Kelly Clarkson milestone 2022: ‘American Idol’ alum celebrates 20th anniversary, most proud of this

UNIVERSAL CITY, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 25: Kelly Clarkson attends NBC's "American Song Contest" Semi-Finals at Universal Studios Hollywood on April 25, 2022 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Kelly Clarkson was the first “American Idol” winner 20 years ago, and she took to Instagram to thank her fans and reflect on her success after the show.

The 40-year-old singer wrote:

“That moment was the door that opened up so much access, opportunity, and creative partnerships that I will be grateful for all of my days.”

Clarkson joined the hit show “American Idol” when she was 20. She began singing at a young age and decided to pursue a career in the Los Angeles music industry.

While Clarkson struggled to launch her music career initially, she soon found herself winning by 58% against the first runner-up, Justin Guarini.

This victory landed her at RCA Records, 19 Recordings, and S Records, launching her successful career as a singer.

She wrote:

“The family and friendships I have created over these 20 years on music and TV are priceless to me.”

Clarkson released her critically acclaimed album “Breakaway” in 2004, attempting to break free from her “American Idol” image. She changed her musical direction for her second studio album, opting for a rock sound.

This proved to be a wise decision, as “Breakaway” received numerous awards and accolades. It was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the Grammys, and “Since U Been Gone” was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

As of this writing, “Breakaway” is still her best-selling album, and she is still revered by audiences and fans.

Clarkson, in addition to her music career, has appeared on television in the hit singing competition show “The Voice” and has her own talk show, “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”

Both shows are huge successes, with “The Kelly Clarkson Show” running for four seasons.

Despite this, the “Because of You” singer is most proud of the people who have supported her through her difficult times.

She wrote:

“We only get so many trips around the sun, and while I am proud and feel abundantly blessed of all the successes and failures that I have learned from. I am most proud and grateful for those friends that have become family, and for their arms that have held me when I needed it and their hearts that listened to me when I felt lost. Without them, I would not be where I am. I would probably not be here at all.”

This could be a reference to her recent divorce from Brandon Blackstock. According to reports, the divorce was settled, and she was granted primary custody of her children.

Clarkson has never stopped being grateful for the love and support of her fans, friends, and family. Her first studio album was titled “Thankful,” and she is still thankful for this day.

The “My Life Would Suck Without You” singer addressed her long-time fans directly near the end of her note, writing:

“thank you so much to every single person who voted 20 years ago! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I hope all of you have people in your lives that fill you with laughter, and hope, and happiness [sic].”