Mr. Know It All

Mr. Know It All
"Mr. Know It All"
Single by Kelly Clarkson
from the album Stronger
Released September 5, 2011 (2011-09-05)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2011;
Chalice Recording Studios,
(Hollywood, Los Angeles);
Kennedy Compound,
(Studio City, Los Angeles);
Starstruck Studios,
(Nashville, Tennessee)
Genre Pop, R&B, pop rock
Length 3:53
Label RCA
Writer(s) Brian Seals, Ester Dean, Brett James, Dante Jones
Producer Brian Kennedy, Ester Dean (co), Dante Jones (add)
Kelly Clarkson singles chronology
"Don't You Wanna Stay"
"Mr. Know It All"
"What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)"[citation needed]

"Mr. Know It All" is a song by American singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson. The break-up themed song was written by Brian Kennedy, Ester Dean, Brett James, and Dante Jones. It was described as the most different among the singles released by Clarkson. Clarkson described the song as a "vocally raw record" and stated that she and her producers strove to record her voice as it is heard at live performances, with as little auto-tune processing as possible.[1][2]

The song premiered on a live single event hosted by Clarkson in August 30, 2011 by RCA Records as the first single from her fifth studio album, Stronger.[3] Upon its release, "Mr. Know It All" has received positive to mixed reviews from music critics. The song became Clarkson's second highest debut and her ninth top 10 ten hit on the American charts, and first number one in Australia as well as in South Korean international chart.


Background and composition

During an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Clarkson revealed that "Mr. Know It All" was the last song recorded by her on February 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.[1] At the live single event, Clarkson then stated that the reason she picked the song as the first single because "it was unlike any other song that I really ever came up with." She later added that "Secondly, just because it's very different from a first single for me. Usually we go with an anthem, guitar-driven song. This is very different... It's just super sassy and it sets up the album nicely," such as "Never Again" (2007) and "My Life Would Suck Without You" (2009).[2] On August 17, 2011, Clarkson revealed that the first single will be "Mr. Know It All," which was set to be released late August. On August 26, 2011, the song leaked online.[4]. The song officially impacted Australian radio on August 29, 2011.[5]. On August 30, 2011, at 5:30 PM ET, the song was played during a live webcast Clarkson hosted on her official website. The song was available as a digital download from September 5, 2011.[3][6] Fans who pre-ordered Stronger on Clarkson's official store will get the single for free upon its September 5 release.[7] "Mr. Know It All" is a mid tempo pop song with R&B influences. Clarkson described the song as "different from any of her other singles because the message is not just about relationships. Even though Clarkson admits she has a list of people that have brought her down, she states that the song is also about ignorant people who think they know everything about someone."[1]

Critical reception

Unlike several of Kelly's leaks, which have gone down a more traditional pop-rock road, "Mr. Know It All" has a distinct R&B flavor, showcasing a side to her vocals we haven't seen in a while. As opposed to the "Since U Been Gone" Kelly, the "Mr. Know It All" Kelly sounds softer and more feminine as she sings."

MTV Buzzworthy noting Clarkson's departure from her signature pop rock sound[8]

The song has received mixed to positive reviews. Upon hearing the single, MTV News commented, "The song is an obvious Clarkson joint: feisty and straightforward, with a strong melody and a sing-along chorus."[9] Entertainment Weekly remarked, "We love it too, Kelly. Especially since we’re not the men involved."[10] Billboard stated that "Clarkson's lyrical message may be one of sass and strength (as fans have come to expect from her), but musically, "Mr. Know It All" is a bit softer; instead of rock-focused energy, the single goes midtempo with touches of piano and subtle strings." VH1 reluctantly admitted their positive review, stating "We don’t have to lie. The mid-tempo ballad isn’t our favorite of her tracks, and we wish her vocals were mixed higher, but we dig it nonetheless."[11]

Some of the critics noticed the song's striking resemblance to Bruno Mars' single "Just the Way You Are." Rolling Stone gave the song three stars, commenting "For her latest earworm, Clarkson narrows her octave range – no American Idol glory notes here – and sasses a controlling man with double-entendres ("Baby, I ain't goin' down") that up her R&B appeal. The only problem? Bruno Mars wants his "Just the Way You Are" hook back."[12] Music website Popdust focused on its resemblance, remarking "The resemblance is as blatant as that of "Already Gone" and "Halo," but at least those two had the same songwriter (Ryan Tedder). "Mr. Know It All" was written by a collection of non-Smeezingtons, none of whom apparently heard or cared about the resemblance." later adding, "To Clarkson’s credit–and at this point, the track really needs credit–she sells the song with all her considerable vocal worth, and she sounds punchier and more engaged on the verses than she did on much of All I Ever Wanted. The fault lies with the songwriters, not the vocalist."[13] Bill Lamb from rated it four-and-a-half stars out of five and went to praise "the understated vocals with perfect nuance", "the production that wisely gets out of the way of the vocals" and "the words of strength".[14] Lamb also wrote that "Mr. Know It All" features one of the most impressive female pop vocals of 2011. The raspy approach here matches the strength informed by pain of the lyrics of the song. It is a style decision that makes the brief moments of gentle clarity in her voice even more affecting."[14]

Chart performance

"Mr. Know It All" debuted in number 30 on Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart just hours after its release and peaked at number 20.[15] The song then debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 15, 2011 at number 18, her highest single debut on the chart since "Never Again", which debuted at number 8 in 2007. It also debuted on the Billboard Digital Songs at number 9 with 107,000 downloads sold, and at the Billboard Pop Songs chart at number 29.[16] "Mr Know It All" also debuted at number one on the digital sales chart for international artists on South Korea's Gaon Chart, with around 180,000 downloads.[17] On September 26, 2011 the track debuted on the Australian ARIA Charts at number 25 and peaked at the number 1 position following a promotional tour by Clarkson, which included a performance at the 2011 NRL Grand Final and the The X Factor.[18] In the United Kingdom, "Mr. Know It All" debuted at number 6 on October 23, 2011 (for the week ending date October 30, 2011), the same day she performed the single during the third live results show of season 8 of The X Factor. On the first-week release of Stronger, "Mr Know It All" rose up on the Hot 100 chart from number 19 to number 10, becoming Clarkson's first top ten hit since "My Life Would Suck Without You" in 2009, and her ninth top ten overall.[19] Mr. Know It All has sold 629,000 copies in the United States.[20]

Music video


Filming of the music video for the song took place on August 25, 2011 in Nashville and was directed by Justin Francis.[21][22] Clarkson explained that "The idea behind the video is variety. The whole point of the song that I like is ‘you don’t know a thing about me. I love that concept because it’s ignorant to think you know everything about a person. There’s many sides to everybody’s personality. We’re kind of doing a variety of different Kellys." The video featured a "wall of doubt" in which headlines about Clarkson such as "Why So Single Kelly?", "Sponsors Drop Kelly Clarkson", "Too Fat", "Music Leaks" and "Kelly has no style" are posted. Clarkson remarked it as "basically all the crap that’s been said about me that’s kind of funny or ridiculous…we’re playing with that…it’s how I handle it…kind of sarcastic and funny." Another feature of the video is Clarkson dressed in a long gown with feathers on her hair which represents freedom.[23] The video premiered on VEVO on September 26, 2011.[24] In an interview with MTV News, Clarkson described herself in the video,

"I think there's that free-spirit side of me, and then there's that feisty performer in me, Then there's the funny side of me. I mean, obviously you have to be funny to have a big giant wall of doubt with actual headlines of your life on the wall. It's a little fun, a little feisty."[25]

The video Clarkson was watching was actually a scene from her previous music video "I Do Not Hook Up", the second single from All I Ever Wanted, which makes a reference to a scene of Cameron Diaz in the film What Happens in Vegas. And the fictional internet article featured in the video was taken from the website and was edited to avoid plagiarism charges.[26] The article featured a real life situation in Clarkson's career where several demos of the songs originally recorded for Stronger were leaked into the internet in July 2011. Clarkson responded to the situation by stating "Oh my God, have you ever been robbed? I have. I’ve been physically robbed a couple of times, but this is much worse." later adding "No point in getting angry because there's nothing I can do so I hope (everyone) likes the music."[27]

Synopsis and reception

Close-up screenshot of the "Wall of Doubt", containing derogatory headlines about Clarkson.

The video features Clarkson singing behind a wall full of newspaper articles, both derogatory and favorable, about Clarkson's music career and personal life. The video continually cuts Clarkson confronting a man as a metaphor for "Mr. Know It All" by singing angrily at him. Throughout the chorus, silhouettes Clarkson's touring band fade into the wall as she sings. The video then features Clarkson watching the music video of her single "I Do Not Hook Up" on a Sony Google TV while reading an internet article about the song leaking into the internet. Clarkson later scans through the comments section and laughs at it sarcastically. The video then depicts Clarkson packing her clothes and accessories in a suitcase then leaves the man behind. The video then features Clarkson, dressed in a velvet dress, singing with feathers on her hair. In the final shot of the video, Clarkson tears some of the newspaper clippings at the wall, creating a hole and revealing a sunny, beautiful valley and a road, similar to the one featured in the music video of Madonna's single "Don't Tell Me", in which Clarkson enters along with her suitcase.[26]

Several of the critics noted the video's approach to media, in which they assumed that the "Mr. Know It All" is an individual man. Brad Wete of Entertainment Weekly, remarked that "It’s interesting how she used the video to kill two birds with one stone. The song itself is about a misinformed individual, but the clip takes a swipe at the media and blogosphere. Personally, I prefer more direct musical approaches—like Michael Jackson’s "Tabloid Junkie.” But Clarkson’s song is cool."[27] VH1 remarked, "When we first heard Kelly Clarkson‘s latest single, “Mr. Know It All,” we figured that, thematically, it was a fairly straightforward kiss off to an ex that did her dirty. However, after watching the video for the song that debuted in the wee hours this morning, it’s apparent that there’s another target for her ire: The media." adding, "However, it turns that it’s not just old media that’s got Kelly down. The blogs are on her case, too!" and later concluding, "Whether you’re a big music superstar or someone whose only exposure to the rumor mill comes courtesy of Facebook, gossip is unavoidable. How you choose to react to the haters, however, is entirely up to you. You can wallow in their nasty comment sections (or op-ed pages!), but at the end of the day, wouldn’t you rather go outside and see the sunshine? Kelly Clarkson would, that’s for sure."[26] remarked "Clarkson puts a man (whose face we never see) in his place for thinking that he knows everything about her. While she's a few unicorns and eccentric costumes shy of creating a Katy Perry or Lady Gaga experience, she brings enough sass and glamour to the video to make it worth watching. The lyrics itself are powerful, but her meaningful looks into the camera and bold demand for independence really help to drive the message home."[28]

Live performances

Clarkson performed "Mr. Know It All" for the first time on Stars for Free music festival in Berlin, Germany on September 10, 2011.[29] She then performed it on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on September 20, 2011.Upon hearing Clarkson's performance on The Tonight Show, VH1 remarked, "Clarkson has always had a great voice and an even better sense of how to use it".[30] . Clarkson performed the song on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on September 22, 2011, at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 23, 2011, and on the Australian television series The X Factor on September 28, 2011.[31][32][33][34]

On October 2, 2011, Clarkson performed the song at the 2011 NRL Grand Final at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia where she was accompanied by 300 dancers.[35][36][37] Clarkson also performed the song on Dancing With The Stars on October 18, 2011 along with her hit Walk Away.[38]

Clarkson performed "Mr. Know It All" during the third live results show of season 8 of the British television series The X Factor on October 23, 2011, and is scheduled to perform the song on the U.S. series of The X Factor on November 23, 2011.

Clarkson performed the song on Today on October 25, 2011, on The View on October 26, 2011, and on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on October 28, 2011.[39]

Clarkson perform "Mr. Know It All" on the 2011 American Music Awards.

Track listing

Digital Download

  1. "Mr. Know It All" – 3:52

CD Single

  1. "Mr. Know It All" – 3:52
  2. "My Life Would Suck Without You (Chriss Ortega Radio Mix)" – 3:40

UK Digital/CD Single

  1. "Mr. Know It All (Radio Edit)" - 3:52
  2. "My Life Would Suck Without You (Chriss Ortega Radio Mix)" – 3:40

Charts and certifications


Chart (2011) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[40] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 75)[41] 32
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[42] 6
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[43] 14
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[44] 11
Germany (Media Control AG)[45] 18
Ireland (IRMA)[46] 14
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[47] 33
K-Pop Hot 100 (Billboard)[48] 78
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[49] 90
New Zealand (RIANZ)[50] 8
Scotland (The Official Charts Company)[51] 4
South Korea (Gaon Chart)[17] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[52] 22
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[53] 4
US Billboard Hot 100[54] 10
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[55] 12
US Adult Pop Songs (Billboard)[56] 3
US Pop Songs (Billboard)[57] 13


Country Certification
(sales thresholds)
Australia Platinum[58]
New Zealand Gold[59]

Release history

Country Date Format Label
Australia August 29, 2011 Contemporary Hit Radio[60] RCA Records
N/A August 30, 2011 Live Webcast Premiere
United States[61] September 5, 2011 Digital download
Canada[62] Sony Music
New Zealand[74]
United States September 12, 2011[80] Hot/Modern/AC radio RCA Records
September 13, 2011[81] Top 40/Mainstream radio
United Kingdom October 16, 2011[82] Digital download RCA Label Group (UK)
Germany October 21, 2011[83] CD single Sony Music
United Kingdom October 25, 2011[84] CD single RCA Label Group (UK)

See also

  • List of number-one singles of 2011 (Australia)
  • List of number-one international songs of 2011 (South Korea)


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