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Kelly Clarkson Celebrates 14th Anniversary of 'American Idol' Victory
American Idol season one winner Kelly Clarkson is celebrating the 14th anniversary of her victorious journey on Twitter.
“14 yrs ago 2day @AmericanIdol opened a door w/such amazing opportunities & experiences 4 me!” she wrote on Sunday (Sept. 4). “I am 4ever grateful & blessed! #heresto14more.”
On this day in Idol history, the then-20 year old former waitress defeated runner-up Justin Guarini at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles during the first season of American Idol: The Search for a Superstar. Clarkson sealed the deal with a reprise of “Respect” and the performance of her coronation song, “A Moment Like This.” The Sept. 4, 2002 finale launched her career in front of then-judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.
“It was a hard season, but it prepared me,” Clarkson told The Hollywood Reporter in 2012.
Since then, the singer has won three Grammy Awards and accumulated 100 Billboard No. 1 hits.
Clarkson returned to the show earlier this year for the American Idol series finale to perform a medley of her hits. Earlier that season, she brought the audience to tears with a moving rendition of her single, “Piece by Piece.”
More recently, the 34-year-old singer signed a long-term record deal with Atlantic Records after 15 years with RCA.