Surrounded by original American Idol judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, the inaugural Idol champ’s ceremony took place just weeks after she marked the 20th anniversary of the revolutionary win that set her on a path to democratically elected superstardom.
“This is where I won 20 years ago,” she said during her acceptance speech. “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.”
During the ceremony, Cowell also reminisced about the day Clarkson showed up to audition for American Idol, saying, “I actually thought I was being punked on the first day. Paula resigned. Every singer was out of tune and it got worse, progressively. I thought, ‘This is an absolute disaster, why did we come here?’ And thank God, I remember the day we met you and I remember not just your voice, but your personality.
“Thanks to you, I’m here today,” he went on to tell the “Since U Been Gone” singer. “You validated what we did. If we didn’t find a star, there’s no point in doing these shows.”
Earlier this month, Clarkson kicked off season 4 of her hit daytime talk show The Kelly Clarkson Show, which is currently filming in New York.
Get a look at Clarkson posing with her star below.