Kelly Clarkson and River Rose met Haley Joy [HD]
How Kelly Clarkson Found Her Joy
Kelly Clarkson learned long ago how to deal with a put-down: Use it as rocket fuel. “I used to work with someone who was so mean to me,” she recalls. “One day I disagreed about something they thought I couldn’t do, and they go, ‘Oh, you’re a sinking ship.’ I was like, ‘You know what? If this ship sinks, you can damn well know that I was driving it!’ That person didn’t realize that if you say I can’t do something, I will move a mountain just to prove you wrong.” The mountain of records she’s moved in the past 15 years (25 million and counting) is just one testament to her will. These days, the three-time Grammy winner is set on proving to everyone (including her former record company) that she can successfully segue from pop-rock to R&B with her new album,Meaning of Life.
Kelly talks a lot about how what she’s been through has built her armor, but in person she’s anything but guarded. During a morning chat, huge latte in hand, the mom to River Rose, 3, Remington, 1, and stepmom to Savannah, 16, and Seth, 11 (with husband Brandon Blackstock) reveals how she learned to safeguard herself emotionally without becoming tough or bitter.
On the inspiration for her new R&B album,Meaning of Life:“When my mom heard it, she was like, ‘Now this is the music I thought you were going to make when you were a kid.’ These are the kind of soulful, bluesy songs I love. You have to have gone through some stuff in life in order to translate that emotion into them… Not to poo-poo on all my other records, because they’re all me too, but this is the sound of powerful women like Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, and Whitney Houston. They inspired me as a little girl who had nothing but thought maybe I could be something one day.”
On being a positive body image hero to so many women—and how fans might react if she lost weight:“That’s already happened to me. They shame you for it. Same thing happened with Miranda Lambert—I had dinner with her and we were talking about that. She was like, “Should I gain? Should I lose?” But no one actually cares about your health. They just care about aesthetics. It’s when I’m fat that I’m happy. People think, Oh, there’s something wrong with her. She’s putting on weight. I’m like, “Oh, no! I’m sorry, but that represents happiness in my emotional world.” For me, when I’m skinny is usually when I’m not doing well. If you gauge your life on what other people think, you’re going to be in a constant state of panic trying to please everyone. People should just concentrate on their own lives and their own health and their own happiness, and whatever that looks like for you, be happy with it.”
On how being a mom changed her:“Literally, having children has brought fear to my life. That sounds horrible, I know, but before kids I was fearless. Now I go to bed and I have nightmares of someone just grabbing my little girl and running. It’s always about me not being able to protect my kids somehow. I’m a mama bear. Just recently our nanny told me that an older kid was mean to my daughter at the park and that she just crumbled. I’m glad I wasn’t there, because I wouldn’t have handled that well. I totally went off on that 6-year-old in my head!”
On keeping things spontaneous with her husband, Brandon:“Any time we’re in a discussion about sex with a bunch of couples, Brandon and I stay pretty quiet. To keep it family appropriate, let’s say we’re just a lot more active than other couples. I’m a person who loves change. He loves spontaneity. Having a set time or place [to have sex] would be boring to us. When I met Brandon, I wasn’t looking for a friend. I have a lot of great friends! I was looking for a lover. I had never found someone I was truly passionate about, who I wanted to stay in bed with all day. The fact that I did, well…I was going to latch on and take advantage of that.”
On her upcoming gig as a judge onThe Voicewith Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, and Alicia Keys:“I’ve already warned both Adam and Blake that winning is not my biggest concern. I want to find someone who has incredible talent and really work with that person. It would be amazing to look back in a decade and see this artist have a huge, successful career that I was a part of.”
For more from Kelly, pick up the December/January issue of REDBOOK on newsstands November 21.
Video: How Kelly Clarkson turned Hoda Kotb's book "I've Loved You Since Forever" into a song
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