Is Kelly Clarkson Being Punished For Speaking Up?

Also, Ryan Tedder responds to the controversy ... then removes his response

HMMM … you knew this was coming. Yesterday we learned from Kelly Clarkson herself that she is pretty pissed that the song she co-wrote with One Republic‘s Ryan Tedder, Already Gone, sounds a helluva lot like the song he wrote for Beyoncé called Halo (you might’ve heard of it?). Speaking on Canadian radio, Kelly expressed her displeasure first with Tedder for seemingly pawning off a song he wrote for someone else on her and second her displeasure with her record company for choosing to release her song as a single (because it would seem to fans as if she were stealing from Beyoncé). Now, I’m hearing that her bosses at her record label are PISSED themselves that she is talking publicly about her feelings on this matter and are threatening to STOP all future promotion (ie. music videos, live performances, TV interviews, etc.) of her album All I Ever Wanted as punishment:


In his defense, Ryan Tedder posted a blogpost on his official My Space profile yesterday kinda sorta responding to the controversy. Shortly after he posted his message, the blogpost was deleted from his profile … methinks, he was asked to remove it. Nonetheless, I managed to save the text of his post … here it is in full:

Hey everyone, Ryan here. So…..i’m in Europe on vacation with my wife yesterday when I get a flurry of emails with links to gossip sites and media outlets saying “Kelly clarkson throws producer Ryan Tedder under the bus re: Already Gone” etc etc etc… Alleging that I copied myself or “pulled a fast one” on Kelly Clarkson. This couldn’t be farther from the truth and the whole thing is absurd….however, I need to actually read what the hell is going on, make a call or 2, and be fully informed of it, then I assure you I will have a proper, respectful response. I don’t take allegations of this nature lightly- ESPECIALLY when it’s in regards to artists I respect and admire. Nor do I let things like this go unaddressed. So, give me a minute, and I’ll tell u whatsup and what really happened, or in this case, “didn’t” happen.

HMMM … I mean, what else is the guy gonna say? Altho Tedder removed his My Space blogpost, he did release an official statement in its place today:

“‘Already Gone’ is one of the best song I’ve written or produced since “Bleeding Love” and stands tall on it’s own merits apart from “Halo”. They are two entirely different songs conceptually, melodically, & lyrically and I would never try to dupe an artist such as Kelly Clarkson or Beyoncé into recording over the same musical track, the idea is both hurtful & absurd. I think when people hear “Already Gone” they will hear what I hear-one of the greatest female vocalists on earth giving her most haunting and heart-breaking performance on a song she helped write. I challenge people to listen and form their own opinions.”

Uhhh, Ryan … we have listened to both songs and it seems pretty clear to me that the same music was pawned off on two different singers. OY! Kelly Clarkson can hear it too and because she was brave enough to speak up about it, she is now reportedly being punished … for the second time now. As you may recall, Kelly already butt heads with her record company bosses (music mogul Clive Davis, to be exact) when she released her last album My December which, IMHO, led to the disc’s poor performance in sales and on the charts. Kelly may have released a statement saying that everything was “fine” with her record company bosses in the wake of that controversy but we know it was all a spin job. This latest threat seems to be right up her alley … she speaks up honestly and then gets punished by her bosses. It remains to be seen if the threat will really be carried out but if we hear nothing from Kelly Clarkson in the coming weeks and months, well, you’ll know why.

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  1. Meghan

    Kelly needs to dump the label as so many other artists are doing. She is a great talent, but she is stiffled by her record label. This is just one more example….

  2. Janelle

    I really hate how her record label treats her. She’s better than them.

  3. procrastination101

    ‘already gone’ is actually a really nice song, i don’t know why she has a problem with it as a single. to be honest it never occurred to me that it sounded like halo. but there is something really wrong with kelly clarkson and clive owens dynamic, none of them is ever willing to let up and compromise. if things like this are going to keep happening between them all the time then kelly needs to leave! she’s got the record sales to back her up and another record company would probably love to have her way more than her label now.

  4. Janelle

    @procrastination101 – I’m sure she’d be fine with it as a single if it wasn’t already like one that was out by someone else. She obviously seemed to like it enough to record it before she knew about this crap.

  5. Mrs. Clarkson

    Sigh..
    My girl just needs to go her own way, and the label needs to realize she’s a 27 year old woman. She’s past the “pop princess” phase. I love her music, clearly, but I’m ready for her to grow up as an artist and be respected for it. She was 21 when she was singing Miss Independent, how much longer does she have to go before singing mature, age appropriate music? She was the “girl-next-door,” but the girl’s gotta grow up sometime. I mean, I am beyond ready for songs like Janet’s If coming from her…not just covering someone else.  ;) Call me selfish, but I cannot wait until the day my eardrums don’t bleed from all the tweens screaming. I don’t care if I have to see her at a dive bar in Nashville, Burleson, or whetever. I’m seriously convinced this is so why she’s still in the closet, too…so I can’t wait to “FREE KELLY!”  lol, I’m so ready to start a campaign…I’m not even joking. ;)

  6. Jacinta

    I think it sucks that Kelly’s label never has her back on stuff. Seriously, I guess it’d be better for them if she was a liar.

    And Ryan Tedder needs to give it up. It’s quite obvious that songs are super similar musically and he’s the link between the two. I’d respect him more if he’d at least own up to that.

  7. nae

    what a crappy label.

  8. I really like that song. I didn’t even like the first two singles from her new album, but I like ‘Already Gone’. I didn’t even think of Halo when I first heard it, maybe I was the only one who didn’t, but sounds to me like Kelly has a pretty sucky label if they’re treating her that way. I’m sure another label would scoop her up in a heartbeat.

  9. nicole

    poor kelly…she just keeps getting screwed by her label. hunni needs to find somewhere worthy of her honestly.

  10. kk

    More people will listen to this song than ever now. Kelly speaking out actually helps the record sales because everyone will have to see what the hoopla is all about. Then they will hear that AG is clearly the superior song with the superior voice and it will raise sales. Kelly is counting the days until her contract is up with her record company. If they said good-bye tomorrow she’d throw a champagne party for everyone. She just doesn’t give a crap what they think anymore. She has the most diverse voice in the biz, period. She’s going to be just fine wherever she goes, and whatever she decides to do. It won’t be this pop star shit though, I can guarantee you that!!! And she will be soooo much happier when they are out of her life!

  11. Snarf

    betcha anything this does wonders for i-tunes sales of both Halo and Already Gone. Hmmmm……Not sure if Tedder or Beyonce pulled a fast one, but Clarkson is likely to come out the loser in this – pecking orders can be a bitch.

  12. LA

    Ryan said, “They are two entirely different songs conceptually, melodically, & lyrically”, and that’s true. However, Kelly wrote the lyrics (so the concept was also hers) and she wrote the melody. Ryan’s signature “drum beat” is what makes the song seem similar. That’s why Kelly is performing it acoustically. I like it better without the Tedder flourish!

  13. Reese

    Ryan’s excuse is just as expected: lame.

    There really is no way for Ryan to explain himself. All he can do is compliment Kelly, which he did in his new statement. He challenges us to listen to it & form our own opinion? Hey Ryan, I challenge you to come up with new beats, lazy ass.

  14. Leah

    I think they are very similar and actually both reminded me of Bleeding Love, before I knew Tedder was invloved in writing all three. Clearly he enjoys the chappy track. But yes, Kelly’s label needs to quit stabbing her in the back… do they not appreciate having her as an artist?

  15. Leah

    LOL, that was supposed to be clap-py track. With the handclaps.

  16. Kyleigh

    Um…I thought Jesse McCartney wrote “Bleeding Love”. Kudos to Kelly for speaking up, BOOOOO to Clive Davis and Sony for not going to bat for their own artist. Kelly Clarkson is the greatest voice to come out of American Idol (Carrie Underwood a close second), and Sony has failed to recognize this. Kelly will be fine if Sony cuts her loose, there will be plenty of other labels knocking at the door, willing to let her take her music in the direction she wants to take it. Hell, it would be even cooler if she started her OWN label (since apparently everyone is able to do these days).

  17. Debho

    Would people have really known that they sounded similar if it hadn’t been pointed out? Whatever, people are listening to her song now.
    Back in the 80′s Stock Aiken and Waterman wrote songs for Kylie Minogue and a stable of singers ….they ALL sounded the same. And all were big hits. Don’t understand all of the fuss now really. Songwriters generally have the same sound in their music.

  18. jen

    Kudos to Kelly Clarkson. She gets into trouble just because she’s not as naive or as much of a pushover as Clive would like her to be. She’s one of the very few artists out there to really speak her mind.

  19. morgan

    She need to dump her record co., and find someone that will treat her career with more respect. Ryan clearly used the same music for two different artists, two different songs. He needs to own up to it, and apologize to both artists, especially Kelly Clarkson because she is the one getting all the heat for his laziness, and fraud.

  20. Krissy

    I think the label is so much worse at this whole thing than Kelly is. Ultimately, she tried to tell them not to release it because of the similarities, and they went ahead and did it anyway (IMO, there are a lot more interesting songs on her cd than that one). I think that Ryan hasn’t owned his mistake and clearly side stepped the issues with the drum similarities. In such a stark arrangement, the drums are the song. It isn’t as if they have wildly different guitars over the drums. As producer, I am sure he knew how similar they sounded when he was making the songs. He needs to own up!

    Team Kelly!

  21. Jacinta

    @Kyleigh-Ryan Tedder and Jesse McCartney co-wrote/produced “Bleeding Love”

    @Debho-Kelly’s song is, and has been for like the past couple months, one of the goodbye songs on So You Think You Can Dance. And I swear, every single time it starts, even though I know it’s not Halo, I think it is for a split second because of the extremely similar beats.

  22. Rami Ramirez

    I’m sorry, Trent, but you’re really beating a dead horse with this. And you’re wrong, and so is everyone else that thinks it’s the “same track.” I am a writer/producer and the songs are only similar in the sense that stylistically and key-wise they are the same. The rest: melodies, beat tracks, and chord progressions, are different. It seems Kelly Clarkson was speaking in defensiveness, because dumb people are blaming her for stealing, which is absurd. Have you ever heard the similarities between Amy Winehouse’s “Tears Dry On Their Own” and Diana Ross’ “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” ? Give them a listen. See? No one stole there, either. Both songs just use very similar progressions. This is a made up drama. Period.

    • @Rami Ramirez — Oh, thanks!! I wasn’t sure what I was hearing with my own ears until it was explained to me by a writer/producer. Dude, the songs are way too similar for it to be a coincidence. Not even Ryan Tedder can explain it away.

  23. Rami Ramirez

    @ Trent (bitch): Um OK. If you’ll notice almost every other commenter about this EVERYWHERE mentions the same thing: they heard the KC song, liked it, and never were once reminded of Halo until reading about it. I guess some people’s listening skills are stronger than others. I usually agree with everything you write, which is the only reason I’m challenging you here. We’re all entitled to an opinion I guess. Seriously, at what point in Already Gone do you hear hand claps? THEY ARE DIFFERENT CHORD PROGRESSIONS. I just listened again to be fair. Oh I get it – this is what you do – you’re just trying to add fuel to the fire. Hmmm – I thought you were a little more objective than that. Oh well. My bad.

  24. Rami Ramirez

    Oh and I only meant bitch as an endearment. Honestly. Reading again, it seems rude…

  25. KEVIN

    It’s kind of like getting duped by the spirit fingers guy from Bring It On. Same ole routine on multiple teams. Do I hear total domination from Teddler?

  26. Krissy

    Kevin!!! That is a hysterical, and appropriate analogy!!

    And Rami, I don’t agree with you. I think that it has sounded similar to people with out Trent’s help. It is all over the web, not just on Trent’s site. I think it is a bit rude to accuse someone of lying to add fuel to the fire.

  27. Tracie

    @Rami:
    Uh, The Amy/Diana comparison is a bad one. There is a huge difference between a current artist recording a song clearly influenced by (and hell maybe even plagiarising) a classic song and two songs coming out at roughly the same time that sound remarkably similar AND were cowritten by the same person.

  28. nysro

    She would be better off on another label. Clive Davis has done as much to hurt his record label as her by talking shit about her last album. She could be more successful with some people behind her that about HER and not how they look or the label does. Clive Davis is an asshole and not that in touch with what modern music is all about.

    Her My Decemeber album would have done better had clive and his cronies not come out in the media talking shit about how bad it was… It wasn’t bad, but it surely hurt the album with all his remarks… I would have sued him back then for the lack luster results, and seen how that went.

  29. Rami Ramirez

    Trent – I’m not accusing you of making anything up. I guess it all boils down to the fact that neither I nor the other 3 musicians I’ve asked in the past day about this think that the two songs sound similar enough to warrant this kind of controversy. Fact: they have different themes, harmonies, melodies and chord progressions, but they have similar tempos, similar instrumentation, and are in the same key. That said, even if I’m just deaf and somehow not hearing what everyone else is, there is nothing wrong with writing two songs that are similar. Now, if you took the vocals out of both songs and the track was exactly the same, now THAT would be shady. That’s not the case here. Anyways, since I am a mere reader of your powerful blog, I’ll allow Mr. Tedder to defend himself from this point on. But you’re wrong. And I love you.

  30. I know from first hand that Tedder is a completely talented person but a douche! I would not be surprised if he knew the whole time. Money talks.

  31. cg

    Hey Rami are you a music major because my music major brother can tell similarities in the song especially in the beginning.

  32. taylor

    Kelly is strong woman who speaks her mind. I love her for it. As soon her contract is up, she needs to break from that record company. Doesn’t Simon Cowell have a label? Perhaps she should team up with him…and stay away from ‘spirit fingers’ Tedder.

  33. la princesa

    I love Kelly Clarkson’s music, but when she speaks, I tune her out. She sounds so bumpkin and self-righteous, so I will enjoy her music, but I’m fine if they take her off the talk show circuit…

  34. Mariah

    Kelly, take my advice – fuck those label bosses of yours and leave their asses! Kelly is amazing and wonderful and brilliant and fantastic and one of the best in the business so I’m positive that any other label would be more than ecstatic to take her under their wing and treat her with the respect that she deserves. Then when she’ll sell millions upon million of more album, I have no doubt that RCA would be begging and pleading for Kelly to come back to them. FUCK RCA, KELLY! YOU’RE THE BEST! KEEP SPEAKING FROM THE HEART AND TELLING THE TRUTH!

  35. Sid Sparkles

    at some point…aren’t all melodies gonna have been written? it’s inevitable that there will be similarities out there, and especially if the same writer dips his pen in both songs, but they are two different songs, both good, but “already gone” is by far one of kelley’s best yet, from a FANTASTIC album that, unless EVERY person at her label is an idiot, will produce 6 or 7 singles. hell, so far, it’d be my fave for album of the year. love it, love the song, love her!!!

  36. anna

    TEAM KELLY ALL THE WAY!!! she’s amazing!!

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