Kelly Clarkson is a force to be reckoned with — and a female role model like no other. Since her introduction on American Idol’s first season in 2002, the Fort Worth, Texas, native has been candid about everything from her body to her love life to motherhood’s trials and tribulations.
“I’ve had this discussion with many females in the industry. I felt more pressure from people actually when I was thin, when I was really thin and not super healthy because I just was worn out, just working so hard and not keeping healthy habits,” the “Because of You” singer told Glamour UK in an interview published in June 2020. “But I felt more pressure. It was more of magazines shoved in front of you and, ‘This is what you’re competing with and we’ve got to compete with it.’”
The mom of two shared those same sentiments in a 2018 interview with Redbook adding, “If you gauge your life on what other people think, you’re going to be in a constant state of panic trying to please everyone. People should just concentrate on their own lives and their own health and their own happiness, and whatever that looks like for you, be happy with it.”
This message is one that Clarkson doesn’t just reiterate in interviews but often incorporates into her music. Whether singing about overcoming heartbreak or her strength as a woman, the Voice judge’s songs are overflowing with messages of female empowerment and uplifting lyrics.
Us Weekly confirmed on June 2020 that the three-time Grammy winner filed for divorce from Brandon Blackstock — with whom she shares daughter River Rose and son Remington Alexander — after nearly seven years of marriage. “They clashed on so many levels and being in quarantine [amid the coronavirus pandemic] together heightened their problems to the point of no return,” a source told Us at the time. “So she filed for divorce.”
Despite the rocky time in her life, Clarkson’s season 18 Voice team members shared with Us exclusively how supportive their coach had been.
“She’s more motherly to me than a coach. I mean, she’s a coach, but she’s so kind and sweet and all the help that she’s given me has been incredible,” Megan Danielle told Us in May 2020. The finalist, who made it to the semifinals, sang a heartfelt rendition of Clarkson’s “Piece by Piece” during the knockouts. At the time, fellow coach John Legend said she “annihilated” the original.
Clarkson’s emotional song isn’t the only one that screams power and grace, however. Keep scrolling to see some of the singer’s most empowering anthems through the years.