Ranking All of Kelly Clarkson’s Top 10 Hits

Since she was crowned as the inaugural winner of American Idol in 2002, Kelly Clarkson has enjoyed hit after hit–and rightfully so. Her distinct voice has made her a mainstay on the charts and kept her adoring fans filling up arenas for more than two decades. Below, we rank all of Clarkson’s hits that have reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 thus far.

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1. “Piece by Piece” (No. 8)

Clarkson softly and tenderly broke our hearts when she released “Piece by Piece” in 2015. Written as a letter to her father about the impact of his neglect in comparison to the love she felt from her then-husband Brandon Blackstock, “Piece by Piece” is perhaps the best example of Clarkson’s emotional power as a songwriter.

Watching then-American Idol judge Keith Urban blubber through her performance of “Piece” on season 15 of Idol accurately reflects how many of us feel listening to this heartbreaking ballad. Clarkson has since changed up the lyrics in live performances following her divorce from Blackstock in 2020.

2. “Because of You” (No. 7)

Songs that come from a personal place are often the most resonant, and Clarkson proved that with “Because of You.” This devastating piano ballad finds her digging into old wounds from childhood left by her father, who abandoned her family when she was six years old. With vulnerable lyrics like, Because of you/I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me/Because of you/I am afraid, “Because of You” is easily one of Clarkson’s best songs ever.

3. “Since U Been Gone” (No. 2)

Clarkson introduced her angsty side when she dropped “Since U Been Gone” in 2004. The instantly recognizable lyrics beg the listener to sing (or scream) along. It’s hard to imagine anyone but Clarkson singing “Since U Been Gone” (it was initially written for Pink and then later turned down by Hilary Duff), making it one of her signature hits.

4. “Breakaway” (No. 6)

Clarkson got back to her tender-hearted roots with “Breakaway.” This 2004 single co-written by Avril Lavigne took Clarkson to new heights, as it set a record for most weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, a feat she shares with Celine Dion and Adele. Her poignant delivery of the song’s introspective lyrics about a girl dreaming of a life bigger than her small-town comfort zone continues to win over fans nearly 20 years after its release.

5. “Miss Independent” (No. 9)

Hot on the heels of her AI win and scoring her first No. 1 hit with “A Moment Like This,” Clarkson kept the magic alive with “Miss Independent.” This sassy song co-written by Christina Aguilera had Clarkson flaunting all kinds of confidence. The song’s distinct groove and Clarkson’s confident delivery not only made this a hit on the Hot 100 but one of her career-defining songs.

[RELATED: Kelly Clarkson’s Rise to TV Fame: 6 Memorable Moments from ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show’]

6. “Behind These Hazel Eyes” (No. 6)

Clarkson stayed in her feels with “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” the follow-up single to “Since U Been Gone.” Here, Clarkson proves that she can write and sing an angsty breakup rocker with the best of them. The video featuring her as a runaway bride traipsing through the woods in her wedding dress captures the melodramatic spirit of this hit.

7. “A Moment Like This” (No. 1)

The world may not have known who Kelly Clarkson is without the help of “A Moment Like This.” Clarkson belted out the triumphant ballad as her coronation song when she was crowned the first winner of American Idol, tears falling down her face as confetti flew all around her as she sang. It was one of the many performances that proved Clarkson was a powerhouse vocalist destined for a long career.

8. “My Life Would Suck Without You” (No. 1)

The Texas native delivered yet another pop-banger when she dropped “My Life Would Suck Without You” in 2009. The upbeat song is high energy from start to finish and is an undeniable bop. The song repeated a record that Clarkson had set in the past, as it marked the farthest jump to No. 1 on the Hot 100. “Suck” lept from No. 97 to No. 1, while her debut hit, “A Moment Like This” jumped from No. 60 to No. 1 in 2002.

9. “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You”) (No. 1)

Clarkson offered an empowering statement with “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).” This anthemic number about feeling liberated from a toxic relationship is backed by a catchy electro-pop beat that makes it an instant crowd-pleaser.

10. “Mr. Know It All” (No. 10)

The superstar isn’t afraid to be confident on “Mr. Know It All.” Here, she stands up to a condescending man, taking her power back through such lyrics as, I ain’t goin’ down/Can’t nobody tell me how it’s gonna be/Nobody gonna make a fool outta me/Baby, you should know that I lead, not follow. “Know It All” became a crossover hit when Clarkson released a country version of it in 2012 that reached No. 21 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

11. “Never Again” (No. 8)

Clarkson’s glass-shattering voice is the star of the show in “Never Again.” Here, she takes on a cheating lover, affirming that “never again” will she believe his lies, as told through her bold voice and a punk-rock attitude.

Photo by SGranitz/WireImage

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