A moment like this is causing Kelly Clarkson a great deal of anxiety.
The original American Idol winner is peeved that four songs from her upcoming album have been leaked to the Internet before she's had a chance to tweak them in the studio.
"I write all the time—lots of stuff not meant to ever be released, just working on ideas," Clarkson tells Billboard. "The fact that people have heard music that's not ready yet sucks, but I hope they like it."
The quartet of new cuts—"Close Your Eyes," "Ready," "One Day," and "With a Little Bit of Luck"—popped up on Los Angeles-based music blog Pretty Much Amazing last week, generating huge amounts of traffic even though the tracks were still in demo form with varying degrees of sound quality.
The 25-year-old singer's camp groused about the unauthorized posting, compelling the blog's editor, Luis Tovar, to remove the tunes from the site. By then, however, the MP3s had been copied and widely disseminated online. (The tracks were still downloadable on file-sharing sites as of Monday a.m.)
"The support Kelly has from her fans is quite remarkable. It's still weird do [sic] bitch so much over a few demos," Tovar wrote.
Tovar, who said to "watch out for 'With a Little Bit of Luck' " for mega-hit potential, told Billboard that he acquired the tracks from a friend who had passed him a disc.
The two-time Grammy winner supposedly wrote and recorded the songs for her highly anticipated fourth album, True You, due out later this year.
The album is the follow-up to last year's 2 million-selling My December, which was darker in tone and sparked controversy when the "Since You've Been Gone" songbird got into a feud with Clive Davis, the head of her label Sony-BMG, who thought My December wasn't commercial enough and wanted her to lighten things up.
While earning decent reviews and spawning the Top 10 single "Never Again," the disc failed to repeat the success of her 2004 album, Breakaway, which moved about 11 million copies worldwide.
In the wake of the brouhaha, Clarkson left her managers at the Firm last summer and signed with Starstruck Entertainment, run by Narvel Blackstock, the husband of country star (and Clarkson idol) Reba McEntire. Clarkson and McEntire also toured together last year.
Clarkson will take a break from recording and is next set to perform for Pope Benedict XVI when he visits the United States later this month.