Clarkson told her that she had never received any professional vocal training.
Upon graduating from high school, Clarkson was offered full scholarships to University of Texas at Austin, University of North Texas, and Berklee College of Music, but later declined them, explaining: "I've already written so much music and wanted to try a career on my own" adding, "you're never too old to go to college."After graduation, Clarkson worked several jobs to finance a demo, recording material and trying to market it to record labels, but received little response.Clarkson turned down two recording contracts from Jive Records and Interscope Records, stating "They would have completely pigeonholed me as a bubblegum act.Clarkson has also ventured into film, television, and writing children's books. I’ve always grown up pretty close to church and with God.She currently serves as a coach on the television competition series The Voice. But I think I’ve just gotten a lot closer just because He’s the only one I can lean on."Clarkson was educated at Pauline Hughes Middle School and in the seventh grade, the school's choir teacher, Cynthia Glenn, overheard her singing in a hallway and asked her to audition for the school choir.Lack of other career opportunities and a fire incident in her apartment forced Clarkson to return to Burleson, where she worked at a movie theater, promoted Red Bull energy drinks, and worked as a telemarketer and as a cocktail waitress in a comedy club.
Upon returning to Burleson, Clarkson was encouraged by her friends to audition for the inaugural season of the reality television series American Idol: The Search for a Superstar in May 2002. I definitely looked like a cocktail waitress." Clarkson went on to win the competition on September 4, 2002, at the Kodak Theatre (now Dolby), earning 58% of the votes against runner-up Justin Guarini and without being sent into the bottom three throughout the season.Trying to reinvent her image, Clarkson decided to part ways with Idol management and her second album, Breakaway (2004), featured a pop rock sound.It sold over 12 million copies worldwide and earned Clarkson two Grammy Awards.Both songs were performed by Clarkson during the season finale of American Idol.After debuting at number 60 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the single climbed to number 52 the following week, and subsequently ascended to number one.She took further creative control for her third album, My December (2007), co-writing the entire album.