity for over a year, eventually becoming her first record to be certified platinum in five years by the Recording Industry Association of America since My December. Internationally, it debuted within the top-ten in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.Stronger has produced three singles, including the international hits ” Mr. Know It All ” and ” Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) “. “Mr. Know It All” topped the charts in Australia and South Korea and has attained top-ten positions in four countries, including Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” became the album’s most successful release and Clarkson’s most successful single overall. It topped the charts in the United States, Poland, Denmark, and Slovakia and has attained top-ten positions in over twenty countries around the world. The final single, ” Dark Side “, was released to moderate success, attaining a top-ten position in three countries. Clarkson has promoted Stronger in two concert tours, the Stronger Tour and the 2012 Summer Tour with the American alternative rock band The Fray. Stronger received four nominations at the 55th Grammy Awards: It won the Best Pop Vocal Album and was nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance for “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”.

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