A decade and a half into her groundbreaking career, Kelly Clarkson was honored at the 2017 Billboard Women in Music Awards after wowing the Los Angeles crowd with a taste of how she’s made it this far.
Following an introduction from Kelly Rowland, Clarkson belted out “Meaning of Life,” the inspiring title track from her freshly released eighth studio album. “Show me the meaning of life,” she sang, hitting both low, soulful notes, and exquisite runs up high. It was a more stripped-down version of “Meaning” than the one on record, but Clarkson, supported by just a piano player and three backing vocalists, made it steadfastly powerful.
It was all leading up to the ‘Powerhouse Award,’ presented to Clarkson by the other famous Kelly onstage. Clarkson reached back to her acting career and cracked a From Kelly to Kelly joke, before getting just a little serious.
“I want to lift up and support everyone,” she asserted, calling out stereotypes that pit women against women. “Accept the fact that there is room for everyone.”
Clarkson thought back to the American Music Awards earlier this month, where she opened the show performing alongside another longtime industry powerhouse, P!nk. “There’s room for both of us,” she said, calling the experience, “the most powerful event I had in 2017, other than being a mom… I’m a badass mom.”