Grammy-award winning artist Kelly Clarkson was honored, and her legacy cemented, in a ceremony at the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, September 19.
Clarkson was surrounded by her team and loved ones as fans navigated tight security at the walk of fame. Alongside Clarkson was former “American Idol” judge and television personality, Paula Abdul, one of the judges that helped Clarkson to her success.
The award caps a rise to stardom that began 20 years ago when Clarkson went from Fort Worth, Texas choir singer to winner of the first season of “American Idol.”
Since her victory, Clarkson has dominated the music charts, amassing three Grammy wins and 15 nominations. She hosts the Emmy Award-winning Kelly Clarkson Show, now entering its fourth season on NBC.
Former “American Idol” judge and guest speaker Simon Cowell recalled Clarkson’s audition at the ceremony.
“I remember that moment when your name was called,” said Cowell, “I could never predict what was going to happen then.”
Clarkson not only competed as a contestant on “American Idol,” but became a judge for similar vocal competition shows like “The Voice.” But despite her achievements, Clarkson opened her ceremony by recognizing her team’s efforts in helping skyrocket her career.
“I don’t think people realize how many team members it takes to actually make all of this happen,” Clarkson said. “I would have no career without them.”
Clarkson’s appearance at Monday’s ceremony drew both a local and international crowd.
“I love Kelly Clarkson,” said Julia Macmillian, a superfan from Canada. “I grew up listening to her.”
Some fans were shocked that it took Clarkson 20 years to earn her star on the walk of fame.
“She didn’t have a star?” said Jack Dugoni, a junior theater major. “I’m in shock. I feel like this woman had such a big impact on the music industry over the years. I think people prioritize male bands and artists… but Kelly Clarkson has actually made a huge impact on the industry.”
Dugoni and his family have been Clarkson fans since her appearance on “American Idol.”
“My dad and mom are actually huge Kelly Clarkson fans,” said Dugoni. “She’s always been a little part of my life.”
Dugoni isn’t the only fan to have inherited an appreciation for Clarkson from his parents.
Ava Bautch, a USC freshman majoring in business administration, also spoke to Clarkson’s impact on her life.
“I’ve grown up a Kelly Clarkson fan because of my mom,” Bautch said. “It was a whole production, you know, we all got ready and watched the show, ’American Idol’.”
“I literally was on the phone with her last week because I got tickets to the Kelly Clarkson concert,” she said.
Clarkson’s star is the 2,733rd placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and now can be admired for generations to come.
“Now, I think back to my childhood when I would watch Kelly Clarkson with my mom,” said Bautch. “She’s always going to be special to me.”