Kelly Clarkson to Release New 'Soulful' Album in 2017 After Leaving Longtime Record Label
By Sophie Schillaci
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Kelly Clarkson is turning over a new leaf!
The 34-year-old singer announced on Friday that she's left her longtime record label, RCA Records, in favor of a new deal with Atlantic Records, where she is working on a "soulful" new album to be released in 2017.
"I came from American Idol, which was awesome, but it was kind of an arranged marriage after getting in the industry," Clarkson explained on Facebook Live. "While it was awesome sometimes, sometimes it was rough."
Clarkson made sure to show plenty of gratitude for the team at RCA, where she released six full-length albums since 2003, plus one holiday offering.
"I have to announce today that it was my first time in my career, 15 years later, starting in this industry, that I actually got to pick who I got to work with and I was very excited to see who would be excited to work with me," she said. "I'm gonna tell you right now, Atlantic Records was just overwhelmingly inspired by me, excited to work with me.
"I'm so excited because they want to make the album that I've been dying to make since I was a kid and since I was on Idol," she continued. "Everybody's been asking me to make a soulful record for years and while we've always had soulful influences on my record, we've never actually made a soulful record. So, that's what Atlantic Records and I are about to do."
Clarkson said that the team at Atlantic is "down to make really whatever record I'm into," citing her love of country, Broadway, pop and soul music.
"They have a great country department," she said, "I promise you I'm gonna make one [a country album]. I love country music. But right now I would really love to focus on making the most amazing soulful record, 'cause I've wanted to make this since I was a kid. My mom has wanted this for years; this is for my mom, too."
Clarkson also announced the launch of a brand new website, KellyClarksonLive.com, on which she'll give away free music, covers and other live content on the last Friday of every month.
"I want to give away stuff," she said. "We have so many songs recorded from tour, or us in the studio, and it'd be cool to give y'all something for free."
Clarkson hasn't been shy about voicing her issues with her former label in the past. Most recently, she put former RCA execs on blast for forcing her to work with Dr. Luke, saying "literally I got blackmailed by my label" and "It was a really hard time for me." She quickly clarified that current RCA chief Peter Edge was not in charge at that time.
"Thank you so much to RCA, especially Pete Edge, who runs the label right now," Clarkson said at the end of Friday's livestream. "He was my fourth regime at RCA, and I love him. He's a great guy, he is not the reason why I left. It's just, I love what Atlantic can offer me, and I love Julie [Greenwald] and Craig [Kallman] and how passionate they all are. We just are really in sync on a lot of things and it's just an exciting new start for me. It was my first time to get to pick."
In honor of Clarkson's new endeavor, let's take a look back at her (entirely fitting) career aspirations after winning American Idol in 2002.
"I have so many goals, like with films, musical theater, Broadway, everything," she told ET backstage just moments after her victory. "I have so many goals and I'm just about breaking all the rules, so I'll just do whatever comes my way if I feel like it's natural."