Kelly Clarkson‘s catching her breath looking back at her time on American Idol.
It’s been 20 years since the “Breakaway” singer was crowned the winner of the singing competition’s premiere season in 2002, and boy has she come a long way since. From welcoming two kids—River, 8, and Remington Blackstock, 6—to launching her eponymous talk show in 2019, Clarkson looked back at how both she and her career have evolved since her Idol days exclusively with E! News.
“I feel like I’ve obviously progressed as a human,” the Grammy winner shared. “At the same time, though, I do feel very similar and very tied to that 19-year-old girl that first auditioned. I don’t feel very different in the sense that I’ve always had a lot of jobs—well, then, it was necessity—and I’ve always loved talking to people and I’ve always loved performing. I still love all the same things.”
Perhaps the now 40-year-old put it best when describing herself as the “grown-up version” of her past self, adding, “I feel similar to her, but also different.”
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