Kelly Clarkson became a sensation on ‘Idol’ 20 years ago. Now she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Kelly Clarkson’s Walk of Fame ceremony felt like a homecoming for her.

Clarkson captivated Hollywood as the first champion of ABC’s “American Idol” in 2002, 20 years ago this month. She returned to the renowned Los Angeles street on Monday to honor not just herself, but also the team who catapulted her to celebrity.

“I believe it is crucial to surround yourself with people that love you, care about you, and give you honest counsel, rather than just ‘yes’ people.” “I’ve always welcomed it, and I believe that’s why I’m here today,” Clarkson, 40, said after getting the 2,733rd star on the Walk of Fame.

“Not only because of myself, but because of the continual presence of teams of people who love and support you and truly want to see your ambitions come true while also seeing their own dreams come true.”

Clarkson, dressed in a black velvet gown, gave her victory speech amid cheers from eager admirers watching from the Ovation Hollywood mall, including via the window of a neighboring Walgreens and the upper-level balcony next to Dave & Buster’s.

Lupita Sanchez Cornejo, Chairman of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, announced “Kelly Clarkson Day” in Hollywood, as significant individuals in the singer’s career gathered to celebrate.

Jason Halbert, a longtime collaborator and producer, was present, as were the original “American Idol” judges Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell, and Paula Abdul, who named Clarkson the first “Idol” champion two decades ago. (Abdul stated that she postponed her travel in order to attend the “Stronger” singer’s ceremony.)

Kelly Clarkson received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday.

The event, held in front of Ovation Hollywood at 6801 Hollywood Blvd., also included statements from Halbert, Cowell, and Abdul. Halbert recalled meeting Clarkson after she won “American Idol.”

“Her voice was a talent she was born with, and I feel it is unrivaled,” Halbert added. “However, it is her honesty and her heart that have grabbed the spirit of America and the globe over the last 20 years.”

“She’s utilized her voice to provide us who have experienced heartbreak, anguish, and suffering a vocabulary.” She’s given us love anthems and songs to commemorate life’s milestones.”

Kelly Clarkson became a sensation on ‘Idol’ 20 years ago. Now she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Kelly Clarkson became a sensation on ‘Idol’ 20 years ago. Now she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Former “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell, left, was on hand to honor Kelly Clarkson at her Walk of Fame ceremony.

Similarly, after seeing Clarkson perform Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” Cowell predicted that she would win the ABC singing competition. He also remembered Clarkson requesting that they not talk to one other until the tournament was over. She went on to say that she wants to be “respectful” of the competitive climate.

“I remember hearing your name called and thought to myself, ‘Thanks to you, we could have another season,'” he joked to Clarkson. “I can truly say, ‘Thank you for being here today.'”

“The Kelly in front of the camera is the Kelly behind the camera,” Cowell continued. “She is one of the nicest, most loyal, and most talented persons I’ve ever had the great opportunity to meet.”

Kelly Clarkson became a sensation on ‘Idol’ 20 years ago. Now she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Kelly Clarkson became a sensation on ‘Idol’ 20 years ago. Now she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Former “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul, left, speaks at Kelly Clarkson’s Walk of Fame star ceremony Monday.

Clarkson, who was born in Fort Worth, Texas, has had several songs, including “A Moment Like This,” “Since U Been Gone,” “My Life Would Suck Without You,” and “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” and has received three Grammy Awards out of 15 nominations.

Clarkson has also appeared as a judge and coach on ABC’s “Duets” and NBC’s “The Voice.” She also debuted her own daytime talk program, “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” in 2019, which has gotten multiple Daytime Emmy nominations.

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