Kelly Clarkson's Most Candid Confessions Prove She's Still Relatable as Heck
Ahead of the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, look back at host Kelly Clarkson's most honest confessions about love, relationships, motherhood, sex and more.
Some people wait a lifetime for a celebrity as real as this.
There are plenty of reasons to love original American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. Between her incredible singing voice and entertaining talk show, the 38-year-old has developed a large and loyal following.
But as Kelly prepares to host the 2020 Billboard Music Awards for the third year in a row, it's hard not to give credit to The Voice coach for consistently being relatable, honest and candid with her fans and followers.
She's not afraid to shed some tears when surprising a family in need on The Kelly Clarkson Show. The music superstar is more than comfortable fangirling over celebrities she's always wanted to meet. And when life gets complicated, Kelly is able to remind folks that tough times don't last; tough people do.
"I mean, it's no secret. My life has been a little bit of a dumpster," Kelly previously told Sunday Today host Willie Geist when referencing her divorce from Brandon Blackstock. "Personally, it's been a little hard the last couple months. I've been talking to friends that have been through a divorce. I don't know how people go through that without having some kind of outlet."
Ultimately, Kelly is ready for a night of music and entertainment as she hosts Billboard's annual award show from Los Angeles. To celebrate, we're looking back on her candid—and authentic—moments in our gallery below.
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One afternoon, Valerie Bertinelli responded to a social media troll who thought she looked "chubby." Clarkson saw the interaction and couldn't help but stand up for her famous friend and all those who have been criticized for their weight.
"True power is recognizing the projection of others negativity & punching it square n the face w/all the positive, remarkable, intelligent, beautiful light that seeps from ur pores," the performer tweeted. "Pity people that speak ill of others because while some of us r dancing, the others r too afraid."
When it was time to celebrate turning 38 in April 2020, Clarkson had a totally relatable wish.
"I literally looked at my husband, ‘cause it was a rough week of work and non-stop everything, and I said, ‘I don't want to cook one damn meal. I don't want to clean one article of clothing. I don't want to do anything,'" she recalled to Seth Meyers. "I possibly—if my children were to come in and hug me, that's fine and then they leave."
She added while laughing, "So, on my birthday, I literally asked to be left alone, which is funny since we're all in isolation. But I am not in isolation. I'm constantly surrounded by people. So, I was alone and I enjoyed it and I did nothing but eat stuff that probably I gained 10 pounds on and I watched, you know, whatever I was watching—I don't even remember."
The coronavirus pandemic hasn't been easy for any mom including Clarkson.
"Honestly, I have been on an emotional roller coaster," she shared with Glamour U.K. in June 2020. "This has been really hard as a working parent, because I'm still doing all the same jobs. It's been exhausting honestly, cooking every meal and cleaning nonstop after toddlers and teenagers! Everybody's learning from home now and the teaching! So, everything has been crazy."
In December 2019, Clarkson was asked in a Kelly Clarkson Show YouTube video what is the last thing she does before she goes to sleep. She replied, "I was single for many years, so…I have children and how one makes children is generally what I do before bed."
Clarkson isn't afraid to talk about the birds and the bees. During a 2016 interview with Redbook, Clarkson said her marriage to Blackstock isn't a "relationship where we have to schedule sex."
"We put each other first," she added. "I call it the oxygen-mask mentality—take care of yourself first!"
She also opened up about the subject on The View.
"We're going to be bad parents if we're not sexually pleased and we're not, like, having a good life," she explained. "That's going to bleed into other things, and you've got to have a great life," she said on the show. "I'm sorry—I've painted an image. You're welcome….People don't realize, like, sex is a very key part of a relationship. I mean, I have friends—I don't need another friend."
On The Kelly Clarkson Show in September 2019, Clarkson and guest Kate Upton discussed breastfeeding.
"Pumping is the worst!" Clarkson said.
"The worst!" Upton said.
"It's so painful," Clarkson said. "I don't care what anyone says."
During a 2018 episode of Late Night With Seth Meyers, Clarkson and Meyers did a little day drinking. The two took shots, made each other drinks and, naturally, did some singing—making for one hilarious afternoon.
In February 2018, Clarkson participated in the ALS Pepper Challenge. However, the habanero proved to be a little too spicy for the artist.
"My tongue is on fire!" she said, later shedding a few tears.
The 2018 Golden Globes was a memorable night for Clarkson, partly because she got to meet Meryl Streep.
"Oh my God! Can I meet you?" Clarkson said after spotting the Oscar winner on the red carpet. "Can I meet you? I'm such a fan! I've loved everyone. I've just adored you since I was like 8."
Of course, the actress said hello to Clarkson and tenderly stroked her cheek.
In 2016, Clarkson returned to American Idol to sing "Piece by Piece." The singer was overcome with emotion during the raw performance and led several of the judges to tear up, as well.
"Sorry! Super pregnant and hormonal," she told the crowd, who gave the artist a standing ovation.
During a 2016 interview with Seth Meyers, the "Beautiful Disaster" artist recalled her first meeting with Barack Obama—and how she totally botched his name. The incident took place before Obama's presidency, back when he was still a senator. Clarkson had been invited to speak in front of the senate and introduce Obama, who had recently won a Grammy in the Best Spoken Word Album category for Dreams From My Father.
"I get up there and, like, complete panic sets in because I cannot remember what that fake Grammy is called. I cannot remember, like, what the book is…and I cannot remember his name, but I am pretty sure it rhymes with Osama," she told the Late Night host.
Still, it looks like Obama wasn't too upset over Clarkson's faux pas. He even had her perform at his 2012 presidential inauguration (as shown in the photo).
During a 2017 episode of "Carpool Karaoke," James Corden surprised the "Stronger" star by bringing her hubby Brandon Blackstock along for an impromptu date. Between the champagne toasts and romantic music, the two couldn't stop laughing.
"I feel like we're making a porn," he said.
Not everyone was a fan of From Justin to Kelly—including Clarkson.
"It wasn't something I ever wanted to do," she told Radio.com in 2015. "It's like something in your life that you had to literally do—like, contractually, I had to do it or, I mean, I would be sued, like, which is what I was told. So, you know, I just went along with it, and I did the best that I could make of it. I think I'm such a fan of true artists, like true actors in that sense, that it's almost offensive for people to just hop into a movie and think they can be an actor."
Just four years later, Clarkson won her first Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Since U Been Gone." The young star was overcome with emotion upon accepting the award. "Oh God! Yeah, I'm terrible at speaking when I cry. So, sorry!" she said. "Thank you so much. Ah!" Clarkson also took home the trophy in the Best Pop Vocal Album category for Breakaway.
After the singer was crowned the first winner of American Idol back in 2002, she gave a tearful and emotional performance of her single "A Moment Like This."
Watch the 2020 Billboard Music Awards Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. on NBC.
(E! and NBC are part of the NBCUniversal family)
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