She got engaged in December and will return to the Grammys as a four-time nominee in February, and here’s even more big news for Kelly Clarkson.
The Nashville based pop/country star will perform at President Barack Obama‘s inauguration on January 21.
Planners said Wednesday that Obama picked Clarkson to sing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” the song that Aretha Franklin famously performed during his first inauguration in 2008. Beyonce will sing the national anthem, and James Taylor will perform “America the Beautiful.”
Speaking to the Tennessean on Wednesday, Clarkson said she was “floored” to be invited.
“I really have spent a lot of time coming up with a cool arrangement,” she said. “I wanted to make it special. I’m really proud to be singing in his inauguration. I vote for him. It’s a proud moment when you support something, and then you get to be a part of it.”
Excited & honored to announce that I’ll be performing “America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee)” at the 57th Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 21!
— Kelly Clarkson (@kelly_clarkson) January 9, 2013
Kelly Clarkson Is In Control
The no-BS singer gives us the dish on turning 30 and earning respect…and why love is the best diet.
It’s 1 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon, and Kelly Clarkson is braless, bleary-eyed, and recovering from a hard-core dose of NyQuil. Hanging on her 45-foot tour bus—her home for nine months last year—she’s just devoured a bowl of Special K Red Berries, and her pups, Security, a Maltese, and Joplin, a black miniature Labradoodle, are snuggled in her lap.
Lounging in her favorite sweatpants and a faded rocker tee, Kelly is completely unself—conscious. “One thing I love about Kelly is her ability to not give a shit,” says her buddy Blake Shelton, who duetted with Kelly last year. “She’s not running for office. She’s a badass singer, a badass songwriter, and that’s her focus. The whole celebrity thing just doesn’t matter to her.”
The girl from Burleson, Texas, has had a decade to get used to the fishbowl that came with being named the first American Idol. She’s sold more than 20 million albums, won two Grammys, and recently released ‘Greatest Hits: Chapter One‘. She also has a serious boyfriend, Brandon Blackstock, [ED NOTE: They have since become engaged] a music manager who handles pals like Blake and is also the son of her own manager and stepson of her mentor, Reba McEntire.
“Brandon’s totally the one,” she says, a slow grin spreading across her face. “I’ve never been so happy.” As her phone lights up with texts from her guy, the singer known for kiss-offs talks about a life that is newly calm, confident, and “abnormally normal.”
Cosmo: You’re only 30, but it feels like you’ve been doing this forever.
Kelly: Yeah, it feels like 20 years. Things were so weird, so fast for me, that I kind of skipped over the surreal part. This [bus] is normal now. I get home and I’ll be like “What do I do? There’s no call sheet. Why isn’t there catering here?” It takes you a good solid five days to get into your routine, like going to the grocery store.
Cosmo:You go to the grocery store?
Kelly: Oh, yeah. I like it not just to be like an anti-diva but just to have some kind of normalcy of a pattern you’ve had your whole life. And I’m so übercontrolling. I don’t even like people looking through my bags—I’m like “No, I got it.”
Cosmo: You’ve fought for control of your music too. Is it still hard to be taken seriously as a young female songwriter?
Kelly: Not anymore. You have to earn your stripes. At first I thought, I’ve had number one hits. What do I have to do? Do I have to get some tablets from the top of a mountain? But I think that it takes a while. And also, I would compromise and bend and break to get people to respect me. I kept thinking that they’re never gonna respect what I do—but the thing I’ve learned is, I’m not working for that. I learned at 30: Okay, I don’t really care if people respect me. I love what I do. And if I don’t wanna do something, just say no and I don’t need a reason. I used to be a major people pleaser, and that was my biggest downfall.
Cosmo: People are obsessed with your weight loss. What’s up?
Kelly: One magazine said I lost 40 pounds—that’s a small child, by the way. I lost 18 pounds. And I think that happens when you fall in love or date someone. If I’m going to be kissing or messing around, I gotta look good. There’s not a fad diet. I was working with a trainer, and she said, “You’d be amazed the amount of weight you can drop by halving your portions. I know it sounds crazy, but do it for two weeks and watch what happens.” I just cut back my portions, I stopped eating late at night, and I work out a little more than I used to, and I literally dropped 18 pounds in a month. I think it happens when you get really busy as well. But when I’m on my off-time—girl, those 18 might come back.
Cosmo: Some people work really, really hard to be skinny.
Kelly: See, I’m not willing to do that. I’m willing to work a little bit because I want to be a healthy individual—which I always have been. I’ve put on weight, but that’s just what I’m happy with at that moment. That’s my life right then. And then your lifestyle changes: Brandon and I both have bikes on the back of the bus, and we both love the outdoors. Once your lifestyle becomes more active, obviously you drop weight. I wish people would stop talking about it, but I’m used to it after a decade. And I’m from a small town, so everybody has something to say about everything. I’ve grown up that way.
Cosmo: There have been other crazy rumors—the lesbian thing.
Kelly: People think, “Oh, she’s been single for too long.” That’s kind of an insult to the gay community. Being single doesn’t mean you’re gay. But I’m never insulted by it, obviously. I mean, I get hit on by the hottest girls ever. Oh, my god, if I were a lesbian, I would be so in luck. But it’s just not my thing. I’ve always batted for the boys’ team.
Cosmo: Do you get hit on by guys?
Kelly: Yeah, I get hit on by both. But usually the guys who hit on me are tools. It’s the ones that don’t hit on you that make you like “Why didn’t you ask me out?” It’s like American Idol auditions: The guys who are the most confident are the horrible ones, and the ones who are good have no confidence at all.
Cosmo: So how did you and Brandon get together?
Kelly: We’ve known each other for years, but we didn’t start talking until the Super Bowl last February. And this is the funniest/worst thing ever: One of my superhero idols is Whitney Houston, and the day she died was our first date. I was like “This is a bad omen.”
Cosmo: But it turned out great.
Kelly: Oh, yeah. Six years I was single before this. I’ve never been truly loved like I am right now.
Cosmo: It’s almost a shock when it starts to come together.
Kelly: Yeah, I know! When I hit 30, I was like “I don’t have a problem right now. There’s nothing to work out. What am I going to do with my time?” Some people worry about getting older, but my life is getting easier, so I love it.
Cosmo: So how are you going to write your girl-power anthems when you’re so happy now?
Kelly: It’s kind of the next chapter for me, so there’s still stuff to write about. The idea of “Catch My Breath” is “Man, it’s been a decade and a lot of growing up.” And I think women in their 20s are searching, searching, searching….What do I want? What makes me happy? What doesn’t make me happy? I tell my boyfriend, “I feel like the rug is gonna be pulled out from under me anytime.” He thinks I’m such a pessimist. But I think being so happy freaks you out. So there’s something to write about in that as well.
Don’t forget to pick up the February 2013 issue of Cosmopolitan!
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Christmas spirit was alive and well when the multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson stopped by Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt Dec. 21 to sing and celebrate the season with patients, staff and families through Musicians On Call (MOC) Nashville.
Clarkson, who recently released her Greatest Hits – Chapter One album, visited with the children and performed an acoustic set in the Children’s Hospital Theatre. The songstress led the packed room in a sing-along of her favorite holiday carols including “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer,” “White Christmas,” and “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Clarkson encouraged singing and dancing, and the children were happy to oblige. Following the show, the kind-hearted entertainer generously offered to visit the rooms of patients unable to attend.
“This is such a special time of year and I’m so happy to be able to share it with all of these great kids. I’m probably having just as much, if not more, fun than they are,” exclaimed Clarkson. “I heard about Musicians On Call from a friend of mine,” she continued, “and I thought this would be the perfect way to get involved with a hospital music program here in Nashville. I love playing for the kiddos!!”
MOC Nashville is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year and since its inception, the Music City branch has grown to provide 11 weekly bedside performance programs throughout six area healthcare facilities and has played for over 60,000 patients. With the help of artists like Clarkson, Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, Martina McBride, Jerrod Niemann, Kellie Pickler, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, and so many more, MOC Nashville will continue to expand its reach within the Nashville community and deliver the healing power of music to those who need it most.
Check out the photos in the slideshow below:
— Reba McEntire (@reba) December 19, 2012
Grammy winners Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire engaged in a little music-inspired Twitter chat last week, Dec. 19 (sorry for sharing & posting this late on KCS). Using the hash tag #TWIL, the two singers interviewed each other on a myriad of topics, ranging from favorite current female artists and McEntire’s new TV show Malibu Country to favorite books and Clarkson’s recent engagement to Brandon Blackstock. Kicking off at 4 p.m. EST, the friendly (and rather informative) banter was part of the Recording Academy’s recently launched Artist Interview Series, which is a component of #TheWorldisListening campaign, to bring attention to music’s emerging and popular female artists.
“Reba, okay, here we go…I’m so nervous! I’m not used to being the interviewer. Who are your favorite female artists right now?” Clarkson began the 45-minute exchange. McEntire quickly replied, “Kelly Clarkson, well, you, of course…and Trisha Yearwood. Who are yours?” The two dynamic artists then launched into a lengthy discussion over Clarkson’s collaboration “Don’t Rush” with the legendary Vince Gill and any secrets the soon-to-be bride should know about her future husband.
On “Don’t Rush,” Clarkson exclaimed:
“Singing with Vince Gill was one of the greatest highlights of my career! I can’t believe I got him to sing on my record AND on the CMAs!”
The dramatic wedding-bliss news broke on Dec. 15 when a bright-eyed Clarkson took to her Twitter to tell her fans:
“I’M ENGAGED!!!!! I wanted y’all to know!! Happiest night of my life last night! I am so lucky and am with the greatest man ever :)”
On any possible tidbits that Clarkson should know about her fiance, McEntire asserted, with a virtual smirk:
“I think you know all you need to for now! If you knew it all, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun in the future!”
Here is the full conversation:
Kelly: Hey @reba – are you ready?!? #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson You bet!!! I’ll let you ask the first question. #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba Okay, here we go…I’m so nervous! I’m not used to being the interviewer. Who are your favorite female artists right now? #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson Well, you, of course…and Trisha Yearwood (@tycom). Who are yours? #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba I’ll take it! @tycom is good company to be in! #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba I really dig the sound of @pistolannies. And who doesn’t love @lbtmusic? Pontoooooon!!! #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson @pistolannies @lbtmusic Love them both too!
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson Alright, my turn…what is on your list of must read books right now? #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba The two I’ve been loving are Discovery of Witches (the book I just gave you!) and Love Does by Bob Goff. #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson Good picks! #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba Let’s talk about your new TV show. What made you want to go back to TV in ABC’s @malibu_country? #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson I love everything about sitcoms! #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson You get a new script each week, you get to play with very talented & fun people and I get the summer off! #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson This concept for @malibu_country from @davestewart was perfect for me! #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba So when can I guest star? #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson When we get the script just perfect for you!!! That’ll be a blast! #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson You started out on TV…what did you learn most from your @americanidol experience? #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba Always try and compete with yourself rater than others. Never stop challenging yourself and trying to grow as an artist. #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson Wise words! Always keep learning! #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba Exactly! #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba You’ve constantly reinvented yourself throughout your career. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your 30+ year career? #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson That I didn’t get where I am today by myself. I have God, my family, my friends and my fans to thank for that. #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba Amen sister! Speaking of family, what do I need to know about Brandon now that we’re engaged? #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson I think you know all you need to for now! If you knew it all, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun in the future! ) #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson And speaking of the engagement, since you are going to be my daughter-in-law, I’m singing at the wedding, right?? #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba Obviously! My request is “Let’s Get It On” by Al Green. That’s not awkward, right? #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson We may have to talk about that one later… #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba HA! And what about your other race car driving son @shelbilly, have you taken a spin around the racetrack with him yet? #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson Are you on CRACK????!!!! NO!!!! And I don’t plan on it!!!! #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba I don’t know if I blame you! #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson You just released your first Greatest Hits album, and I love it! Didn’t you love singing with Vince Gill?!? #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba Singing with Vince Gill was one of the greatest highlights of my career! #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba I remember singing along with you and Vince on “The Heart Won’t Lie” when I was younger. #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba I can’t believe I got him to sing on my record AND on the CMAs!!! #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson That performance was fantastic! #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba Thank you!!! #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba One of my favorite songs (and every Reba fan’s) is “Fancy” – what drew you to that song? #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson It’s that “rags to riches” story I’ve always been drawn to. Also, all the minor chords in the song are so cool to me. #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson And I love performing it live! Do you have a favorite song to perform live? #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba “Walkaway”, I love being sassy. I learned that from you! Yeahhhhhh! #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson I had so much fun performing that with you back when we toured together! #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba It’s just a great song, and the audiences love it. #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson They sure do! Okay, here’s my last question… #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson What advice do you have for young aspiring female musicians? #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba Try out for everything, even if it’s the smallest job. #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba You never know who you are going to meet and where that could lead. #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba Keep yourself open to all opportunities! #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba And my last question for you… #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba What do you wish you had known 20 years ago that you know now? #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson Good question!!! #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson That God has a plan for me and it’ll all turn out okay. #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson Don’t worry and stress so much. #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson To stop and smell the roses and you go along would have been nice to know back then. #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba Great advice…that’s why I love you! #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba Well, I guess I better shut the computer down – the dogs are wanting my attention! #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson Me too, I’ve gotta get back to work here on the @malibu_country set! This was so much fun! #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson Oh, CONGRATULATIONS on your 4 @thegrammys nominations! I’m so proud for you and can’t wait to see the show in Feb!!! #TWIL
Kelly: .@reba Thank you!!! Thank you @thegrammys and @twittermusic for asking us to do this – it was awesome! Talk to y’all later! #TWIL
Reba: .@kelly_clarkson Yes thanks @thegrammys and @twittermusic! Bye! #TWIL
Kelly Clarkson found love in a hopeFUL place. Before Sunday’s VH1 DIVAS rehearsal, the singer excitedly tweeted her engagement to Brandon Blackstock. Later in the evening, she delivered a lively performance of “Catch My Breath” from her recent album, Greatest Hits: Chapter One. But before any of the DIVAS hit the stage, celebrities congratulated Clarkson on her engagement while working the red carpet.
While some celebrities kept their congratulatory words brief, others offered funny advice. Our favorite is Jordin Sparks‘ reaction when asked to give the couple some marital advice. Check out the best quotes from VH1′s video of celebrities congratulating the newly engaged singer.
“Love is amazing.” – Brandy
“I’ve been following you since you entered the game, and I’m very, very proud of you.” – Basketball Wives Miami, Tami Roman
“You are going to love being married, it is so much fun…Tell your husband you like jewelry early on.” Channing Tatum‘s wife, Jenna Dewan-Tatum
“…She really deserves it, and I don’t want to hear any more heartbreak songs from her.” – Demi Lovato
“Kelly, go girl, go. Always go to bed happy and loving each other.” – Ledisi
“I don’t have advice, I’m not engaged, I can’t tell you anything! But congratulations.” – Jordin Sparks
“Kelly, Kelly, you found love. Can you give me some? Can you rub up against me and give me some?” – LisaRaye
Kelly Clarkson got engaged Friday night and quickly tweeted a pic of her stunning canary diamond ring. Then, just two days later, she got to show it off in person at the VH1 Divas event!
The singer, who said “Yes!” to beau Brandon Blackstock, wore the stunning bauble for her performance of “Catch My Breath” at the Shrine Auditorium. The star seemed to be glowing on the stage as she performed, while waving around her ringed hand.
The engagement was a big part of the show. Ellie Kemper came out and announced Clarkson, saying: “The first female diva of tonight has got all the three things a diva should always have: A big voice, big dance anthems and now a big ol’ engagement ring on her hand. Please welcome to ‘VH1 Divas’ the newly engaged and amazingly talented Kelly Clarkson.” Aww!
“Everyone has been asking about my engagement ring, so here it is It’s a yellow canary diamond with diamonds around it and Brandon designed it with Johnathon Arndt! They did an amazing job! I can’t wait to make Brandon’s ring with Johnathon as well!” – Kelly Clarkson
Kelly took to Twitter and Facebook today to share her biggest announcement yet! She got engaged last night, Dec. 14th! Congratulations to Kelly Clarkson and her fiancé Brandon Blackstock on their Engagement!
I’M ENGAGED!!!!! I wanted y’all to know!! Happiest night of my life last night! I am so lucky and am with the greatest man ever
— Kelly Clarkson (@kelly_clarkson) December 15, 2012