Kelly Clarkson Joins Atlantic Records, Plans to Release ‘Soulful’ Album
After working with 19 Records/RCA for more than a decade, Kelly Clarkson is officially walking away from the label and joining Atlantic Records. The artist made the announcement via a Facebook Live video stream on Friday (June 24) after teasing fans for days with a variety of cover songs serving as clues along the way. (Each artist she covered is an Atlantic recording artist: Foreigner, Otis Redding, En Vogue and Gnarls Barkley.)
Atlantic is home to many soulful artists, which Clarkson says is a major reason she’s excited to be with her new label.
“They love every part of my personality as far as, like, all my colors,” she explains. “I love the country side of me, and I love the Broadway side of me, and I love the pop side of me and the soulful side of me, and they are down to make really whatever record I’m into, which is real rare, so I’m super-excited about it.”
Clarkson describes her former label as “kind of an arranged marriage,” though she enjoyed working with them overall. RCA was the label she was required to sign with as American Idol’s first-ever winner, so this move marks the first time she’s gotten to chose her own label.
With the fresh new contract comes a fresh new record, which Clarkson says will be heavily influenced by soul/R&B.
“Everybody’s been asking me to make a soulful record for years,” she says, “and while we’ve always had soulful influences on my records, we’ve never actually made a soulful record, so that is what Atlantic Records and I are about to do.”
The new album is slated for release in 2017, but that doesn’t mean she’s not hard at work in the meantime. She also announced she’s launched KellyClarksonLive.com, which features four new covers available for download immediately as well as a live video — all for free — and that new content will be posted on the last Friday of each month.
“I basically just want to give away stuff because we’ve done so much stuff,” Clarkson explains, “and it’d be cool to give y’all something for free."
Clarkson has become known for her unique covers spanning a variety of genres at her live shows, as well — a testament to her true versatility. Though her most recent album, Piece by Piece, was released on RCA and leans more pop than any other genre, at the time she said she also had a country record in the works.
“I had a pop record left on my contract, so we decided to put this one out first,” Clarkson told Time magazine. “But I will have a country album that will come out. I always tell people I might do Broadway one day, I might do an R&B album. I just like music. It doesn’t just stop at just one genre.”
Clarkson has collaborated with country artists in the past, including Reba McEntire and Jason Aldean, now that she’s on Atlantic, she says her country side might come out in full force.
“They have a great country department,” Clarkson says of her new label. “I know a lot of fans have been asking when I’m going to make a country record, and I promise you, I’m gonna make one. I love country music.”
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