Kelly Clarkson has come a long way since her time on American Idol – but she still remembers those early days of fame. The singer reminisced about her experience on the first series of the show back in 2002 during a recent interview with Jennifer Love Hewitt, and revealed that some celebrities were "really mean" to her at the time.
"Okay, you probably don't remember this but it stuck with me so long, like for almost 20 years now," Kelly, 38, told Jennifer during an episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show.
WATCH: Look back at Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock's wedding day
"You have no idea I'm about to say this and you probably don't remember, but it was at some kind of MTV awards, I don't know what it was, but you ran up to me and it was right when it was the final three of Idol."
She continued: "We were just so slammed and everything was happening in a whirlwind and people were really mean to us because we're from a talent show and it was the first season. Like everyone was so rude to us, like at the carpet, at the show.
Kelly competed in the first-ever series of American Idol
"It was a horrible experience and you came up to me and ran up to me out of nowhere and were like 'Oh my gosh, I'm really rooting for you,'" Kelly recalled.
"You told me, 'Please keep the ones you love so close and it'll end up being about a few people in your life, unfortunately, but this business can be really hard and just remember to keep those people that really love you.'"
The talented singer went on to win the 2002 show
Kelly concluded: "You just gave me this advice that was really, really kind in such an unkind time for me personally. So thank you so much.
"You probably don't even remember it. It was probably something you did off the cuff where you were like, 'Oh, hi!' But it meant the world to me."
Kelly is a proud mum of two
Since then, Kelly's career has sky-rocketed and she is also now a proud mother of two. The star married Brandon Blackstock in October 2013 and together they welcomed daughter River, six, and son Remington, four. Sadly, it was confirmed in June 2020 that Kelly had filed for divorce and now has primary custody of their children.
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