I feel sorry for Kelly Clarkson.
Not because she’s earned millions of dollars, has thousands of adoring fans, or is launching a Kelly Clarkson tour of North America this July.
No, I feel sorry for Kelly Clarkson because she’s a very successful pop/rock singer (all seven of her studio albums peaked inside the top five of the Billboard 200) who can’t find someone to sing a song with her.
I’m not the only one who thinks so. The Grand Poobah of popular music agrees with me…
“Kelly Clarkson’s inability to find anyone to sing with didn’t stop the former American Idol winner…”
— From the Rolling Stone article “On the Charts: Kelly Clarkson ‘Pieces’ Together Number One Spot”
Conventional wisdom says Clarkson has trouble finding someone to sing with because no one wants to get the stench of American Idol on them.
Also, it doesn’t help that Clarkson lacks the artistic flare usually shown by today’s crop of female singers. Clarkson doesn’t need backup dancers, costumes, and elaborate stages. All Clarkson needs is a microphone.
Clarkson has sung quite a few duets during her career. In fact, she has sung 17 of them. Her first was in 2003 and her latest came in 2015. That means over her dozen-year recording career Clarkson has recorded 1.4 duets a year.
Is that a lot? Carrie Underwood, who’s the same age as Clarkson, but whose recording career started two years later, has 12 duets (13 if you count the one with Elvis Presley) under her belt.
So Clarkson and Underwood have comparable duet statistics, but the latter doesn’t have the aura of struggling to find a partner.
Perhaps the reason for the divergent reputations is who the former A.I. winners have sung with. All but two of Underwood’s duet partners are within her wheelhouse of country music
Of Clarkson’s 17 duets, 10 of them are with country music singers and another, Jewel, has recorded a country album. Of the six non-country artists, two were with former American Idol contestants (Justin Guarini and Tamyra Gray) and one isn’t even a singer (Jeff Beck).
I can’t speak for Rolling Stones but this was what I was really writing about when I said Clarkson can’t find a duet partner. She can’t find a duet partner from within her genre.
Yet, that doesn’t even seem to be the case, but of the four non-country and non-American Idol contestants that have recorded duets with Clarkson, three are from the last two years.
One of those three songs, “Run Run Run” with John Legend, is from Clarkson’s latest album, Piece by Piece. So the trend might be changing.
Numbers don’t lie. Clarkson does sing a lot of duets it’s just that most are with country music artists.
Don’t expect any duets with country music artists during Clarkson’s upcoming tour. That’s mainly because her warm-up acts, Pentatonix and Eric Hutchinson, specialize in pop music.
The “Piece by Piece” tour begins July 11 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It ends Aug. 29 in Austin, Texas. In total, Clarkson will visit 36 cities including New York, Toronto, Denver, Los Angeles, and Phoenix.
Kelly Clarkson’s Duet Log
|“You Thought Wrong”||Tamyra Gray||2003|
|“Up to the Mountain”||Jeff Beck||2007|
|“Because of You”||Reba McEntire||2007|
|“Don’t You Wanna Stay”||Jason Aldean||2010|
|“Trying to Help You Out”||Ashley Arrison||2010|
|“There’s A New Kid in Town”||Blake Shelton||2012|
|“Don’t Rush”||Vince Gill||2013|
|“Silent Night”||Reba/Trisha Yearwood||2013|
|“Little Green Apples”||Robbie Williams||2013|
|“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”||Ronnie Dunn||2013|
|“In The Basement”||Martina McBride||2014|
|“Run Run Run”||John Legend||2015|
|“Pray for Peace”||Reba||2015|
|“All I Ask of You”||Josh Groban||2015|