On 4 August 2006, His Excellency, The President and the First Lady had the opportunity to meet Kelly Clarkson, pop star, Grammy Award winner and first American Idol.
The occasion of this meeting was Ms. Clarkson's concert in Marysville, California, the next to last stop on her "Addicted" Tour. Flanked by a band that included more than a half-dozen musicians, the 24-year-old singer opened her show shortly after 9 PM with a brooding version of "Addicted." It was the first of many songs from her current album, "Breakaway." Among them was the inspirational "Because of You," which Clarkson performed with two acoustic guitarists.
Clarkson looked more like herself than the glamorous nouveau pop star depicted on her two albums. Sporting a short haircut in natural brunette and dressed in black pants and a white "Blondie" T-shirt, Ms. Clarkson performed against a backdrop of floating video screens that provided eye-popping visuals.
The high point of the show was Clarkson's unplugged version of "Breakaway" from the middle of the amphitheatre, accompanied by a single acoustic guitarist. There she stood, belting out the tune with the warm self-confidence of a singer who has found her own way in a post-"Idol" world. She followed this with a rowdy, audience participatory, rendition of her signature song "Since U Been Gone", which also closed the show along with a cloud of green confetti.
Following the show, His Excellency, The President and the First Lady met with Ms. Clarkson at a "Meet and Greet". Among a small crowd of loyal fans, she posed for photographs, received gifts and chatted with everyone, mostly one-on-one. Ms. Clarkson seemed very comfortable and genuinely excited to meet with her fans, displaying her down-to-earth easygoing nature. It was a great pleasure for the First Family to meet with Ms. Clarkson, and they, as well as the rest of Molossia, wish her continued success in her already stellar career.
The Official Kelly Clarkson website can be visited here.