IT’S almost midday in Texas, and Kelly Clarkson has already been awake for six hours. “The jetlag has really set in,” she says.

“I got back at midnight from a cruise holiday with my family around Spain and North Africa, and by 6am I was wide awake again.

“There were a lot of 80-year-olds on the ship – we played bingo with them all.”

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The singer, who plays Bournemouth International Centre on Monday (Feb 15), says: “I’ve had a few weeks off work, including Christmas and New Year, so I’m raring to go again.”

Even her down time has been busy, though. “At New Year, I was a bridesmaid for my friend. It was the first New Year recently that I wasn’t able to drink, as I was designated driver, so I had to make sure my friend enjoyed her day.”

Kelly, 27, claim she’s still the same down-to-earth girl she has always been, and still lives at the family home in Burleson, Texas.

Home life for her consists of looking after her two aquariums (she wanted to be a marine biologist, until she saw Jaws), running errands and “catching up with normal life”.

• Kelly Brianne Clarkson was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up in the small town of Burleson, Texas, where she still lives today.

• She shot to fame in 2002 after winning the first American Idol.

• Her first UK number 1 was in March last year with My Life Would Suck Without You.

• To date, she has released four studio albums and sold over 23 million worldwide.

• For 111 weeks in the mid-Noughties, Kelly had a song in the top 40 of the US charts.

The youngest of three children, Kelly admits she has always been the one to do “random stuff”, so it was no surprise to her family when she turned down three college scholarships to move to Los Angeles and pursue a music career.

“My mum and stepdad know what I’m like, and just said OK, good luck.

“I’ve always done my own thing and I’m quite persistent.

“I’d made the decision, and it was what I wanted to do, so I thought, I can’t be wrong.

“I worked my butt off to get the scholarships – but I already knew how to sing, so I had to go out and try it.”

After a year of singing backing vocals in clubs, writing songs, sleeping on mattresses and surviving her apartment burning down, Kelly decided to enter a new TV talent show called American Idol.

“I have a funny little life,” she says. “I should write a book, but people wouldn’t believe me.

“I’d call it, ‘It’s Not Fiction, I Promise’.”

American Idol was to be the launch pad, and, after winning the inaugural show, Kelly has enjoyed worldwide success for the past eight years.

“Sometimes American Idol feels like a lifetime ago, and yet at other times it feels like it was yesterday.

“It’s strange. Without the show, I do think I’d still be successful in the music business, but it did give me a chance to show I could do a bit of every style of music, because you have to sing different styles each week.

“That’s reflected in my current style of music – some is very pop, some edgy, some soulful. I basically don’t have a single style.”

When it comes to her personality, however, there’s no doubt that Kelly’s determined.

“I’ve had to fight on every record to get what I wanted on there.

“I had to argue with the record label to the point of literally crying to get Miss Independent on the album, then they released it as my debut single and it was a hit.

“I wrote Because of You at the age of 16, and it’s the favourite song I’ve ever written – yet my label told me it was rubbish so I couldn’t have it on my first album.

“Then I reworked the exact same song and got it on the next album and it was a big success.

“It’s the song that all through my career has been my stepping stone, and it made the label realise that I can write my own material.”

Her life is a cocktail of touring, writing and recording, but the next few weeks will see her hitting the road once again.

“I do like touring because I have my say – it’s my show!

“I decide everything and get to have it as I want. It’s not like that with recording.

“For this tour I have one day on and then a day off, so I’ll have more chance to explore the towns and cities I visit.

“I’ll definitely be able to explore Bournemouth this time so I have my fingers crossed for good weather.”