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“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson

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“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson

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“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson


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    “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson (official video) is a pop song.

    Song Title: Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) official video
    Artist: Kelly Clarkson
    Album: Stronger
    Genre: pop rock, dance, adult pop, adult contemporary, electropop, country
    Composer: Copyright © 2011 Jörgen Elofsson, Ali Tamposi, David Gamson, Greg Kurstin
    Musical key: A minor
    Lead Vocals: Kelly Clarkson
    Backing Vocals: Kelly Clarkson
    Guitar: Greg Kurstin
    Keyboards: Greg Kurstin
    Programmer/programming: Greg Kurstin
    Bass: Greg Kurstin
    Director: Shane Drake
    Producer: Greg Kurstin
    Recorded: February 2011, Echo Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California
    Engineer: Jesse Shatkin
    Released: January 17, 2012
    Label: RCA
    Number of listens: 29244
    Current rank: 70 (updated weekly)
    Highest rank: 21 (play the video all the way through to register a vote for this song)

    Adult Contemporary: #3 (three), 32 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
    Ringtones: #26
     Billboard information for the week of Sept 22, 2012
     Billboard chart listings courtesy of Billboard Magazine


    Summary quotation from Wikipedia:

    “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”, sometimes referred to as just “Stronger”, and originally known as “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)”, is a song by American pop rock singer Kelly Clarkson. It was written by Jörgen Elofsson, Ali Tamposi, David Gamson, and Greg Kurstin; with Kurstin handling the production. It was sent to mainstream radio on January 17, 2012 by RCA Records as the second single from Clarkson’s fifth album, Stronger (2011). The song is an uptempo pop rock song that uses a vibrant beat pulsating with synth and electric guitar. According to Clarkson, the song was inspired by a Friedrich Nietzsche quote, translated to “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”, and its lyrics contain the theme of empowerment. The song has been received as an anthem for empowerment and recovery.

    Upon its release, “Stronger” was met with a positive reception from music critics, who considered it to be the musical highlight of Stronger. Clarkson’s vocal performance and song’s production received particular praise, while criticism targeted the song’s lyrical content. Commercially, “Stronger” became her most successful single to date. In the United States, it became her third song to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three non-consecutive weeks, surpassing “A Moment Like This” (2002) and “My Life Would Suck Without You” (2009) as her longest-running number one single on the chart. It also topped fifteen other Billboard charts, including Adult Pop Songs, Adult Contemporary, Hot Dance Club Songs, and Pop Songs charts, more than any other song Clarkson has ever released. Internationally, “Stronger” topped the national charts of Poland and Slovakia and attained a top-ten position in over fifteen countries around the world, eventually selling over five million copies worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time. Its success helped its parent album to sustain commercial longevity for over a year. “Stronger” merited consideration for several industry awards—including three Grammy Award nominations, and a World Music Award nomination.

    The song’s accompanying music video was filmed by Shane Drake, which incorporates the theme of a global flash mob dance, featuring submitted videos of people dancing to the song. The music video garnered positive reception from critics who felt that its overall impact was exuberant. It earned Clarkson a nomination for a MuchMusic Video Award. With its continued success, she performed “Stronger” on several live award shows and television appearances around the world, debuting it during the first season of the American singing competition The X Factor; and performing it on the 37th season of Saturday Night Live, the 2012 MuchMusic Video Awards, and the 2012 American Music Awards. Clarkson also included the song in the set list of her Stronger Tour and on the encore set of her 2012 Summer Tour with The Fray.

Writing and production

    Originally titled as “What Doesn’t Kill You”, “Stronger” was written by Jörgen Elofsson, Ali Tamposi, David Gamson, and Greg Kurstin in September 2010. Elofsson also co-wrote “A Moment Like This”, which was released as a double A-side single by Clarkson immediately after winning the inaugural season of American Idol in 2002. In an interview with American Songwriter, Tamposi revealed that the song was inspired by the a Friedrich Nietzsche adage (“That which does not kill us makes us stronger”) that her mother told her as advice. Although Tamposi found the phrase as saccharine, she submitted it as an idea to Elofsson and Gamson during their writing sessions. Elofsson originally intended “Stronger” for Leona Lewis, who turned it down in the process. Tamposi’s manager, Tom Maffei, then had one of his producers, Matty Trump, to produce a demo track later to be pitched to RCA A&R executive Jeff Aldrich, who later gave the song to Clarkson. Tamposi revealed that Clarkson had also altered a lyric from the track. Aldrich had then commissioned Greg Kurstin, whom Clarkson wanted to collaborate with, to produce and add additional writing to the final version. Kurstin recalled, “I rethought the music part of it, I guess. It had a different tempo, beat, chords, and I kinda just came up with that guitar riff that goes into the verse, and that was the first thing that I kinda contributed just changed the feel of the song.” The song’s uplifting theme of empowerment led Clarkson to name her fifth studio album Stronger. saying that it is one of her favorite songs in the album, she said, “Everybody loves the message ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ It’s a perfect representation of my life.” On March 5, 2013 Billboard ranked the song number 2 in its list of “Top 100 American Idol Hits of All Time”.


    “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” is a pop-rock song with a length of three minutes and forty-one seconds. According to the sheet music published by Alfred Music Publishing, it is set in a common time and has a moderately fast tempo of 116 beats per minute. Written in the key of A minor, it follows the chord progression Am–F–C-G/B. Clarkson’s vocals span two octaves, from G3 to E5. The song begins with a “rumbling guitar” and a “shimmering synth” riff as Clarkson sings the opening line “You know the bed feels warmer / Sleeping here alone.” Jason Lipshutz of Billboard noted that the guitar riff in the verses is reminiscent of Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” which narrates an anthem of personal reinvention, and dancing. The bridges contain pulsating beats with synth and electric guitar that display some elements of electronic sound. During chorus, the song explodes into an upbeat dance-pop number, complete with guitars and electronic drums as Clarkson sings “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger / Stand a little taller / Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone.” Bill Lamb of believed that the sound of the driving guitar on the chorus “gives the words even more impact than they would have in a simple pop chorus” while Jonathan Keefe of Slant Magazine felt nobody else could sell the song’s “ginormous chorus” better than Clarkson. Lyrically, the song explores the theme of moving on from an inimical relationship. In an interview, Clarkson remarked that the song doesn’t refer to a specific person, stating “I didn’t have a bad breakup or anything, I just think life is about relationships so I always write all about these different ones going on in my life. And I don’t have a filter, so it’s pretty verbatim.” Jason Scott of Blogcritics felt that out of all tracks in Stronger, Clarkson’s vocals are best and trendiest in “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)”.

    In an interview with MTV News prior to the song’s release, Clarkson compared “Stronger” as similar to “Since U Been Gone” (2004). She commented, “We’ve already rehearsed it, and it’s so much fun. It’s like this big dance anthem. That’ll be the one [that’s] kinda like “Since U Been Gone”, [with] people jumping up and down to [it], and it’s just kind of really inspiring, so I can’t wait to perform that one.”

Music video

    On November 21, 2011, Clarkson announced on her website that she wanted to incorporate a global flash mob into the music video of “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”. She posted,

I’m shooting my video for “What Doesn’t Kill You” and I’d like everyone to join me in my global flash mob! Check out the routine in the video below. Learn it with me and get your cameras ready to record you and your friends rocking these moves in a unique location that shows where you are in the world. Submit your clip using the form below and maybe you’ll see it in my music video!! I can’t wait to see your submissions. Remember to be creative, but keep it safe and legal! Thanks for participating! Love, Kelly.
    The accompanying music video premiered on VEVO on December 14, 2011. Directed by Shane Drake, the video begins with Clarkson in a video control room, watching select flash mob videos submitted by various participants in different monitors. Throughout the video, scenes of Clarkson performing the song in three different settings (alone in a stage, with her band in a garden square, and in the control room) alternate with various flash mob videos. Towards the end of the video, Clarkson, along with the people in the garden square, forms a flash mob featuring a same choreography.

—from Wikipedia (the Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License applies to Wikipedia’s block of text and possible accompanying picture, along with any alterations, transformations, and/or building upon Wikipedia’s original text that applied to this block of text)

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    Sho: Stronger (What Doesnt Kill You) is Peng’s favorite song.

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