10 years ago Sunday, RCA Records released “Since U Been Gone,” the lead single off of Kelly Clarkson’s album Breakaway. It wasn’t long before the song became one of America’s top belt-it-into-your-hairbrush anthems—and enterprising karaoke singers began attempting to put their own spin on it, only to discover a shocking truth: That ish is hard to sing.
In honor of Kelly’s big anniversary, we asked our staffers to ‘fess up about our experiences with the most surprisingly tough karaoke songs. Here are our answers—starting with the tune that inspired the question.
Lanford Beard, staff editor: I’m an alto, so a lot of Kelly Clarkson’s songs seem perfectly suited to my vocal sweet spot… until the chorus. “Since U Been Gone” is the most ear-piercing example of my former hubris. I don’t have a specific memory—maybe I’ve blacked it out?—but I still have a vivid sensation of getting to that earworm-y title phrase and sounding like a dying cat. At least with some other upper-register belters (Katy Perry’s “Firework,” for example), there’s wiggle room vocally—but when trying to emulate Kelly Clarkson’s crazy-good range, you will fail. Don’t be fooled by the American Idol’s beginnings on a glorified karaoke competition. Her original hits should pretty much all be filed under: “Don’t try this at home… and especially not at a karaoke bar.” READ FULL STORY