Kelly Clarkson Recalls Living With a Stranger and Sleeping in Her Car Prior to ‘American Idol’

The three-time Grammy Award winner was the champion of the ever season of the singing competition series in 2002.
Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson.

Kelly Clarkson believes that almost everyone who makes it big in the entertainment industry has some sort of “crazy” story about their life before fame, and how they ended up where they are today.

The talk show host revealed some details about her own journey to stardom on a new episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, which featured actor Kevin Bacon as a guest. 

“I actually moved out to L.A. with some random person I did not know. She just needed a roommate. I was like, ‘I’ll do it,’ and I moved from Texas to L.A. with a random stranger,” the 41-year-old singer explained.

She added that the living situation didn’t last for long because the place they were staying at caught on fire.

“We moved to a place and then it burned down... so, yeah. I slept in my car for a few days and then tried out for a show called American Idol so it all worked out,” she continued as the audience cheered. “You’ve really got to want your dream. The universe makes you really want it.”

Clarkson, who is a three-time Grammy Award winner and 17-time nominee, won the very first season of American Idol in 2002 and landed a record deal with RCA Records which completely catapulted her career. 

Her debut single, “A Moment Like This,” topped the US Billboard Hot 100 and became the country’s best-selling single that year. Clarkson’s first studio album, 2003’s Thankful, also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was certified double-platinum.

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Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.