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Kelly Clarkson Is America's Idol; RCA Debut Thankful Enters Billboard Top 200 At #1.

-- Lead Single 'Miss Independent' #1 Most Added At Top 40

LOS ANGELES, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Seven months after capturing the hearts and minds of the nation, "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson is picking up where she left off. Her highly anticipated RCA/19 Entertainment full-length debut Thankful had an explosive first week, selling nearly 300,000 copies and entering the Billboard Top 200 album chart at No.1. As a result, Thankful is the best-selling record of the year by a debut artist. Clarkson is ruling radio as well as retail, with the smash lead single "Miss Independent" soaring to the No.1 Most Added and No.1 Most Requested positions at Top 40 outlets across the country.

How hot is Clarkson? According to retail giant Wal-Mart, her April 15th appearance at their Burleson, Texas branch was the most successful in-store in company history. Close to 3,000 screaming fans jammed the parking lot to watch her stunning performance. Grateful for the heartwarming hometown reception, Clarkson refused to leave the event until everyone in line got her autograph. She spent almost five hours signing copies of Thankful, eventually finishing at around 1:30 in the morning.

Millions of television viewers have recently tuned in to watch Clarkson bring down the house on shows such as "American Idol - Season 2," "Live with Regis and Kelly," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Good Morning America," "The View," "Dateline" and many others. In addition, she's been profiled on "Access Hollywood," "Entertainment Tonight," "Extra," "CNN," "E! Entertainment," and many more.

Clarkson will appear on the May cover of Marie Claire and has also graced the covers of publications such as TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, US Weekly, YM and Seventeen. Cosmopolitan named her one of their "Fun, Fearless Females of 2003." In a recent review, Billboard praised Thankful for providing "plenty to thrill the masses," writing the album's outlook is "platinum- plated."

Thankful's sensational first week follows the September 2002 success of Clarkson's debut single "A Moment Like This/Before Your Love," which rocketed from No. 52 to No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Chart. It was the largest chart leap to No. 1 in Hot 100 history, earning Clarkson a Billboard Music Award for Best-Selling Single of the Year.

If all that weren't enough, Clarkson, is preparing to shoot a video for "Miss Independent. "There is so much ahead of me and so much I want to accomplish," says the 21-year-old singer. "It all seems to be happening so quickly that I have to force myself to stop and realize how 'thankful' I truly am."

BMG is the global music division of Bertelsmann AG, one of the world's leading media companies. BMG owns more than 200 record labels in 42 countries including Ariola, Arista Records, J Records, Jive Records, RCA Records and RCA Label Group - Nashville. In addition, BMG's music publishing operations are the third largest in the world.

The 19 Group of Companies was founded by Simon Fuller in 1985 and since then has achieved over 35 No. 1 singles and 13 No. 1 albums. Fuller also has an impressive tally of over 60 Top 40 albums and 170 Top 40 singles in the UK alone. Fuller created and managed the Spice Girls, who became a global phenomenon under his guidance, selling over 38 million albums. In 1998, Fuller's 19 launched S Club 7, which has sold 10 million CDs worldwide, while its three television series to date have consistently topped children's viewing figures, reaching 104 countries. In 2001, Simon Fuller's 19TV created and produced the television phenomenons "Pop Idol" and "American Idol." "Pop Idol" launched the singing careers of Will Young and Gareth Gates, both of whom are managed by Fuller and signed to his 19 Recordings record label, while "American Idol" did the same for Kelly Clarkson, Justin Guarini, Tamyra Gray and Christina Christian, all of whom are managed by 19 Management.

CONTACT: Roger Widynowski of RCA Records Publicity, +1-310-358-4125, rogerw@bmg.com

Web site: http://www.rcarecords.com/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 23, 2003
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