Kelly Clarkson will be singing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” at the inauguration, and Clarkson definitely ’tis of this country – the 30-year-old Texas native was the first American Idol winner back in 2002. She’s also the most successful: Last year’s single “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” is the best-selling single from an Idol contestant ever. But Clarkson isn’t just a symbol of endurance for her decade of pop music. Her appearance is also a symbol of reaching across the aisle. Though she voted for Obama this year because of her stance on social issues, Clarkson is a proud Republican at heart who loves Ron Paul so much that she once tweeted her support. That’s not to say her performance will be easily received — indeed, Clarkson has big shoes (and perhaps a big hat) to fill: Aretha Franklin sang the patriotic tune at Obama’s first inauguration four years ago.
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