Kelly Clarkson’s “Because Of You”

Record executive Clive Davis really has some nerve to portray Kelly Clarkson as a naive ingrate in his newly-published memoirs.

I applaud Kelly for responding to his false claims in this blog post, where she reveals the truth behind their rocky professional relationship. It made me especially angry to learn that Mr. Davis had insulted her songwriting talents, calling her a “shitty writer” after hearing “Because of You”. As we all know now, he was wrong. And not just because it was a sensational hit on the charts, but more importantly, because it resonates today as the best song Kelly has ever written and recorded.

“Because of You” taught me a crucial lesson that helped me get through difficult times during my younger years – You Are Not Alone. For children and teenagers in broken homes, it is hard to express the pain felt and experienced from troubled family relationships. Home is supposed to be a place where you feel safe from harm and loved unconditionally, but it’s not always the case, and that harsh reality comes great pain and shame. With these unspoken truths, it’s unfathomable to imagine that anyone else is possibly going through the same situation as you. Then “Because of You” came out, and suddenly, I (and all of the kids and teens who were also hurting) didn’t feel so alone in the world anymore.

Some days, when I couldn’t hold it together, I would sit in my room, listen to “Because of You”, and cry. While the song couldn’t mend all of the wounds, it did a tremendous job at helping to ease the suffering. I felt such a great connection to Kelly, and her song was the friend I needed at a time when I couldn’t be open about what I was experiencing at home. It was through listening to Kelly Clarkson’s albums that I began to use music as an escape, and her songs continue to have that impact on me to this day.

Kudos to Kelly for standing up for your art with boldness, integrity, and class, and thank you for making music that is authentic, relatable and inspirational. I am so proud to be a fan of yours!

Highlights from the 2013 Grammy Awards

2012 was a strong year for music. Promising newcomers (Ed Sheeran, Hunter Hayes) emerged on the scene as alternative artists (fun., Gotye) and fabulous females (Rihanna, P!nk, Kelly Clarkson) ruled the airwaves. The 55th annual Grammy Awards recognized and rewarded the musicians whose albums and singles resonated with fans in an impactful way. Unlike Adele’s remarkable six trophies sweep during last year‘s ceremony, there was no clear frontrunner in terms of 2013′s award recipients. This year’s Grammys honoured artists and bands from a variety of genres, which was also evident from the line-up of the evening’s live performances.

Here are five of my favourite award recipients and/or moments from this phenomenal celebration of music:

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Haley Reinhart Casey Abrams

American Idol Inspired Duos

I am a shameless fan of singing competition reality shows. While some may write off shows like American Idol and The X-Factor as overhyped karaoke contests, one cannot deny the tremendous impact that these shows have had on the music industry. Where would stars like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and One Direction be today without Idol and XF? Probably not on our iPods!

This summer, Queen Kelly (a.k.a. the original Idol) is devoting her time to being a mentor/coach on Duets, a new singing competition which pairs amateur singers with their musical idol as duet partners. The fascinating premise of this show led me to realize something significant about these reality shows. Though Idol and XF mainly serves as a launchpad for solo artistry and group acts, some former reality show alums have gone on to establish some great singing duos as well, forging collaborations with fellow musicians, contestants from other singing competitions, and even former competitors!

On that musical note, here are three of American Idol and The X Factor’s finest duos for you to check out – it’s double the discovery and twice the listening fun!

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