Kelly Clarkson prepares first greatest hits album

After five studio albums and over a decade of making music, Kelly Clarkson, the first winner from the hit reality show, "American Idol," is set to be the first to also release a "greatest hits" album.

Kelly Clarkson is about to release a new album. There are still finishing touches to be made but it will be released in mid-November, in plenty of time of Clarkson and "Idol" music fans to download it by the holidays or get a CD copy for a Christmas stocking stuffer. It will be Clarkson's sixth album altogether and her first greatest hits album, making the Texas native the first of all the "American Idol" alums to release a "greatest hits" compilation -- but that's only a technicality. More on that later.

Titled Greatest Hits: Chapter 1, the album is set to contain songs gleaned from all five of her studio albums and three new tracks. One of those new songs, "Catch My Breath," is scheduled to to impact radio stations on Oct. 16, giving it a five-week window to push sales for the greatest hits offering.

Clarkson announced the new album and single release on her official website: "It's been a decade now since I won American Idol. Sometimes it feels longer because although it has been exciting that was a lot of pressure to have as a 19 year old girl. To own a company, lead an organization as a business woman, and be able to create music I'm proud of has been tough but inspiring for me. To celebrate the strength and longevity that my fans, friends, and family have supported me with I wrote this song "Catch my Breath" with one of my best friends that has seen me through everything. This song represents who I've been, what I've felt, and where I'm headed as not only an artist but as a 30 year old that is now smart enough to know that it's time to stop, catch my breath, and be proud of not only what has been accomplished but of all the people that have helped me become the woman I am today. The song will be part of my first ever greatest hits coming in November. Thank you everyone that has been a part of my career and life. Here's to another decade of passion and fun! I hope you like the song…its coming next week!"

She premiered "Catch My Breath" on "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest's radio show Wednesday. The single will be available for purchase on Oct. 15.

Through her career, which began when she released her first hit song after winning Season 1 of "American Idol," Clarkson has posted ten songs in the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, three of which, including her very first, "A Moment Like This," have topped the chart. She has had 20 songs reach the Hot 100 in all, including one holiday song, "I'll Be Home For Christmas." She also landed a No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with "Don't You Wanna Stay," a duet she recorded with platinum country artist Jason Aldean.

According to AmericanIdol.com, Kelly Clarkson has posted more No. 1 songs than any other "American Idol" alum when all of Billboard's various charts are counted. In a decade, she has amassed 79 in all (as of the week ending Oct. 20, 2012, on said charts).

Clarkson was approached to make a greatest hits album after her third release, My December, but she nixed the idea. She scoffed at early greatest albums by artists, stating, according to the Times of India, "Doing a greatest hits would be crazy. I am not 50. Artists who do one after three albums think their career is coming to an end."

Still, she isn't the first "Idol" alum to see an actual collection of their hit songs released. Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard, who also has five studio albums in circulation, released a Best Of compilation in 2010 after his fourth collection of songs, 2009's Love Is. Although Studdard had only four songs hit the Hot 100, he had nine songs to either chart on the Billboard R&B or the Urban Contemporary charts.

Season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken has the distinction of being the first "American Idol" graduate to post a Best Of compilation, though. His album, which is part of the same Playlist: The Very Best Of series as Studdard's, was released in March 2009 and contained songs from his previous three studio albums and his hit holiday album, which remains the biggest selling holiday album of all "Idol" holiday releases.

But on a semantic note, Clarkson's upcoming collection will be the first "Greatest Hits" album of any of the "American Idol" alums.

Greatest Hits: Chapter 1 is scheduled for release on November 16, 2012.

(photo credit: RCA Records, Wikimedia Commons)

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