Success, as they say, is the greatest revenge. And though she’s perfectly content with her status in the pop firmament now, Kelly Clarkson got a bit of get-back on Wednesday morning (Nov. 1) during a chat with SiriusXM host Howard Stern, when she revealed that a fellow pop star once elbowed her in the face at an awards show, back when they were both up-and-comers.
Stern was going through Clarkson’s rise to fame in chronological fashion, when the original American Idol explained that some fellow pop singers felt like her 2002 win on the first season of Idol was a kind of cheat, since she seemed to not have paid any dues.
“I got elbowed in the face by someone I was giving an award to at the VMAs,” Clarkson said diplomatically, while not naming the sharp-elbowed singer who allegedly did the shoving. Kelly also ticked off the long list of her singing gigs, and the way she blanketed every music business person she could think of with her demo tape when she first moved to Los Angeles well before her Idol audition.
Stern, of course, circled back to the elbow incident a short time later. “Was it Avril Lavigne who elbowed you in the face?” he asked, perhaps after getting a note about the numerous videos on YouTube showing the alleged incident at the 2002 VMAs in which Clarkson is seen handing Lavigne an award, and the diminutive “Complicated” singer appears to duck a hug from Kelly and push her out of the way with an elbow as she grabs the Moonman.
“It was her,” Clarkson responded. “But I will say this: Years later I saw her and she said, ‘Oh my gosh, people keep saying I elbowed you in the face and I’m so sorry!’ And I don’t know… she did it… but I don’t know if she felt bad about it, or she didn’t mean to do it, or what… but it felt purposeful!” (A spokesperson for Lavigne could not be reached for comment at press time.) “I think what I was bummed about is I’m a fan of hers,” Clarkson added. “I loved her music.”
Noting that Lavigne co-wrote one of her most beloved hits, “Breakaway,” Clarkson said all is forgiven at this point. “That’s so strange, that the girl who elbowed you in the face actually was responsible for one of your biggest hits,” Stern said. “She did apologize. So I will say that,” Clarkson said. “Honestly, I’m still a fan. I’m not mad at it.”
Clarkson was visiting Stern to promote her eighth studio album, Meaning of Life, released last Friday (Oct. 27). Listen to the singer do Howard a solid by running through a rare performance of her least favorite hit, the Idol coronation song, “A Moment Like This.”