Kelly Clarkson says she was 'real bitter' after 'American Idol' win

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Kelly Clarkson arrives at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, which she hosted, at MGM Grand Arena on May 1 in Las Vegas. (Photo: Daniel Torok/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Kelly Clarkson famously had “A Moment Like This” after she was crowned the first winner of American Idol, but what came next was awful. Other artists — some of who are now judges and coaches on TV competitions themselves — were mean to her.

“The first three years of my career was me just paying for winning a talent show,” Clarkson told USA Today. “I got real bitter. I was just looking for anyone to talk to who knew what I was going through. And that’s why I like to do that for artists on The Voice. It’s actually healed that bitterness I used to carry, being able to be that for somebody else.”

Kelly Clarkson performs on the first season finale of American Idol on Sept. 4, 2002. (Photo: SGranitz/WireImage)

Seventeen years after her big win, Clarkson is now a hit in the music industry, judging by any standard. She’s won Grammys, released several songs that sat atop the music charts and sold a total of more than 25 million albums, not to mention that plum role on The Voice. Outside of music, she’s written children’s books, provides a voice in the animated movie Ugly Dolls and hosts the The Kelly Clarkson Show, a syndicated daytime talkshow premiering Sept. 9.

She’s able to look back on her time as an Idol with fondness, or mostly fondness. Clarkson still isn’t over starring in From Justin to Kelly, the 2003 box office failure that, to this day, has a whopping 10 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

“It’s really funny, because I knew that the winner of Idol would have to do that movie [with runner-up Justin Guarini] and I didn’t want to do that movie. And I think Justin did. So, we were totally cool with him winning and me not winning, so I didn’t have to do [the movie],” Clarkson said. “But I won, and had to do it. Contractually obligated.”

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