Kelly Clarkson Signs Long-Term Deal With Atlantic, Preparing Soul/R&B-Inspired Album for 2017

Courtesy Photo
Kelly Clarkson

"Here's to the future," says the 'American Idol' season one winner.

Kelly Clarkson -- who had been signed with Sony Music's RCA Records label since winning the first season of American Idol in 2002 -- announced on Friday, June 24 that she's moving to Atlantic Records as part of a long-term worldwide deal.

Clarkson's first order of business on the Warner Music Group label will to be record an album for 2017 that will draw on soul music and R&B for inspiration. "We have already started creating a record that I have been wanting to make since I was a little girl, and a record that fans have been asking me to make for years. Here's to the future!" the original Idol said in a statement. 

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Clarkson's move away from RCA shouldn't come as a shock. Her relationship with the label -- and former chairman/CEO Clive Davis -- was sometimes rocky, with the release of her 2007 album My December being especially contentious. In a press release announcing the Atlantic signing, Clarkson referred to her longtime partnership with RCA as an "arranged marriage."

"After winning American Idol there was an arranged marriage that occurred that sometimes worked out and sometimes resulted in the hardest experiences of my life,” Clarkson said. 

To celebrate the new deal, Clarkson posted four fan-requested covers on her website: Coldplay’s “Fix You,” Radiohead’s “Creep,” Etta James’s “I’d Rather Go Blind,” and India Arie’s “Ready For Love.” 

Over the course of her RCA career, Clarkson released seven studio albums that hit Nos. 1-3 on the Billboard 200. She earned three No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and has won three Grammy Awards.