Eric Hutchinson opening for Kelly Clarkson
Eric Hutchinson looks like the kind of guy you can trust – honest, approachable, somehow familiar. There’s just something about him that invites you to give up your innermost thoughts. And complete strangers don’t hesitate to do so, as he wryly details in “Oh!” “Oh” is one of 10 keenly observed songs from Hutchinson’s self-released debut album, Sounds Like This. The CD, which showcases the young singer-songwriter’s unique brand of soul, bowed at #1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart in September 2007. Sounds Like This was released on Hutchinson’s own label, Let’s Break Records, at the end of August 2007. Overnight it was breaking records. Eric’s album was ensconced in iTunes’ Top 10 alongside the latest releases from Kanye West and Dave Matthews. It peaked at #5 on the iTunes album chart, becoming the highest-charting album by an unsigned act in iTunes history. No small accomplishment for a record that almost didn’t get made. Although he’s been favorably compared to his early idols (Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Paul Simon), one of the most remarkable things about Sounds Like This is the sheer breadth of musical styles Hutchinson effortlessly encompasses.
Texas-born Kelly Clarkson has lived a wild ride. She was, of course, catapulted into the spotlight in 2002 as the very first American Idol winner. Her superstardom was secured with Breakaway in 2005. That album sold over ten million copies, spun off five Top Ten hits, and stayed on the charts for two full years. Kelly's 4th album, All I Ever Wanted, debuts at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 with 254,111 albums sold and #1 on the Digital Album Chart. This marks Kelly's first #1 album since her debut in 2002 and all four of Kelly's albums have debuted in the Top 3. With her fourth album, All I Ever Wanted, Clarkson demonstrates her eagerness to continue branching out, and to push her music in new and unexpected directions. Though she has sold over twenty million records around the world; landed eight singles in the Top Ten; and won Grammys, MTV Video Music Awards, American Music Awards, and even been nominated for a CMA Award, she maintains that she's far more interested in challenging herself than in repeating herself.