Kelly Clarkson Through the Years: Photos From 'American Idol' to Her Engagement!

As the singer turns 31, see how she has evolved from her crowning moment on the singing competition to a Grammy-winning diva!

It seems like just yesterday when we were first introduced to a young singer named Kelly Clarkson from Burleson, Texas. It was almost 11 years ago when the singer auditioned for the very first season of American Idol back in 2002 and stole everyone's hearts.

As Clarkson celebrates her 31st birthday, we take a look back at the powerhouse vocalist, from the days when she first blew us away on the Idol stage to her recent successes.

Age 20

Kelly Clarkson Through the Years Pics

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

After battling front-runner Justin Guarini for the very first Idol crown, Clarkson took home the big honor in September 2002. Through flowing tears, she could barely finish "A Moment Like This" as she sang under showers of confetti.

Age 21

Kelly Clarkson Through the Years Pics

L. Busacca/WireImage for JLM

The Justin and Kelly phenomenon continued as they starred in a movie together, and Clive Davis was loving his new talents (pictured in June 2003 in NYC). Unfortunately, the film didn't fare as well as he had hoped. This was just the beginning of Davis and Clarkson's tumultous relationship in the business.

Age 22

Kelly Clarkson Through the Years Pics

SGranitz/WireImage for Lifetime Television LA

With the success of her first album, Thankful, the singer hit the road with fellow Idol alum Clay Aiken for a dual tour (she's seen here performing in L.A. in September 2004) and began to take on a more mature look.

Age 23

Kelly Clarkson Through the Years Pics

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The vocalist took home her first Grammy Awards in February 2006. She snagged the trophies for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Album for Breakaway.

Age 24

Kelly Clarkson Through the Years Pics

Rodrigo Varela/WireImage

Clarkson chopped off her hair and continued to tour and record music. Her busy schedule resulted in a dramatic slim-down  -- so much so, that for the first time, she began to rock revealing outfits (pictured here in concert in June 2006).

Age 25

Kelly Clarkson Through the Years Pics

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

This was notably one of the more stressful times in the singer's career as she publicly struggled with music exec Davis over the release of her new album, My December. (She's pictured here at the Teen Choice Awards in August 2007). It ended up being Clarkson's lowest seller ever.

Age 26

Kelly Clarkson Through the Years Pics

Lester Cohen/WireImage

This year brought the release of All I Ever Wanted. And with hits like "My Life Would Suck Without You," Clarkson was back on top -- albeit with angrier songs! (She's pictured here at a Grammys event in February 2009.)

Age 27

Kelly Clarkson Through the Years Pics

Kevin Winter/AMA2009/Getty Images for DCP

As her career soared (she's pictured here at the American Music Awards in November 2009), the singer was the subject of numerous stories about her weight fluctuation -- but she didn't let the comments about her body affect her.

Age 28

Kelly Clarkson Through the Years Pics

Scott Kirkland/WireImage

After a breakup that led to hit songs on previous albums, Clarkson found true love in the arms of Brandon Blackstock -- Reba McEntire's stepson! The two ladies already had a great relationship going back to Idol, but now they began to get close like family (pictured at Muhammad Ali's Fight Night in March 2011).

Age 29

Kelly Clarkson Through the Years Pics

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Another successful year -- and this time, it was in both her professional and private life. Her happy romance continued with Blackstock while her newest album, Stronger, soared to the top of the charts. She followed that up with a stellar performance at the Super Bowl in February 2012.

Age 30

Kelly Clarkson Through the Years Pics

Kevin Winter/ACMA2013/Getty Images for ACM

Clarkson and Blackstock announced in December 2012 that they were engaged (pictured at the ACM Awards in April 2013). They are currently planning their wedding -- and Blake Shelton will be officiating!

Rana Meyer is the Associate Entertainment Editor for iVillage. Find her on Google+.

Like this? Want more?
preview
Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow http://t.co/wfewf

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web