Former ‘American Idol’ Judge Paula Abdul Speaks Out About Her Relationship With Kelly Clarkson

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Paula Abdul, who is one of the original judges on American Idol, is speaking out about her longtime relationship with Kelly Clarkson. Twenty years ago, Clarkson happened to win the first season of American Idol. Abdul has been fond of Clarkson since the get-go and that remains through today.

Abdul, Simon Cowell, and Randy Jackson were in attendance as Clarkson, 40, picked up in September a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She just would not have it another way at all. “I couldn’t miss her star on Hollywood Boulevard,” Abdul said while chatting it up when appearing on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna. All these years later, Abdul, now 60, sees Clarkson as more than someone she’s seen as a friend or mentee. Abdul actually thinks of Clarkson, who now has her own talk show on a daily basis, as a family member.

Paula Abdul Of ‘American Idol’ Fame Admitted She’s Proud Of Kelly Clarkson

“I always say I signed on her wall the first day of her show, ‘Remember, I’m your second mama, who’s so proud of you,'” Abdul said. She adds that she sees the relationship between them as “beautiful.” Even during the star ceremony for Clarkson, Abdul did not hold back her admiration for her.

“Not only has the trajectory of your life changed, but you’ve helped change the trajectory of everyone’s lives,” Abdul said. She was talking about Clarkson’s success on American Idol. “Thank you for making me believe, like a kid believes in Santa Claus, that young, talented people can make it, and they can make it big time.” Abdul, though, said that feeling the maternal vibe is not rare for her at all.

“I stay in touch with a lot of the ‘Idols,’ and I would attend their first concerts, just show up as much as I could,” she said. Abdul is going to be on TV yet again. This will be for herself in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thanksgiving morning. “Since I was a little girl, all I would do is I’d beg my parents, ‘I want to be on a float! I want to be on a float!'” Abdul said. “So this is a childhood bucket list (item) for me.” The parade starts at 9 a.m. Eastern. Abdul will be performing her 1988 hit Straight Up as part of the parade.  

Abdul has been a singer, dancer, and choreographer throughout her long career. She’s had other hit songs, too, but Abdul gets to sing one of them in New York City on Thanksgiving Day.