Clarkson's debut single, "Before Your Love/A Moment Like This", topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and became the best-selling single of 2002 in the nation.It was followed by the release of her debut studio album, Thankful (2003), which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.After debuting at number 60 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the single climbed to number 52 the following week, and subsequently ascended to number one.
In an interview in 2012, Clarkson referred the inaugural season as "ghetto", explaining: "On our season we were like kids in camp. They dropped us off in a mall and said 'find some clothes to wear on national television'. On September 17, 2002, her debut double-A-side single, "Before Your Love"/"A Moment Like This", was released.
Both songs were performed by Clarkson during the season finale of American Idol.
It earned Clarkson her first Grammy Award nomination for "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance" at the 46th Grammy Awards.
It was followed with two moderately successful singles, "Low" and "The Trouble with Love Is"; the latter was used on the soundtrack of British romantic film Love Actually.
Clarkson returned to the top of the charts with her more mainstream-oriented fourth album, All I Ever Wanted (2009).