Kelly Clarkson Says This Album ‘Changed [Her] Life’ and Influenced Her Writing

Kelly Clarkson: American Idol contestant turned famous pop-country singer, coach on The Voice, and, now, a daytime talk show host. While many contestants on Idol and The Voice fail to achieve A-list celebrity status, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert, and Carrie Underwood have all entered prosperous careers following their stints on Idol. 

Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson | Photo by Jared Siskin/Getty Images for Warner Music Group

Kelly Clarkson has gone on to write and record several chart-topping hits, including Because of You, Stronger, Since U Been Gone, Piece by Piece, and more. Clarkson has managed to cement a strong following and expand her ever-increasing fanbase via voice-overs in movies like Ugly Dolls and The Star.

Clarkson, while maintaining an image and a writing style all her own, does give some major credit to one artist, and one specific album, for shaping her life and approach to writing. The artist she cites happens to have a Broadway musical — virtually featuring her entire songbook — on the horizon…

Kelly Clarkson on the album that changed her life  

When answering questions for Google, Kelly Clarkson came across “What’s an album that changed your life?” Clarkson replied:

I think every person of my generation would say Jagged Little Pill. Alanis Morissette. I mean, it was very raw and, especially coming from a woman, lyrically, that was really unheard of.

My mother did not approve of Jagged Little Pill, but I did listen to it, and she allowed me to listen to it. But, she didn’t like it. I think it’s because we’re from different generations and it was a woman finally just saying how she honestly felt. It was a pure moment, whether you liked it or not. I think it helped me a lot as a writer just be able to bare myself and be okay with it. I think Alanis did that for a lot of writers of our generation.

Kelly Clarkson via Google

Kelly Clarkson cites Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill as shaping her writing, for the album portrayed a woman angry, relentless, and honest before it was common for a female artist to take up such a musical position. Jagged Little Pill famously features “You Oughta Know,” rumored to be written about Dave Coulier from Full House, as well as “Hand in My Pocket,” “You Learn,” “Not the Doctor,” “Ironic,” and more. When it comes to Alanis Morissette’s songbook, most of her iconic tunes are on this acclaimed album. 

When you think about Kelly Clarkson’s songbook, her answer to the question is almost obvious. Kelly Clarkson is a very emotional writer — from her slow ballads to her more furious tunes — she infuses each number with a piece of her (whether it be through a life event or an emotional point of reference), in a manner similar to Alanis Morissette.

For those of you unfamiliar with Alanis Morissette, make sure to go jam out to Jagged Little Pill now; it’s more than worth your time, as Clarkson is completely accurate: it was groundbreaking for the age, and worked to sculpt several musicians.