We can all agree 2020 has been one big WTF, but Kelly Clarkson wants you to know that this year's Billboard Music Awards will be anything but.
In a new interview ahead of Wednesday night's show, The Voice star told reporters that this might be a strange time in history, but the awards ceremony will be a reprieve from the pandemic, or at least she hopes. "We're just honestly trying to give everybody something a little normal," she shared. "People are used to watching the Billboard Music Awards every year so we're trying to keep that coming for everybody and provide the escapism that we all desperately need."
The hostess and the Billboard team believe the combination of live and pre-taped performances from the nominees will enthrall audiences, and Kelly is particularly excited about her opening number. She teased, "It's going to be probably my favorite opening. I'm very much in love with what we're doing and I can say that because it wasn't my idea. It was actually my musical director's idea."
"It's going to be a little different than what people are expecting but we're definitely going to be catering to the times a bit and we have a powerful message," the singer continued. "We're not trying to make everybody cry or be more depressed about 2020. We've done that enough. It's more of like uniting people and connecting people and you know, music has a very healing power to it and the power to connect people and that's really what we're focusing on for the opening."
This year, the show is taking place at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, Calif., instead of Las Vegas, which offers a fresh twist on the annual event. As Kelly put it, "It will be in a more intimate setting."
And there's going to be a splash of country in the normally pop-driven show, with Garth Brooks accepting the Icon Award at Wednesday night's show. Kelly shared, "Probably the coolest thing for me, this Billboard Awards is a friend that I love that I can't even believe I call a friend but Garth Brooks is receiving the Icon Award this year and it's just insane to grow up and love someone musically like that and then you know, end up being in the studio one day which was a surprise, being produced by him and I'm singing with his wife, Trisha Yearwood and it was like what is your life!"
Fans of country music can see both Kelly and Garth perform at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday, Oct. 14 on NBC at 8 p.m.
(E! and NBC are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)