Kelly Clarkson: Breakaway

It seems like only yesterday, but it was actually two years ago when Kelly Clarkson sang her way into the hearts of fans nationwide as the very first "American Idol" winner.

On Wednesday's The Early Show, Clarkson performed "Breakaway," from the soundtrack of "The Princess Diaries 2," and "Beautiful Disaster" from her debut CD, "Thankful."

In November 2003, her pop-oriented album "Thankful" received double-platinum certification, for sales of at least two million units.

The last two years have been a whirlwind, Clarkson says, "It's been crazy, but it's been fun. I work with a lot of great people."

Being part of "The Princess Diaries 2" was particularly exciting, she says. "It's a really good movie as well. I'm proud to be a part of it." Avril Lavigne co-wrote the song and is on the soundtrack, along with Pink and Julie Andrews.

Clarkson is recording her second album, scheduled for a November release.

"It's got some rock, still some soul," Clarkson says. "So it's high energy. It's just a lot of fun. A lot of people got to see me on tour so it's a little bit like I was on tour." Clarkson is co-writing many of the songs on the album.

Her third tour was her favorite, she tells co-anchor Hannah Storm. She was on the road for three months with Clay Aiken. "He's such a goober - so he makes it all the more fun. So it's a lot of fun. Performed barefoot, all these people were there," she says pointing at her fans.

Asked how how her new life has changed her, she says, "I've gotten wiser about the industry, a little more industry savvy. But just in general, same friends, same family, same fans."

And she set the record straight about being engaged: "My fingers tend to swell in the morning so usually it [ring] goes on my middle finger," she says. "I'm not engaged, no."

Some Facts About Kelly Clarkson

  • At 13, Clarkson joined the choir at Pauline Hughes Middle School in Burleson, Texas.

  • She soon entered in state and regional singing competitions, while working as a waitress, a pharmacy assistant and at a movie theatre and a zoo.

  • She never had a formal singing lesson.

  • After high school, Clarkson moved to Los Angeles to break into the music business. She decided to go home when her apartment building burned down in an accidental fire.

  • Clarkson's best friend convinced her to try out for "American Idol," where she qualified and quickly moved up the ranks past 10,000 other contestants to the top ten.

  • Her win in "American Idol" catapulted her to stardom. She signed to Simon Cowell's 19 Entertainment and RCA, and her debut "A Moment Like This/Before Your Love" double-A side broke two world records in its very first week of release.

  • She and the other final 10 "American Idol" contestants toured from Seattle to New York, playing to more than 200,000 fans.

  • Her 2003 double platinum album "Thankful" debuted at the top of the U.S. charts, followed up with her first film role in "From Justin to Kelly" (2003) with her "Idol" runner-up Justin Guarini.
    • Rome Neal

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