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Scott Gries / Getty Images North America 1 / 46

You always remember your first — your first American Idol that is. In 2002, Kelly Clarkson, a former high school choir singer who had given up on a music after an unsuccessful demo recording and LA stint ended in an apartment fire, was just one of 10,000 contestants trying out for the first season of FOX's new talent show AI. With 58 percent of the final vote against Justin Guarini, she became the first person to hold the coveted title and her debut single, “A Moment Like This,” and album, Thankful, topped the charts and went double platinum. Her popularity was taken down a peg by box office blunder From Justin To Kelly. She followed it up with appearances on NBC’s American Dreams (once playing Brenda Lee) and 2004 rock-oriented sophomore album Breakaway, which earned her a spot on Saturday Night Live and two Grammys. In 2007, she struggled for artistic control with RCA Records on her third CD My December, which she wrote and coproduced. It failed to reach the heights of the pervious two releases, but she bounced back in 2009 with “My Life Would Suck Without You” and in 2011 with her fifth album Stronger, which earned a best pop vocal Grammy. The former NASCAR spokesperson and Duets mentor, who had dated her opening act’s lead singer Graham Colton during her 2005 tour, revealed she was in love with her manager’s son Brandon Blackstock. He popped the question in December 2012, they married in 2013 at Blackberry Farm and welcomed their first daughter River Rose in June 2014.