Kelly Clarkson's going to keep speaking her mind from Trump to Dr. Luke: 'I'm obviously not going to please everyone'

(Photo by Sean O'Neill)

Sure, Kelly Clarkson's known for having one of the best singing voices in pop music, but lately she's also been using that voice to speak up on matters from politics to the bumps she's hit in the music business -- and she says there's a specific reason why she's not afraid to do so.

"I think I just grew up in a very small town and people always had something to say," she tells our Danielle Graham in a new interview from Toronto. "By the time I left my small town, I was pretty ballsy. I was just over it. I was like, you know what I'm obviously not going to please everyone, so I just got over that real quick."




Among most recent examples: Kelly found herself justifying her right to have an opinion, after some Twitter followers objected to her stance on the NFL's take-a-knee protests during the national anthem. And as she promotes new music on a new label, she's once again been vocal about her negative experiences working with producer Dr. Luke in the past. 

"I don't like to be mean to people, but I do like to call people out because I want to be called out if I'm doing something. And I have plenty of people who do," she says. "If you're not standing up for something, you're not standing for anything."



Regarding Dr. Luke, who produced hits including Since U Been Gone, Beind These Hazel Eyes and My Life Would Suck Without You, she says he's a "talented guy, don't get along with him, not a fan." But she also makes clear she didn't have the same experience as fellow pop star Kesha, who sued the producer, alleging sexual abuse.

"I'm not gonna ring that bell. I'm not going to say that guy's a rapist. I don't know him like that, I'm not going to say that," Kelly says. "But what I can say is I'm not a fan of his character. And I think a lot of time it's unfortunate people don't believe people [who allege sexual abuse]."

That said, she's here for Kesha's triumphant comeback, who's seen critical acclaim and endless fan love around her new album Rainbow, following her turbulent battle with the producer. 

"The Praying song specifically, it's unfortunate the hurdles she's had to overcome and the things she's had to get through, but [she's come out] to be a vessel for such a powerful song that so many people can relate to, that's a legacy thing."


Kelly's now readying the Oct. 27 release of what she believes is her most honest album to date, in terms of reflecting her true style. Fifteen years after winning the first season of American Idol, she's on a new label, and ready to release Meaning of Life, which boasts a more soulful, sassy sound, as evident on the first singles Love So Soft and Move You.

"It's pretty much a departure from pop rock. It's more of a soulful, urban pop. But I think it's what people expected when I was on my season of Idol 15 years ago, all I did was sing soul stuff, and I grew up on it too. That and country music, so I think it's just kind of a more innate sound."

Kelly calls this an effortless, fun album to promote -- and fans should notice a difference in tone too.

"The songs, they're just so sassy. It's so fun. It's nothing too serious, I'm not sad or angry anymore," she says. "[In the past] I'd have to do a full-on show and I'm like 'Did anyone else not get that maybe I was in a bad place'? You're listening to these songs and you're like these are all super sad. Was I okay?"

Gearing up for more promo, the mother of two young children says she's grateful to be in a position to have a nanny who helps take care of the kids when she's away, but even more grateful that daughter River Rose (3) and son Remy (1) are becoming friends.

"They love playing together, and they love the same little movies and they can navigate an iPad," she says, before admitting handing her kids the tablet can sometimes be just the break she needs. "Sometimes I just wanna pee without someone in the bathroom with me."


‪Happy Easter!! #RiverRose #RemyB #BabyKissesAreTheGreatest Thanks for the great photo @weisseubanks 😊‬

A post shared by Kelly Clarkson (@kellyclarkson) on

And while they're getting along, her two kids have demonstrated different affinities for their mom's musical talents. 

"Remy is adorable, my son, he literally is like hypnotized when I sing, so it makes me feel really special," she says. "You're like I might actually be a fairy godmother... he just locks eyes and he's so fascinated. I love it."

And River?

"She does this thing where she puts her hand over my mouth [like] 'You're done, ma'am. We've heard you all day.'"




For more with Kelly Clarkson, watch tonight's etalk