“Miss Independent” is a song recorded by American singer Kelly Clarkson for her debut studio album Thankful (2003). Written by Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Rhett Lawrence, and Matt Morris, with Lawrence serving as producer, it was released as the album’s lead single by RCA Records on April 10, 2003. The track was initially intended for Aguilera’s fourth album, Stripped (2002), but was left half-finished. Lawrence later continued writing the song with Clarkson, who eventually recorded it.
“Miss Independent” is a R&B-styled pop song, whose lyrics tell of a story of an independent woman who finally allows herself to lower her emotional and communication barriers to fall in love. Its theme of self-sufficiency would later served as a template for Clarkson’s subsequent releases. The song generally received positive response from music critics, while criticism targeted the song’s similarity to Aguilera’s material. “Miss Independent” gave Clarkson her first Grammy nomination in the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance category at the 46th Grammy Awards in 2004.
The song’s commercial success helped in presenting Clarkson’s “girl next door” image to the public and contributed in eliminating her “American Idol” persona. In the United States, it peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Pop Songs chart. Internationally, it also attained a top-ten position in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). The song’s accompanying music video was directed by Liz Friedlander, and featured Clarkson singing at a house party. Clarkson premiered the song during the second season of American Idol, and has included it in set lists in most of her concert tours.