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Miss Independent! Kelly Clarkson’s Total Transformation Over the Years: Photos

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly two decades since Kelly Clarkson beat out Justin Guarini as the first-ever winner of American Idol!

Of course, the “Miss Independent” singer has come a long way since then. Not only has she gone on to make tremendous strides in her career — she’s won three Grammys and been nominated for 15 — but she’s also a wonderful mother and amazing TV show host. Oh, and clearly everyone’s favorite coach on NBC’s The Voice. Sorry, Blake Shelton

Though the “Stronger” artist takes pride in all her accomplishments, her most important one is being a mom to her two children, River Rose and Remington, both of whom she shares with ex-husband Brandon Blackstock. In addition to their children, Brandon has two other kids, Savannah and Seth, from his previous marriage to ex-wife Melissa Ashworth.

According to documents obtained by Life & Style on June 11, 2020, Kelly filed for divorce from Brandon on June 4, citing “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for their split.

It seems like Kelly and Brandon’s breakup was a long time coming. The couple, who had been quarantining together amid the coronavirus pandemic, began spiraling once they self-isolated. “They haven’t been getting along for a while and clashed on so many levels,” a source exclusively told Life & Style at the time. “They’ve grown apart over the years and being in lockdown together heightened their problems.”

While going through a public split isn’t easy, Kelly is known for keeping her head up — and her award-winning music is a testament to that! Take “Since U Been Gone,” for example. The 2002 hit focuses on self-empowerment after a tough breakup.

The pop star has a special connection to the powerful anthem for personal reasons. “If I had to repeat it again, I would rather go through all that crap to get the end product of really connecting with a bunch of fans, and people that might not have been Kelly Clarkson fans before,” she said during an interview with Apple Music in April 2020.

While speaking to Variety for their September 2022 cover story, Kelly revealed her plans to release her first studio album since 2017’s Meaning of Life. The album, which is set to come out in 2023, was inspired by the “many emotions” she felt going through her and her ex-husband’s divorce. 

“It’s coming out next year. And this is an important album,” the “Because of You” songstress told the outlet. “I’m working on this in therapy: I have a hard time vocalizing what I’m feeling sometimes, so music is helpful for me. It’s just been really healing. I recorded the record quite some time ago.”

Scroll through the gallery below to see Kelly Clarkson’s total transformation over the years.