Kelly Clarkson won American Idol in 2002.
But she won the hearts, minds and, yes, even souls of music fans everywhere three years later.
At the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards in Miami, the original Idol champion belted out what most people would probably say – even now, even all this time later – is her best track:
Since U Been Gone.
The song is more than just a female empowerment anthem.
It is pop music at its finest: catchy, memorable, with a message to which many can relate and full of notes that only a select few artists can hit.
Clarkson, of course, is one of those artists.
She has a voice nearly unparalleled in this generation and, some could argue, in any generation.
For this Video Music Awards performance, Clarkson brought every ounce of energy at her disposal, rocking out to the single while rain poured down all over her face and body and she mingled with folks in the crowd.
It was, in every sense of the phrase, a true show stopper.
It was the kind of performance that announced to the universe that a new superstar had truly arrived. (One who had almost platinum blonde hair at the time!)
Since this time, of course, Clarkson has merely proved those predictions to be accurate.
She has collected numerous VMAs and Grammy Awards and is as beloved as any solo artist out there.
And the video featured here is, in many respects, where that all began.
With the VMAs airing on Monday, August 20 on MTV at 8/7c, go back in time and relive this incredible footage now!