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Kelly Clarkson is thriving

It’s what. She. Deserves.

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God, it’s exhausting being a pop stan sometimes. It’s an unwritten law that for every beloved-by-the-gays act who succeeds, there are another ten who are flopping/being dropped/going through creative turmoil/charting at No1038/being unconscionably problematic.

That’s why it’s SO GOOD when an all-time legend is, instead, fucking thriving.

And ladies, Kelly Clarkson is fucking thriving.

Today she’s announced a new Las Vegas residency for 2020; delivering the news on her new talkshow – reported recently to be one of the big breakout hits of the 2019/20 TV season in the US.

Add to that the fact that she’s still doing great on the US version of The Voice, and that it’s now November 1 and we’re legally allowed to start streaming the hell out of Wrapped In Red again (I started the promo for this back in June, don’t worry lads), Kelly is going through – yet another! – fantastic era of her 17-year career.

The Kelly Clarkson Show – which has a big focus on inclusivity and includes a performance segment called ‘Kellyoke’ in every episode – began in September and currently ranks fourth among all daytime talk programmes in the country. With 1.9 million viewers, it trails only Dr. Phil, Live With Kelly And Ryan and The Ellen DeGeneres Show; and it’s ahead of Maury, The Wendy Williams Show, Dr. Oz and Rachael Ray.

Media analyst Bill Carroll tells CNN Business that a show of this kind hasn’t been “this successful in quite a number of years.”

They added: “At a time where daytime programming on broadcast is competing with cable and streaming and on demand, this is a special and unique situation.

“Clarkson being in fourth place is notable in the sense that the show has had a breakthrough.”

Now, she’s following in the recent footsteps of Gaga, J-Lo, Celine and Britney; and heading to Vegas.

Announcing Kelly Clarkson: Invincible, which begins on April 1, she said: “I have so many jobs going on right now and they all involve me being located in L.A. I love everything I’m doing, but the one thing that bummed me out was that I am so busy I’m not able to tour.

“Vegas was the perfect option for me to still be able to do shows and play music and see the fans.”

Per Billboard, the show will have only 16 performances (for the time being, at least); with dates scattered across April, July, August and September.

“We literally could only fit in the amount of dates that are available because my schedule is so crazy but I hope to have more dates in the future,” she added.

Kelly released her first album under a new record deal back in 2017. Meaning of Life received strong reviews and charted at No2 in the US (No11 in the UK) but didn’t really yield any big hit singles – and as such is now one of those albums that’s wheeled out for “you slept on this!!!” tweets every couple of months or so.

So it’s great now to see her well and truly back, entering a new (albeit very different) phase of her career with massive aplomb.

Don’t get me wrong, the longing for new music is growing – and good grief, it feels like we’ve been waiting for UK tour dates for TWO MILLION YEARS.

But there’s really nothing better than seeing a wholesome fave getting the success she deserves.

Music

100 songs of the decade: One Last Time – Ariana Grande

‘Stay with me a minute, I swear I’ll make it worth it’

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Written by: David Guetta, Savan Kotecha, Giorgio Tuinfort, Rami Yacoub and Carl Falk
Produced by: Rami and Carl Falk
Album: My Everything
UK release: August 2014
UK chart peak: 2

Even under ~normal circumstances, One Last Time would comfortably be among Ariana Grande‘s best songs. A danceable semi-ballad with emotionally complex lyrics and affecting vocals, it’s powerful in the way it juxtaposes vulnerability with a danceable beat, and – let’s be honest – it’s far superior to Problem and Break Free, the My Everything singles that overshadowed it at the time.

But One Last Time isn’t a ~normal pop song anymore. After the 2017 bombing at Ariana’s concert in Manchester, it became a tribute to those who lost their lives and lost their loved ones, and a symbol of solidarity for all affected by such a fucking mindless tragedy. It’s a prime example of pop music’s ability to provide a sense of togetherness at the worst of times, and now it isn’t just one of the best songs of the decade, it’s also one of the most important.

  • I’ll be writing about my favourite 100 pop songs of the decade; one a day for the last 100 days of 2019. They’re in no particular order, except the Top 10 – which will (obviously) come in late December.
  • See the full list so far here.
  • You can follow the rolling, daily-updated playlist below, or here.

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100 songs of the decade: Once – Diana Vickers

‘Who or whatever you do, don’t let anyone love you’

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Written by: Cathy Dennis and Eg White
Produced by: Mike Spencer
Album: Songs From The Tainted Cherry Tree
UK release: April 2010
UK chart peak: 1

REMEMBER the excitement when, over a year after her X Factor elimination (and imagine if the final had been her with JLS and Alexandra Burke, instead of Eoghan Quigg with JLS and Alexandra Burke), Diana Vickers finally made her mark with a chart-topping song AND album.

I do think that, on the whole, D-Vix is better suited to the gentle electropop of her second album than she is to the much ~bigger production of songs like this, but… dammit, it’s just such an ace track, and the perfect one with which to launch her attempt at pop stardom. Obviously Eg White and Cathy Dennis know their way around a blistering pop anthem, and this kiss-off is a slam-dunk; built around one very simple-but-effective lyrical hook. If only it were the first of many No1 smashes.

  • I’ll be writing about my favourite 100 pop songs of the decade; one a day for the last 100 days of 2019. They’re in no particular order, except the Top 10 – which will (obviously) come in late December.
  • See the full list so far here.
  • You can follow the rolling, daily-updated playlist below, or here.

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Music

100 songs of the decade: Ugly Heart – G.R.L.

‘Maybe on your honeymoon you’ll think of me’

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Written by: Ryan Baharloo, Ester Dean, Dr L***, John Charles Monds and Henry Walter
Produced by: Dr L*** and Cirkut
Album: G.R.L. EP
UK release: August 2014
UK chart peak: 11

Released in the UK just five days before standout member Simone Battle’s death, the sheer brilliance of Ugly Heart by G.R.L. has always felt incredibly poignant: it’s rare that a pop group asserts so much easy-sounding confidence and personality on their breakthrough song, and this pure-pop belter has all the signs of a band ready to take over the world.

Each member makes the absolute most of their verse (Natasha’s take on the second pre-chorus is my favourite, and Simone’s delivery is *chef’s kiss*), the various Mel C-esque ad-libs are amazing, and the finale is a proper hands-aloft, scream-at-the-sky masterpiece of a kiss-off.

  • I’ll be writing about my favourite 100 pop songs of the decade; one a day for the last 100 days of 2019. They’re in no particular order, except the Top 10 – which will (obviously) come in late December.
  • See the full list so far here.
  • You can follow the rolling, daily-updated playlist below, or here.

Continue Reading

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