Kelly Clarkson hasn't forgotten where she came from.
After a week of performances on Facebook Live, the 34-year-old singer made a major announcement. Clarkson, who had been with RCA Records since winning the first season of American Idol in 2002, revealed she has signed a deal with Atlantic Records. "As you know, I came from American Idol, which was awesome, but it was kind of an arranged marriage after getting in the industry," she said. "While it was awesome sometimes, sometimes it was rough."
Though she was grateful for her success with RCA Records, her new label is giving her more creative freedom than ever before. "It was the first time in my career—15 years later, starting in this industry—that I actually got to pick who I wanted to work with. I was very excited to see who would be excited to work with me. And I'm going to tell you right now, Atlantic Records was just overwhelming inspired by me and excited to work with me...Everybody was so excited and won me over. I'm so excited because they want to make the album I've been dying to make since I was a kid, and since I was on Idol. Everybody's been asking me to make a soulful record for years, and while we've always had soulful influences on my records, we've never actually made a soulful record," Clarkson said. "So, that is what Atlantic Records and I are about to do."
Clarkson then performed a cover of Ben E. King's "Stand by Me."
"What's cool about Atlantic Records is that they love every part of my personality, as far as all the colors of my voice," Clarkson told her fans. "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 really make whatever record I'm into, which is real rare. So, I'm super excited about it."
To celebrate the deal, Clarkson posted four fan-requested covers on her website: Coldplay's "Fix You," Radiohead's "Creep," Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind," and India.Arie's "Ready for Love." She also shared a performance of her own song, "Tightrope," from 2015's Piece By Piece.
As a contestant on American Idol, Clarkson wowed the judges with covers of Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," Betty Hutton's "Stuff Like That There," Céline Dion's "I Surrender," Badfinger's "Without You" and many more.
"I basically just want to give away stuff!" Clarkson joked.
The singer will post new covers—for free—on KellyClarksonLive.com the last Friday of every month.