You may not know this, but Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire are basically related. Kelly is married to Reba’s stepson, Brandon Blackstock, and the two have been in each other’s lives since Kelly’s big American Idol win in 2002.

“It’s a tight bond. They’re family,” Bobby Bones, who presented to Reba at the Kennedy Center Honors earlier this month, gushed to Closer Weekly of the duo’s relationship in the magazine’s newest issue, on newsstands now.

Kelly Clarkson Reba McEntire
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During a new interview with Closer, Reba made it clear that she loves Kelly as a person. “She’s a great gal, big-hearted and with Kelly what you see is what you get!” Reba told Closer. “I love her to pieces. She’s been one of my best friends since I met her in 2002.” 

Melissa Peterman, who played Barbra Jean on Reba, told Closer: “They’re both genuine, kind, down-to-earth, and fun.” Another pal added, “They really just ‘get’ each other. They are both faith-filled and loving yet can tell a dirty joke and be adorably inappropriate. Kelly is older than her years, so she and Reba are like contemporaries.”

That said, Kelly has always turned to Reba for advice. “We used to sit and talk and visit about what she should do. We would just talk it all out,” Reba shared. A friend added, “Reba passed her showbiz wisdom to Kelly on things like handing fame and being in the public eye.”

And when they’re not talking about their music careers, Reba is over Kelly and Brandon’s house spending time with her grandkids, River Rose, 4, and Remington, 2. “Reba has a comforting, loving relationship with those kids,” the friend said. “She spoils them, showering them with love and presents.”

Reba McEntire Kelly Clarkson Family
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Kelly and Reba have remained tight for years, especially since Reba didn’t let her 2015 divorce from Kelly’s father-in-law, Narvel Blackstock, get in the way of their friendship. “She didn’t want them to have to choose between her and Narvel,” a friend told Closer. “She didn’t want to tear the family apart, so she leaned on others who weren’t family.”

The friend added, “They truly love each other. There has never been any jealousy from day one. They have never had a crossword. It’s really a unique bond. They realize that and won’t let anything petty weaken it.” Where can we find a mother-in-law like Reba?!

For more on your favorite stars, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more exclusive news!

Kelly Clarkson Reba McEntire Closer Cover