A little kindness goes a long way, especially in Kelly Clarkson’s world. While interviewing Jennifer Love Hewitt for The Kelly Clarkson Show, the American Idol winner opened up about her early days of fame; specifically, the questionable treatment she received from other celebrities. With the exception of Hewitt, that is.
In a particularly tender moment, Clarkson shared, “You probably don’t remember this, but it stuck with me [for] so long… almost 20 years now. It was at some kind of MTV Awards, VMAs or something. 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.”
“People were really mean to us, because we're from a talent show, and it was the first season,” Clarkson continued. “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!’”
It may be hard to imagine now, as talent shows like The Voice, The Masked Singer, and RuPaul’s Drag Race (and many more) have become such a beloved and prolific part of popular TV, but in 2002 American Idol was the first of its kind. A newcomer to the entertainment realm, Clarkson was navigating relatively uncharted territory and, clearly, Hollywood wasn’t immediately receptive to it.
Kelly also shared that Jennifer offered her some heartfelt parting advice during their brief awards show encounter. "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. You just gave me this advice that was really, really kind, at such an unkind time to me personally."
Of course, Hewitt was right. Countless celebrities have been rather candid about mistreatment or discrimination experienced in the early days of their fame, often at the hands of more established, tenured stars and personalities. According to Clarkson, Hewitt’s kind words stuck with her for years to come.
At the beginning of the interview, Hewitt also made her appreciation for Clarkson known. “I just adore you so much, so this is really cool,” said the 9-1-1 star. Clearly, the feeling is (very) mutual. Talk about an amazing, full-circle moment for both women.
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