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Consider it an election eve bonus. Instead of watching the last two nights of frantic campaigning next month, you can instead get out and enjoy Kelly Clarkson, the hottest singing sensation in the US, make her Israeli debut.
In what is the first case in a long time of an American or British pop artist on an upward career trajectory arriving to these shores, Clarkson will perform two shows on March 26 and 27 at Hangar 1 in Tel Aviv.
Despite her dubious beginnings as the winner of the first season of the music reality show American Idol, Clarkson has evolved into a credible and acclaimed singer/songwriter. Her 2003 debut Thankful achieved double-platinum status while her current blockbuster Breakaway has sold 5 million copies, spawned four Top 10 hits in the US and earned Clarkson, 23, two Grammy nominations for Best Pop Vocal and Pop Vocal Album. She'll also perform at the Grammys which take place Wednesday night.
According to Ofer Menahem, the public relations director at Hed Artzi, Clarkson's local record company, Breakaway has been the top-selling album in Israel for the last two months with close to 10,000 copies sold.
"It's getting bigger by the minute. She simply has great songs, and not a lot of albums produce so many hit singles," he said.
Menahem added that the album's current single - the ballad "Because of You" - is currently number one on eight different radio stations in the country.
"I'm definitely going to go, I don't care how much it costs," said fan Meira Blum, 17, of Jerusalem. "She has a lot of catchy songs, and she's a great singer. She's just the All-American girl, all Israeli kids like her."
One family that definitely likes Clarkson is the Weissfeld family of Kfar Saba. Their son, Danny, 28, is one of the two guitarists in Clarkson's backup band, and he was instrumental in encouraging Clarkson to play here.
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