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Kelly Clarkson has been in the public eye for many years, so it’s safe to say that she’s faced plenty of public scrutiny while in the spotlight.

The pop superstar recently appeared on the Scandinavian talk show “Skavlan,” and revealed how she deals with the tough critics and controversies that have surrounded her as an artist, as well as opening up about her upbringing.

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“I’m kind of a comedian about it. I have a very good ‘brush it off your shoulder’ [attitude,]’” Kelly said of having developed a thick skin thanks, in part, to how she was raised. “I think you have to … for survival in this industry. Some crazy stuff gets said to you. Mean, weird [stuff] … People get really, really cruel, and it’s a lot to handle.”

“We’re very American,” she explained of her family, adding that she became separated from her older siblings as a child following her parents’ divorce. Her sister grew up with her aunt, and her brother grew up with her dad, while Kelly stayed with her mother.

To top that off, growing up, Kelly’s relationship with her biological father was — and still is — practically nonexistent.

“I think that’s why I adapt well,” Kelly said of being so nonchalant about the criticism that comes along with being famous. “That’s why nothing really fazes me. I’m actually thankful for that environment.”

And although Kelly says she’s “never really been in touch” with her estranged father, she did try to reconnect with him for her older brother’s sake. Unfortunately though, her attempts to salvage a relationship with her dad didn’t work out.

“I know a lot of people go, ‘Awww,’ but it’s not really that situation. I think if you don’t grow up with it, it’s hard to miss something you never had,” Kelly explained of letting go of her attempts to find love from her dad. “When something almost becomes humiliating, and you keep trying, you’re like, ‘You know, I shouldn’t have to work this hard for someone’s love.’”

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Even though Kelly’s not close with her dad, she says she no longer has anger toward him.

“It’s sad, honestly, for him because he’s not only missing out on me, but my kids and my sister and my brother,” she said. “He misses out on a lot, and I think that sets in the older you get. And in fairness to him, I don’t know his life, how he grew up, and I don’t know if he’s repeating a cycle that was once taught to him.”

Nashville-based writer and Rare Country contributor Melinda Lorge has always been passionate about country music. Follow her @MelindaLorge and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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