"Miss Independent" is the first single (first in Australia and the United Kingdom) from Kelly Clarkson's debut album Thankful & her second overall single.

Song BackgroundEdit

American record producer Rhett Lawrence first offered the song "Miss Independence" to American R&B trio Destiny's Child whom later turned down the offer to record the song.

Lawrence then collaborated with Christina Aguilera and Matt Morris to record it for Aguilera's fourth studio album "Stripped" as "Miss Independence."

Christina ultimately decided not to include it for the album, leaving it half-finished without the bridge.

Lawrence, Kelly's then manager Simon Fuller & music mogul Clive Davis suggested that Kelly contribute lyrics to the song and record it for her debut album.

One of Kelly's A&R managers, Keith Naftaly, suggested to re-title it as "Miss Independent." The song was released by RCA Records on April 10, 2003 (ten days ahead of "Thankful"’s release).

In 2009, it was made available for purchase as a downloadable content (DLC) for the Rock Band, Rock Band 2, and Lego Rock Band video games.

In an interview on "Total Request Live (TRL)," Christina revealed that upon hearing Kelly's version of the track, she became miffed that RCA (which was also her record label) decided to release it without her permission, however she also praised Kelly's vocal performance.

She told Kelly on the air, "if the song was to go to anyone, I'm glad that it went to you because you gave it justice."

In 2010, Kelly told the Bournemouth Daily Echo that "I had to argue with the record label to the point of literally crying to get "Miss Independent" on the album, then they released it as my debut single and it was a hit."

Song CompositionEdit

"Miss Independent" is a R&B-styled pop rock song.

Katherine St Asaph of Popdust noted that "it’s the closest Kelly Clarkson’s come to R&B." Kelly credited that Aguilera's rhythmic style has heavily influenced the song.

She remarked, "You can hear a lot of her influence in "'Miss Independent", especially the hook. And once you hear the song, it's constantly in your head. Believe me, I cannot get it out!"

Rachell Kipp of Associated Press wrote that "Miss Independent" "sounds like a half-baked remake of Aguilera's song "Dirrty."

The song has a length of three minutes and 35 seconds and is written in the key of D major, Clarkson's vocal range spans from F♯3 to F♯5.

The lyrics tells the story of an independent woman who was apprehensive about being in a relationship in fears of being rejected, she finally allows herself to break her emotional and communication barriers when she begins to fall in love.

Kelly revealed that she finds herself similar to the titular "Miss Independent."

She said:

"It's very funny when the song came into play with me ... 'cause at that certain time of my life, I was actually going through that kind of thing. I've always been real guarded about work and career. It wasn't even with, like, guy relationships, it was just, like, friends and just letting people in, you know? And so it was kinda weird 'cause I was going through that same thing at the same time, so it was very easy for me to write the bridge to the song."

Music VideoEdit

The song's accompanying music video was filmed in Los Angeles by Liz Friedlander, who didn't know Kelly at the time.

Friedlander remarked:

"Honestly, I never watched American Idol, so I didn't have a preconceived notion of her."

She said about the video:

"The song is explosive and young and has some cool electronic beats, so we took the visual style from the music."

Kelly added, "It's gonna be more Kelly Clarkson the artist, not [Kelly Clarkson] from 'American Idol."

The video features Kelly performing at a house party in reverse, starting from the morning after and working its way back to the previous night, where she appears attracted to a "surfer" whom she keeps seeing in mirrors. Friedlander adds, "And in the end — maybe — they get together."

The video premiered on MTV on June 2, 2003. It received three nominations at the 2003 MTV Video Music Award "Best New Artist in a Video," "Best Pop Video" and "Viewer's Choice Award."

Chart PerformanceEdit

"Miss Independent" debuted at the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart at number 23 on the week ending May 3, 2003.

It then debuted on the Pop Songs chart for the week ending May 10, 2003, eventually topping the chart for six weeks beginning on the week ending June 28, 2003.

The song debuted on the main Billboard Hot 100 on the week ending May 17, 2003 at number 61, eventually reaching at number 9 on the week ending July 19, 2003, becoming her second Top Ten single in the United States.

It also charted on Adult Pop Songs and Adult Contemporary charts at number 14 and number 28, respectively.

The single's success came out at the time when the Billboard charts were relying to more R&B and rhythmic stations than pop stations.

As of April 2010, "Miss Independent" has sold over 759,000 digital downloads in the United States. It was certified Gold by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 2006.

Internationally, the song also became a commercial success, becoming Kelly's first single to chart outside of North America.

In Australia, it debuted on the Australian Singles Chart at number 17 on August 2003, it eventually peaked at number 4 after Kelly performed it at the 2003 NRL Grand Final at the Stadium Australia on October 5, 2003.

It eventually became her highest-charting single in Australia along with "Since U Been Gone" in 2004 before being overtaken by "Mr. Know It All" which topped the chart in 2011.

In the United Kingdom, "Miss Independent" debuted at the UK Singles Chart on August 2003.

In the Netherlands, the song debuted on the Dutch Top 40 at number 27, eventually peaking at number 9.

The song also charted in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland.

Critical ReceptionEdit

"Miss Independent" has received mixed to positive reviews from music critics, who were lauded Kelly from distancing herself from her American Idol persona, but criticism targeted the song's resemblance to some of the song's on "Stripped" (particularly on "Dirrty" and "Fighter").

On its release, Brian Hiatt of Entertainment Weekly noted that "its hard R&B sound may shock fans who embraced the mellow "A Moment Like This. "Miss Independent" begins with Kelly singing in a throaty moan over a bangin' hip-hop beat, then bursts into a power-chord-propelled, disco-diva chorus that's not unlike Britney Spears's "Stronger."

Rolling Stone wrote:

""A Moment Like This" was exactly the sort of treacly by-the-numbers ballad critics expected of a TV-contest winner; that's probably why its assertive follow-up, "Miss Independent," was such a surprise."

AllMusic's senior editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote that it "managed to make Kelly Clarkson seem younger and hipper without slutting her up like Christina Aguilera (who, ironically, co-wrote "Miss Independent," the first single from Thankful) while retaining a strong sense of melodic songcraft."

Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine wrote that the song "gives Clarkson the youthful edge she desperately needs to balance out the Adult Contemporary goo of songs like "Anytime" and "A Moment Like This."

Cinquemani also added:

"Miss Independent" is no "Dirrty," but it proves that if anyone can out-sing Aguilera, it's Clarkson."

On March 5, 2013, Billboard ranked the it the number sixteen in its list of "Top 100 American Idol Hits of All Time."

Howard Cohen of The Baltimore Sun wrote, "The R&B-styled stomper "Miss Independent" sounds like the fat removed from Aguilera's meatier "Fighter" - which could well be the case, since she co-wrote both tunes."

Elysa Gardner of USA Today was more critical of the song, calling it "breathless" and "colorless."

She also added that the song "sounds less like the edgy, strong-but-vulnerable-woman number it purports to be than the Christina Aguilera throwaway it basically is."

The song received a nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2004 Grammy Awards, but lost out to Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful."

It was also nominated for "Choice Summer Song" at the 2003 Teen Choice Awards.


Miss Independent
Miss Self-sufficient
Miss Keep-your-distance

Miss Unafraid
Miss Outta-my-way
Miss Don't-let-a-man-interfere, no

Miss On-her-own
Miss Almost-grown
Miss Never-let-a-man-help-her-off-her-throne

So, by keeping her heart protected
She?d never ever feel rejected
Little Miss Apprehensive
I said ooh, she fell in love

What is this feeling taking over?
Thinking no one could open the door
Surprise! It?s time to feel what?s real

What happened to Miss Independent?
No longer need to be defensive
Goodbye, old you, when love is true

Miss Guarded-heart
Miss Play-it-smart
Miss If-you-wanna-use-that-line-you-better-not-start, no

But she miscalculated
She didn?t want to end up jaded
And this miss decided not to miss out on true love

So, by changing her misconceptions
She went in a new direction
And found inside she felt a connection
She fell in love

What is this feeling taking over?
Thinking no one could open the door
Surprise! It?s time to feel what?s real

What happened to Miss Independent?
No longer need to be defensive
Goodbye, old you, when love is true

When Miss Independent walked away
No time for love that came her way
She looked in the mirror and thought today
What happened to Miss No-longer-afraid?

It took some time for her to see
How beautiful love could truly be
No more talk of, "Why can?t that be me?"
I?m so glad I finally see

What is this feeling taking over?
Thinking no one could open the door
Surprise! It?s time to feel what?s real

What happened to Miss Independent?
No longer need to be defensive
Goodbye, old you, when love is true


Kelly Clarkson - Miss Independent

Kelly Clarkson - Miss Independent