NEW YORK - Like the critics, Kelly Clarkson was less than thrilled with her 2003 movie musical “From Justin to Kelly” — and she wants people to know that she had no choice in the matter.
“Two words: Contractually obligated!” the first “American Idol” winner told Time magazine for its issue on newsstands Monday.
“I knew when I read the script it was going to be real, real bad, but when I won, I signed that piece of paper, and I could not get out of it,” said the 23-year-old singer, whose second album, “Breakaway,” contains four top 10 hits and earned her two Grammy nominations. “Seriously, I never thought I could act, but I knew I could sing. Not to sound cocky, but I can.”
If Clarkson seems charmed lately, she says it’s largely due to her own insistence on independence.
“To be totally honest, the problem was I wanted to write a lot of my own songs on ‘Breakaway.’ Nobody else wanted me to,” she told Time. “So there was a big ol’ fight.”
Clarkson ended up writing or co-writing six tracks, including one bona fide hit, “Behind These Hazel Eyes.”
That fight led to her split with 19 Entertainment, the management firm that has the right to sign any “Idol” contestant. Her new company, The Firm, is using a strategy of moderate exposure to make her a durable star.
Clarkson is to perform Wednesday at the Grammy Awards. She is nominated for best pop vocal performance and best pop vocal album.