All week long, Fort Worth-born and Burleson-bred pop superstar Kelly Clarkson has been teasing a “big announcement” on her Facebook page, performing a series of covers, from Otis Redding to Gnarls Barkley.
Earlier today, Clarkson finally pulled the wraps off the news: She has signed with Atlantic Records.
The original American Idol had been on RCA Records for her entire career to date (and to whom she expressed gratitude Friday), with last year’s Piece by Piece fulfilling her contract.
A visibly excited Clarkson, in a video posted on Facebook, gushed about her new label home, repeatedly stating that this was “the first time she had gotten to pick” who she worked with. Clarkson also spoke of recording a “soulful” record, which Billboard reports will be released next year.
“They love every part of my personality,” Clarkson said. “They love all the colors of my voice — it’s super exciting. ... I love what Atlantic can offer me ... we are really in sync on a lot of things.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Kelly Clarkson into the Atlantic family,” said Atlantic chairman/CEO Craig Kallman and Atlantic chairman/COO Julie Greenwald in a joint statement. “She is one of the greatest artists of our generation, a musical icon with an extraordinary, soul-inspired voice that has captivated millions of fans around the world. We are honored to be partnering with Kelly as she embarks on this exciting new phase of her record-breaking career.”
Additionally, Clarkson unveiled a new website, KellyClarksonLive.com, where on the last Friday of each month, Clarkson will provide a handful of songs for free download. The site, which went live as Clarkson was making her announcement, currently features cover versions of Radiohead, Coldplay and Etta James.
“It’s a reward for [fans] being so loyal,” Clarkson said. “I hope you dig the songs.”
Although she thanked RCA Records during her 15-minute Facebook announcement, a statement released by Atlantic Records painted a slightly different picture.
“After winning American Idol there was an arranged marriage that occurred that sometimes worked out and sometimes resulted in the hardest experiences of my life,” Clarkson said in a statement furnished by Atlantic Records. “As an artist, American Idol gave me something that was incredible, an audience and a platform before even releasing music. ... We have already started creating a record that I have been wanting to make since I was a little girl, and a record that fans have been asking me to make for years. Here’s to the future!"
Watch Clarkson’s announcement in full here, complete with a brief performance of Ben E. King’s Stand by Me.