Kelly Clarkson’s life changed forever when she won “American Idol” 20 years ago.
The singer beat runner-up Justin Guarini to be crowned the winner after the pair went head-to-head on the show’s first ever season on September 4, 2002.
Clarkson wrote in an emotional social media post on Sunday, “20 years ago today I won ‘American Idol’ and it forever changed the course of my life.
“That moment was the door that opened up so much access and opportunity, and creative partnerships that I will be grateful for all of my days. The family and friendships I have created over these 20 years in music and tv are priceless to me.”
— Kelly Clarkson (@kellyclarkson) September 5, 2022
She continued, “We only get so many trips around the sun and while I am proud and feel abundantly blessed of the successes and failures that I have learned from, 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.
“Without them I would not be where I am. I would probably not be here at all,” Clarkson added.
The musician concluded, “Thank you so much to every single person that voted 20 years ago! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
“I hope all of you have people in your lives that fill you with laughter, and hope, and happiness, and if you don’t feel like you have that, then keep searching because I promise you they’re looking for you too.”
Since winning the show, Clarkson has released numerous hit songs including “Miss Independent”, “Since U Been Gone” and “Behind These Hazel Eyes”, as well as having her own successful talk show “The Kelly Clarkson Show”.