Kelly Clarkson will not be touring this summer. If you have already bought your tickets, you can get a refund – details are posted on her website. I’ve provided the link at the end of this article.
Late last week, a three paragraph message was posted on Kelly’s website telling her fans that while she loves to tour, “it’s just too much, too soon” for this summer. She also wrote that she will be back on stage as soon as possible with a better show.
The message ended with a note about ticket refunds and a promise that current ticket holders would be able to participate in special sales for future concert dates.
So? What happened?
I’ve read several articles that surmise that poor ticket sales were the reason for the cancellation. I don’t have a connection or source in the Clarkson Camp, so I can only ponder over what I read and hear.
Kelly recently fired her manager, Jeff Kwatinetz of The Firm, and hired Paul Freundlich as her new representative. In a press release, Freundlich said that he will be working with Kelly to evaluate her tour venues and that something on the smaller side might be appropriate for future concerts.
Before the firing of her manager, the scuttle-butt was that Kelly was having heated conversations with Clive Davis of RCA. There was speculation that her new album would be scrapped as the two did not see eye-to-eye on the final version. Kelly later released her own story saying such a conflict had been exaggerated and the new album, December, would be released on June 26th.
The December project was lyrically written by Kelly with the music composed by her band members. Kelly has described it as being a story about her, written by her.
The album is on the Internet, but not as a legal download, so being the Polly Do Gooder that I am, I only listened to the two songs that are available on her website. I will wait until June 26th when I buy December to do a full review. However, I do have some early opinions.
I’m a Kelly Clarkson fan and have seen her in concert one time. She was on tour with Clay Aiken when she came to Columbus. I felt a little sorry for her that night because there seemed to be more Clay fans and it felt to me like we were patiently waiting for her set to be over. She did a good job and was very tolerant of the constant chatter and screaming for “Aiken” of the Claymates.
I have talked to several friends who have seen her subsequent shows and they say she is truly wonderful now. She knows how to interact with the crowd and her stage performance is awesome.
I listen to both of her albums quite a bit and I’ve been excited for December to be released. However, I'm a bit skeptical now after previewing the first two releases from the CD.
It’s the same Kelly with the beautiful voice and the high trills and bursts of emotional excitement when she sings. However, on both “Sober” and “Never Again”, I heard parts where it sounded like she was almost screaming over the music. It may be that I’m just not comfortable with the rock side that she is trying to cultivate for herself.
While “Sober” is heart-felt with Kelly’s vocals, I was disappointed with the lyrics. It was meant to be a haunting song about a relationship of the past. She makes this very clear in her verses; however, the writing in my opinion is weak when compared to relationship ballads of Carly Simon, Sting and Phil Collins. I give her great credit for writing; I would just like to see her writing skills improve with better description and use of metaphors.
“Never Again” is a relationship gone bad rock ballad that is blunt. You have no problem discerning Kelly’s level of anger and frustration when she wrote this song. It took me several "listens" to appreciate the pain and emotion that she releases vocally, however, once again, I was disappointed in the lyrical side of the piece.
I can’t imagine what it is like to be a singer/songwriter/recording artist. As a writer, I get my critiques now and again, but everything I do and say is not continuously scrutinized. Kelly was suddenly thrust into the lights and lives of big ticket venues and music executives. She seems to be fighting to keep her independence as an artist and person.
I’m hoping this summer and the changes she is making and dealing with will maker her stronger as an artist and person. To me, her story has that Cinderella quality to it and I love happy endings. I wish for Kelly Clarkson the greatest of success, love and happiness.
Have a great week!