Kelly Clarkson Says It Was ‘Hard to Smile’ Amid Divorce and Pandemic (Exclusive)
Kelly Clarkson is gearing up for a new season of her daytime talk show!
“Extra’s” Rachel Lindsay caught up with the host, who opened up about how “The Kelly Clarkson Show” and “American Idol” have impacted her life, and got some scoop on her new record.
Kelly shared, “I don't think people realize when you're on camera, especially during a global pandemic, and then going through a divorce, and just a lot of things changing in my world… it was very hard to smile, because you don’t feel like smiling. It was so important and just such a great thing that I had work to come to because you have to pivot and focus the energy elsewhere… It was very therapeutic and very helpful for me personally... You’re reminded that yes, this is a moment, it’s not forever.”
Something else that impacted her life in a big way was winning “American Idol,” and she recently celebrated the 20-year anniversary of her win. She will also receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame September 19, presented by "Idol" judge Simon Cowell.
Clarkson posted a message on Instagram about how the show “forever changed the course of my life.”
The singer told Rachel of posting about the anniversary, “I had a really hard day because I had to do a really hard interview… I felt drained… I was sitting on my couch and I was like, ‘Oh, my God — it’s September 4…’ I was like, Wow.’”
She went on, “I don’t generally talk about it a lot, but it deserved that because 20 years ago if you had told me this would've been the ride, first of all I would have avoided several things, and secondly, I wouldn't have believed it. I work hard, but also there is a lot of aligning of the stars and luck, as well.”
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Now, she's kicking off Season 4 of “The Kelly Clarkson Show” with a superstar premiere week that includes Garth Brooks.
Her show recently took home the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host, marking her third win in that category in as many years.
Rachel asked how that makes her feel. Kelly said, “I love doing this and I work hard… But it's also a team, a slew of people behind the scenes who know this industry… I knew TV from ‘Idol’, but it was like... ‘Look at the red light.’ I didn't know anything more than that. It’s been a really cool ride, and to be in really good hands and have so much support.”
Kelly went on to talk about the new season, sharing, “We have had three seasons of people getting to know us… Because we've been so successful, and fans have been so supportive… we're allowed to, in Season 4, go even bigger and deeper in conversations... People get to know the ‘Kellyoke’ part of the show… We’re able to involve the fans as well.”
She is also bringing together celebrities and the public, saying, “People always have this separation of Hollywood and non-celebrities… I feel like I am a pretty good balance of it. I work here and live in L.A. We like to even that playing field and just talk and just have a conversation.”
And who would have believed she would be sharing daytime with "Idol" alum Jennifer Hudson, whose own talk show premieres on Monday? Kelly told Rachel, "I love Jennifer... I think she's perfect for the job as well... I texted her. I don't have any advice. I just showed up and was just me. I guess that's the advice. Just do you."
Meanwhile, "The Kelly Clarkson Show," recently launched the “Kellyoke Search” in select cities and on TikTok, looking for fans to duet with Kelly.
Clarkson explained, “‘Kellyoke’ is a big part of the show, and it's a popular part of the show, so we thought it was cool… It’s just cool to incorporate them… And possibly find somebody like me when I was younger.”
She broke big news for “Extra,” saying, “I’m also working on my record… So we actually asked someone that was in the search and they are going to be singing on my record.”
Clarkson also opened up to Variety about the new album, revealing it will be about her divorce from Brandon Blackstock.
Brian Bowen Smith for Variety
She told the mag, "I’m working on my album this week. It’s coming out next year. And this is an important album. I’m working on this in therapy: I have a hard time vocalizing what I’m feeling sometimes, so music is helpful for me. It’s just been really healing. I recorded the record quite some time ago."
Kelly went on, "I hadn’t really been working hardcore on an album until I needed to. I was just very busy. There were so many jobs, and I’m a single mom — well, even with being married, it’s a lot, trying to fit kids’ schedules in and all that stuff. But then the whole divorce thing happened, and I needed to write it. And then I didn’t know if I was going to release it, because you can be very angry in that state of mind. So some of the songs, they definitely cover the gamut of emotions; there’s everything on the album. It’s almost like the arc of a relationship, because the beginning is so beautiful and so sweet, and then it evolves. And sometimes it doesn’t evolve how you want."
Fans will also get to see Kelly perform her new music. "I definitely am going to do shows," she said. "We’re figuring that out. I sing almost every day because of the show, even though it’s always other people’s music. So I feel like I’m checking that box. But when you write an album that’s so personal, it’s just therapeutic to be able to get up there."
“The Kelly Clarkson Show” Season 4 premieres September 12 on NBC.