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From ‘American Idol’ to TV Host! Photos of Kelly Clarkson’s Transformation Over the Years

Kelly Clarkson may have started her incredible career as a contestant on American Idol, but she’s risen the ranks to becoming a host of one of the highest rated daytime talk shows ever.

Despite winning the first season of the reality competition show in 2002, the singer has since revealed that she had a less than positive experience on the show.

“We were just so slammed, and everything was happening in a whirlwind and people were really mean to us because we’re from a talent show and it was the first season,” she said of how celebs treated her then on The Kelly Clarkson Show in January 2021. “Like everyone was so rude to us, like at the carpet, at the show.”

However, following her appearance on the series, Kelly went on to have huge wins on the Billboard charts, with her No. 1 song “A Moment Like This” and then reaching the Top 10 for songs “Breakaway”, “Since U Been Gone”, “Behind These Hazel Eyes” and “Because of You” from her sophomore album Breakaway.

And the hits kept on coming. Over the course of career, she has sold more than 25 million albums and 45 million singles, with 11 singles landing in the U.S.’ Top 10.

Eventually, Kelly’s music career gave way to her appearance as a coach on The Voice, starting with the series 14th season. And before long, she eventually landed her own talk show hosting gig for the eponymously titled The Kelly Clarkson Show.

And while the ongoing COVID pandemic forced her to get creative with her approach to the series, being a novice of the talk show business helped her adapt. “It’s kind of been like that from the get-go,” Kelly told The New York Times. “From season 1, we’ve had to reinvent it. We’ve never had, really, a moment with our show where it’s like everything’s going to plan.”

With more than 2.6 million viewers during its pilot week, the Daytime Emmy-winning talk show has routinely surpassed The Ellen DeGeneres Show in ratings with an average of 1.3 million viewers over its few years on the air, according to The New York Times.

And following Ellen DeGeneres‘ final year of hosting her show, Kelly will take over Ellen’s coveted time slot on the 10 NBC-owned stations that play both programs, following an announcement by NBC Owned Television Stations in May 2021. With her success in the music industry and on TV, Kelly has proven that there’s nothing she can’t do.

To see photos of Kelly’s transformation from her days as a contest on American Idol to now, keep scrolling!