(Image credit: NBC)
Britney Spears has proven she’s got no problem calling out people who have wronged her in the past, both indirectly and astoundingly directly. Her parents and sister Jamie Lynn Spears are frequent targets of the singer’s anger, largely tied to her being trapped in a conservatorship for 13 years, but she’s also name-checked others who have hurt her in various ways, including ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake, fellow Mickey Mouse Club alum Christina Aguilera and, more recently, Kelly Clarkson. After the “Lucky” singer recalled some insensitive comments Clarkson made back in 2008, the talk show host and former Voice coach has responded in very on-brand fashion.
For backstory: Kelly Clarkson appeared on Q100 Atlanta in 2008 — around the time Britney Spears suffered a mental breakdown and her father took control of her life — for an interview in which she joked about Britney’s head-shaving incident and her other troubling behavior boosting publicity for her 2007 album Blackout. After Spears referenced that interview in a since-deleted Instagram caption, saying, “I don’t forget,” the American Idol champion covered the former pop star’s song “Womanizer” on The Kelly Clarkson Show, saying on the show’s Twitter page that she was “Celebrating Queen Britney.” Check out the Kellyoke performance below:
Kelly Clarkson didn’t address Britney Spears’ callout directly, and it could be said that her “celebration” of the pop icon is the American Idol winner’s way of congratulating Spears on her fairytale wedding with Sam Asghari. However, the performance coming just days after her 2008 interview comments resurfaced seems a little too coincidental (and “Womanizer” doesn’t exactly scream appropriate if we’re talking wedding well-wishes).
The June 15 episode was not the first time Kelly Clarkson has covered Britney Spears’ songs on her talk show. The former Voice coach sang “Toxic” during Kellyoke in February 2020, and in September 2019 she covered “Till the World Ends.” Spears also made reference in the recent Instagram post to Kelly Clarkson singing her song “Everytime” in 2012, and the Crossroads actress tweeted at the time, “This is beautiful girl.”
We may never know whether or not Kelly Clarkson contacted Britney Spears privately to discuss her past comments, but we have seen the “Since U Been Gone” singer address personal matters through her Kellyoke songs in the past. In October as the Idol alum was in the midst of a complicated divorce, she changed some of the lyrics to Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever,” in what many saw as a shot at her estranged husband Brandon Blackstock. Rather than singing, “I don’t relate to you, no. ‘Cause I’d never treat me this shitty. You made me hate this city,” Clarkson changed the last line to, “I get it, you hate this city.”
It’s easy to see why Kelly Clarkson’s 2008 interview would be hurtful to Britney Spears, even all these years later, and hopefully Spears is able to get some closure on the matter. As the newlywed is spending her first days of wedded bliss moving into a new house (in her ex-husband’s neighborhood), Clarkson has said she’s taking the summer off to spend with her children as she prepares for a complete overhaul of The Kelly Clarkson Show. Be sure to check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what premieres are coming soon.