Kelly Clarkson was so unhappy when she was at her skinniest she wanted to end her life. The singer, who has always battled weight issues, admits she was "miserable... inside and out" for the four years after she won the first season of American Idol as she tried to stay slim. In a new interview with magazine Attitude, she reveals the body image expectations put on her by record label bosses and managers made her suicidal at times.
"When I was really skinny, I wanted to kill myself," she told the publication. "I was miserable, like inside and out, for four years of my life. But no one cared, because aesthetically you make sense."
She recalls executives urging her to stay trim, in shape, and as skinny as her pop peers Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. "I thought the only way out was quitting," she said. "(It was) a very dark time.... I, like, wrecked my knees and my feet, because all I would do is put on headphones and run. I was at the gym all the time."
The singer famously clashed with record label boss Clive Davis over the songs she wanted to feature on her third album, 2007's My December. In a recent Variety article she accused the music executive of making her cry by calling her song Because of You "s**tty".
"I was told that was a s**tty song because it didn't rhyme," she told the publication. "A group of men thought it was OK to sit around a young woman and bully her. I was told I should shut up and sing."
But, behind the scenes, Kelly was finding strength in her own songs. "There's a song on My December called Sober," she says. "There's this line: 'picked the weeds but kept the flowers', and I just live my life by that, because you are who you surround yourself with. I was around some really negative people, and I got out of it because I had a lot of great people there, too. It was a case of turning around, facing them and walking toward the light."
Kelly has never looked back and now a mum-of-two, she is preparing to release her new album, Meaning of Life, this week, while she'll appear as a judge on U.S. TV talent show The Voice next year.