Kelly Clarkson and ‘American Idol’ Judges Reunite at Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony

by Craig Garrett

American Idol had a debut season reunion during Kelly Clarkson’s Hollywood Walk of Fame induction ceremony. On Monday, twenty years after being crowned the winner of the reality singing competition’s inaugural season, Clarkson reunited with the original Idol judges for the ceremony. Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Simon Cowell were all smiles for their protege.

COVID delayed the installation of Kelly Clarkson’s star last year. She is the 2,733rd person to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and her monument is located in front of Ovation Hollywood Shopping Center at 6801 Hollywood Blvd.

“This is where I won 20 years ago,” Clarkson said at the ceremony. “I feel very lucky and fortunate because I know a lot of talented people that love singing and are amazing at it and writing songs, and even talk show hosts — a lot of people could do that, and I just feel very fortunate that I get the chance. There are dreams you didn’t know you had and they end up happening and you feel super blessed.” The Hollywood Walk of Fame shared a video of the ceremony on Youtube.

Of course, Kelly Clarkson has earned her star many times over. In 2002, Clarkson’s debut single “A Moment Like This” topped the Billboard Hot 100, and she has since shown her staying power with hits like “My Life Would Suck Without You,” “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” and the iconic “Since U Been Gone.” She’s sold more than 28 million albums and 54 million singles worldwide, has 11 top-10 singles on the Hot 100, three Grammys under her belt, and even hosted a talk show for five years.

Simon Cowell heaped praise on Kelly Clarkson

When Cowell took the microphone to talk, he recalled how Clarkson’s singing saved him from turning around and heading back to the UK. “I actually thought I was being Punk’d on the first day,” Cowell recalled about the American Idol auditions. “Paula resigned. Every singer was out of tune. And I thought, ‘This is a joke.’ And it got worse, progressively. So I thought, ‘This is an absolute disaster. Why did I come here?’ And thank God I remember the day we met you. I remember not just your voice, but your personality.”

In a candid bit of sincerity, Cowell revealed how quickly he adored Kelly Clarkson. “I’ve got to be honest with you, I didn’t realize at that point, honestly, how good you were. I just liked you. And I was so thankful. And then there was the moment you sang ‘Respect’… and we all looked at each other like, ‘Oh. My. God. Thank you.'”

Cowell went on to credit Clarkson for the success of the American Idol franchise. “I remember that moment when your name was called and I was thinking to myself, ‘Thanks to you, we may have another season,'” Cowell said. “I can honestly say to you, thanks to you, I’m here today… because you validated what we did. If we didn’t find a star, there’s no point in doing these shows.”