Kelly Clarkson may be a bona fide idol these days, but she faced some tough critics early on in her career.
On the Jan. 15 episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, the "Behind These Hazel Eyes" singer thanked guest Jennifer Love Hewitt, who appeared virtually in the studio, for being kind to her at an awards show when she was on American Idol in 2002.
"You ran up to me right when [I was in the] final three of Idol. We were just so slammed, and everything was happening in a whirlwind," Kelly explained to the 9-1-1 actress. "People were really mean to us, because we're from a talent show, and it was the first season. Everyone was so rude to us on the carpet, at the show. It was so bad. It was a horrible experience. You came up to me, ran up to me out of nowhere, and said 'Oh my gosh, I'm really rooting for you.'"
She added that Jennifer also offered some very important advice.
"You said to keep the ones you love close, and it'll end up being just a few people in your life, unfortunately, but that this business can be really hard," the star said. "You just gave me this advice that was really, really kind, at such an unkind time to me personally."
Kelly, of course, went on to win American Idol and become a best-selling recording artist.
These days, Kelly is giving kindness back wherever she can. The "Piece by Piece" artist was a mentor on The Voice, and in 2019 defended her mentee, Voice winner Chevel Shepherd, after some criticized her performance of "God Bless America" at the Indy 500.
"I didn't actually sing that song today but the 16 yr old girl that did, nailed it," she tweeted to a hater online at the time. "Also, think about the fact that U signed in online & took the time 2 drag a 16 yr old girl. Really think about it because Ur showing the worst side of U & I have faith that you're cooler than this."