Since being crowned the first American Idol winner in 2002, Kelly Clarkson has gone on to showcase her powerful pipes and deserving headliner status year-after-year. An engaging entertainer, Clarkson has also been a staple at awards shows with performances that both emote and energize.
Whether she’s singing a medley of her own hits or the biggest songs of the year, Clarkson dazzles on stage. The Texas native has performed with a wide array of artists over the years, including country superstars Jason Aldean, Reba McEntire and Dan + Shay, as well as putting her own spin on songs by Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift and Shawn Mendes, among others.
Clarkson will return to host the 2019 Billboard Music Awards for the second time on May 1 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, with the show airing on NBC at 8 p.m. ET/PST. In addition to her hosting duties, the singer will also perform on the broadcast. To celebrate her return to the BBMAs, here are six of Clarkson’s greatest awards show performances, in chronological order.
“Since U Been Gone” at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards
Nearly three years after she won American Idol, Clarkson took the stage at the VMA’s and showed off her punk-rock side. Dressed all in black and barefoot while she ran through the audience, Clarkson never missed a note. While her powerful vocals amped up the crowd, so did the downpour on stage during her energetic (and wet) set. On a night that further cemented her star power, Clarkson also took home two trophies for best female video and best pop video for breakthrough hit “Since U Been Gone.”
“Because of You” at the 2006 Grammys
Clarkson gave a stirring performance of “Because of You” at the 2006 Grammy Awards. A song she penned herself, the emotion in the poignant lyrics were highlighted by the orchestra behind her. Clarkson’s vocal range was also evidenced as she effortlessly segued from a belt to a whisper, garnering her a much deserved standing ovation.
“Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Jason Aldean at the 2010 CMA Awards
Not one for many collaborations, Aldean enlisted Clarkson for this powerful duet that went on to win CMA musical event of the year and later, in 2011, single of the year and vocal event of the year at the ACM Awards. The memorable duet showed Aldean’s sensitive side as he and Clarkson sang of taking a new relationship slowly. All the while, their voices complement each other impeccably well making “Don’t You Wanna Stay” one of the most talked-about country duets of all time.
"Miss Independent" / "Since U Been Gone" / "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" / "Catch My Breath" mashup at 2012 American Music Awards
This hit-laden, high-energy performance kicked off with Clarkson reenacting her American Idol audition. Once crowned winner, the "judges" left the stage as she performed a medley of her most memorable hits and urged the crowd to clap, sing and get up on their feet and they more than obliged thanks to her commanding presence.
"Miss Independent" / "Love So Soft" at the 2017 American Music Awards
Five years later, Clarkson returned to the AMA stage with a full band that included a riveting horn section. With the vibe of a lounge singer complete with backing vocalists, the songstress showcased her soul as she put a new spin on “Miss Independent.” She then segued into the rhythmic “Love So Soft,” which continued to showcase her vocal prowess and jaw-dropping vocal range.
Medley of the biggest songs represented at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards
Clarkson served as an affable host at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards. During her opening medley, the singer offered up snippets of the biggest hits of the year including Maren Morris' "My Church," Sam Smith's "Too Good at Goodbyes," Kendrick Lamar's "HUMBLE.", Imagine Dragon's "Thunder," Khalid's "Young, Dumb and Broke," Bruno Mars and Cardi B's "Finesse (Remix)," Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You," Shawn Mendes' "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back," and Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do." She also gave quite the show with backup singers serving as a gospel choir, a tight rope walker, drummers, plenty of choreography and show girls. After all, she was in Vegas.