Count your blessings, Kelly

Adam Griffiths

I’m afraid of what Kelly Clarkson is becoming.

What started as a phenomenon has slowly turned into a mild bout with megalomania, … la Britney Spears. America’s first Idol is slowly turning into the next industry-versus-the-rock-star story primed and ready for the pages of entertainment weeklies, nightly gossip hours and the merciless blogosphere. The Internet loves Kelly Clarkson, but after her recent behavior, it’s only a matter of time before the likes of Perez Hilton and TMZ get going about her spiral into self-controlling hysteria.

As a former Stater Forum editor so quaintly put it, “That girl ain’t right.”

Just about all that seems right with Kelly lately is her music.

She left her label, amicably. She fired her manager, whimsically. She canceled her tour, or so she says.

Oh, My December (her upcoming third release), please be a lying-in-wait saving grace.

In all honesty, it’s about all she has left. I can’t pinpoint the last time an artist really put so much on the line for an album, one noticeably darker than her first two releases.

According to sources cited in her recent cover-page Entertainment Weekly feature, Clarkson felt suffocated by whom she was working with and how she was working. My December is “a story of the past two years, all the highs and lows,” she told EW. “It deals with so many situations, whether it’s family, friends, relationships or myself.”

Clarkson’s stardom this far has been pop. I’m all for the creative liberty and self-growth of artists, but in this case, there’s a responsibility to the fame she’s been given. If she blames her management for misrepresentation and ruining her career, so be it. But why wait this long to make a scene? It seems that she smiled for VitaminWater and Candies just long enough to scheme a breakaway (pun intended) album from the vision her team was creating.

If you ask me, she had this planned all along.

I know, I know. I’m being a little cruel, but I’m not being any more whiny and vindictive than Clarkson herself has been to the press in the months leading up to this release. My tiff isn’t with her music – it’s with her increasingly constant need to say, “Screw the industry.”

Newsflash, Kelly: Corporate America made you. Corporate America fostered you. Millions of Americans who play into the hands of Corporate America molded you into a star. I don’t see indie-rock, singing/songwriting wannabes being pumped out of the well-oiled American Idol machine anytime soon, so stop being so emo already. You’re talented, and yes, may be able to successfully reinvent yourself. But for all of our sakes, stop being such a brat.

Barring all corporate roadblocks, My December is still slated to hit shelves Tuesday. Let’s not hold our breaths. Dino Kelly might flash her claws and bring the whole Clarkson dynasty down to Justin Guarini-stardom if she’s not careful with what she does next.

Label shopping, anyone?

Adam Griffiths is a sophomore magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].