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20 years on, Kelly Clarkson reflects on ‘American Idol’ win: “It forever changed the course of my life”

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Kelly Clarkson may now be a Grammy-winning singer and an Emmy-winning talk show host, but she’ll always be known as the very first American Idol winner.  On the 20th anniversary of her historic win — September 4, 2002 — Kelly took to her socials to reflect on what a moment like that — pun intended — meant to her.

“20 years ago today I won American Idol and it forever changed the course of my life,” Kelly wrote on Sunday. “That moment was the door that opened up so much access and opportunity, and the creative partnerships that I will be grateful for all of my days.

Kelly went on to praise “the family and friendships I have created over these 20 years in music and TV,” adding, ‘We only get so many trips around the sun and…I am most proud and grateful for those friends that have become family, and for their arms that have held me when I needed it and their hearts that listened to me when I felt lost.”

The star then thanked “every single person that voted 20 years ago,” repeating “Thank you!” three times.  She wrapped up her note by expressing her hope that all those voters “have people in your lives that fill you with laughter, and hope, and happiness.”

“If you don’t feel like you have that, then keep searching because I promise they’re looking for you too,” she concluded.

The new season of The Kelly Clarkson Show debuts on September 12.

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