Kelly Clarkson Opens Up About Self-Image Struggle: ‘I Wanted to Kill Myself’ When I Was Skinny

Kelly Clarkson at the Darling Hotel in Sydney, Australia.
Kelly Clarkson at the Darling Hotel in Sydney, Australia. Bob Barker/Newspix/Getty Images

Kelly Clarkson is no stranger to the spotlight and now that she’s found her happy place, she is opening up about a very dark time in her life – her struggle with self-image issues.

The singer, 35, detailed her fight with the pressure to stay thin in an interview with Attitude magazine for their Awards issue. “When I was really skinny, I wanted to kill myself. I was miserable, like inside and out, for four years of my life,” she said openly to the outlet. “But no one cared, because aesthetically you make sense. It was a very dark time for me. I thought the only way out was quitting. I like wrecked my knees and my feet because all I would do is put in headphones and run. I was at the gym all the time.”

After being crowned the winner of American Idol’s first season in 2002, Clarkson became a household name, which also brought years of unwanted scrutiny to her life – especially when it came to her weight.

Though her first album Breakaway was a huge success, The Voice coach recalls immense pressure from executives to stay “really skinny,” which ultimately led to her famous split from RCA records.

She added that not everyone was bad, but it’s about surrounding yourself with good, telling the magazine, “I was around some really negative people, and I got out of it because I had a lot of great people there too. It was a case of turning around, facing them and walking toward the light.”

Following the publication of the interview, Clarkson clarified that although she struggled with body image issues, they did not cause her to contemplate suicide. “Just to clear something up. I wasn’t ever miserable because I had to be thin. I said I was miserable & as a result I became thin,” she tweeted on Tuesday, October 24. “I’ve never contemplated suicide because of my weight.I said people had no idea I was unhappy oddly enough because I appeared healthy.”

Now, on the heels of her new single “Love So Soft,” the Grammy award winner reflected on the past 15 years telling 97.1 AMP Radio in September, “I listened to all these songs for the last 15 years, you can tell there’s a suppressed individual in there. It’s very liberating to work in an environment that’s healthy.”

Clarkson’s new album, Meaning of Life, is set to be released on Friday, October 27.

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!