VAN NUYS, California — "American Idol" viewers have grown accustomed to seeing the show's hopefuls in commercials for Ford, which is one of its sponsors. But they may have been surprised during Tuesday's episode when the requisite commercial featured a brand-new song from Kelly Clarkson instead.
Titled "Go," the upbeat song was written by Clarkson and producer/musician Rhett Lawrence (Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Kelly's Thankful LP) and may be included on the singer's next album. "It's all about empowerment — taking that initiative and just doing what your dreams are," Clarkson said Tuesday. "It's a fun song. It fits perfectly with the commercial. I like the whole [empowerment] theme because it's kind of like my life."
The company is also sponsoring Clarkson's summer tour (see "It's Your Turn To Scream 'Kelly Clarkson!' This Summer"). "We're giving away a car in each city and we're doing some charity stuff as well," Clarkson said.
Kelly's tour kicks off June 30 in West Palm Beach, Florida, and will hit 24 cities before wrapping up August 6 in Auburn, Washington. The singer is taking a break from recording her third album to make the trek (see " Kelly Clarkson Eyeing Black Eyed Peas For New Album"), which will feature some of the new material.
"I actually said no at first," Clarkson said. "I was like, 'I've toured a lot,' but [my management] came up with the idea, like, 'Hey, you always like to try out new songs [live].' So then I called back and was like, 'I want to do the tour,' because I think it'd be cool to make the fans part of the process. I get to be like, 'Hey, we're thinking about doing this on the record. What do you think about it?' "
The show will still feature all Clarkson's hits, plus some new covers. "We're gonna do things that have inspired me for this record," she said. "I think it's going to be my favorite tour. It's outside, it's summertime."
First, though, Kelly's anxious to get back to recording, especially after taking a well-deserved vacation.
"I've been out of the country for three months," she said, noting that she's missed the entire season of "Idol." "I haven't been watching, but my mom said she really likes the girl with the long brown hair. [Katharine] McPhee, like the 'Nanny McPhee' movie. That's how I remember."