‘American Idol’s Kelly Clarkson Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Winning the Show

by Alex Falls

Sunday marked the 20th anniversary of a special moment in the history of TV when Kelly Clarkson won the first season of American Idol. The whirlwind journey launched a music career that’s kept Clarkson at the forefront of pop culture in the two decades since her historic win.

Clarkson marked the special anniversary by posting a heartfelt message to her fans on Instagram.

“20 years ago today I won American Idol and it forever changed the course of my life,” Clarkson said in her post. “That moment was the door that opened up so much access and opportunity, and creative partnerships that I will be grateful for all of my days. The family and friendships I have created over these 20 years in music and tv are priceless to me.”

After her win on American Idol, Clarkson went on to release many hit songs. Including “Miss Independent,” “Breakaway,” “Since U Been Gone,” “Because of You,” and “Behind These Hazel Eyes.” She has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide and has won two Grammy Awards.

“We only get so many trips around the sun. While I am proud and feel abundantly blessed of 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,” Clarkson continued in her post.

Kelly Clarkson Thanks the Fans for the Long Journey

Clarkson went on to her successful career because of the millions of fans who voted for her all of those years ago in the inaugural season of American Idol. In her lengthy statement, she made sure to give thanks to all of those people that put her on her musical journey.

“Thank you so much to every single person that 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. And if you don’t feel like you have that, then keep searching. Because I promise you they’re looking for you too,” Clarkson said.

The singer eventually moved back into the competition TV realm by becoming a judge herself. She served as a judge on The Voice from 2018 until 2021. The show is set to return to TV later this month. But Kelly will not be part of the upcoming season. During an appearance on the TODAY Show, she cited needing a break from the spotlight after a highly publicized breakup with her ex-husband. However, The Kelly Clarkson Show is set for a new run of episodes this Fall.