Hey Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson‘s life would suck without you! Well, at least that’s what The Voice judge shouted from the rooftops as she paid tribute to her mother-in-law and honoree at the 41st annual Kennedy Center Honors on Sunday, Dec. 2. “Sometimes when we meet our heroes, it doesn’t always pan out how you hope,” the singer began.
“But meeting Reba — being friends with her, and eventually becoming family — has been one of the highlights of my life, truly,” Kelly said during the broadcast, which aired on Wednesday, Dec. 26. “So thank you so much for listening to me vent as an artist. Thank you so much for comforting me on the phone through my tears, like a friend. And thank you for being a really rad grandma for my kids.” So sweet! Take a look at her sweet tribute here!
Following her speech at the prestigious event, Kelly sang a powerful cover of Reba’s 1990 hit, “Fancy.” Before she began belting out the words, she joked, “I love you so much. I hope you enjoy this song – don’t judge me!”
But her performance of the song took everyone’s breath away — Reba especially — who gave her daughter-in-law a standing ovation. “Thank you,” Kelly said. “I hope I did you justice!”
In case you didn’t know how the “Since U Been Gone” singer and the country music icon were related, let us get you up to speed. Kelly is married to Reba’s stepson, Brandon Blackstock, and the two have been in each other’s lives since Kelly’s monumental American Idol win in 2002. “It’s a tight bond. They’re family,” Bobby Bones, who presented to Reba at the ceremony earlier this month, gushed to Closer Weekly of the duo’s relationship.
During a new interview with Closer, Reba made it clear that she loves Kelly as a person. “I love her to pieces,” Reba gushed. “She’s been one of my best friends since I met her in 2002.” The two are so close, Kelly can even go to her mother-in-law for advice when it comes to showbiz. “We used to sit and talk and visit about what she should do. We would just talk it all out,” Reba shared.
But when they’re not talking about their music careers, Reba is spending her extra time with Kelly, Brandon, and her grandkids, River Rose, 4, and Remington, 2. “Reba has a comforting, loving relationship with those kids,” a friend of the country crooner dished to Closer. “She spoils them, showering them with love and presents.” Now we know why Kelly calls Reba a “rad Grandma!”