Congratulations go out to one of our favorite all-genre stars, Kelly Clarkson, who was the deserving recipient of “Billboard” magazine’s “Powerhouse Award” during a ceremony Nov. 30 in California.
In true Kelly fashion, as she graciously accepted her award, she delivered a speech that wasn’t just an expression of gratitude, but — at a time when women are struggling to be heard — it was also a message of empowerment.
And perhaps, inadvertently, she delivered a message to the entire music business.
“There’s room for everyone,” she said. “Once women really start respecting each other as women and artists and all of that, then men will. We’ve got to start respecting each other first, and not with the beef and not with all that crap.”
Of course, Kelly’s address wasn’t without her signature sense of humor. “I got to sing with Pink. Yes, I’m a fan, but I got to sing with an artist that we’ve both been in the industry for almost just as long,” she said. “And we’re both fans of each other, we both respect each other. There’s room for both of us. There’s room for everyone, and I felt like that was the most powerful moment I had in 2017, other than being a mom, ’cause I’m a badass mom, y’all. You got to fit it all in.”
She went on to say, “I think that that’s cool what Ciara was saying earlier. She was saying you can be a mom, you can conquer that. You can be a great mom, you can be a present mom, an accountable one and I think you can do that plus achieve all your dreams. Achieve all the success you that you’ve always dreamed of since you were a kid. And you can do that as a woman, as a man, as a teenager, as a grown ass woman, it doesn’t matter who you are. Everybody can achieve that.”
Kelly continued, “The problem is fear. People get so fearful that there’s not going to be enough room for them at the table. They get so fearful that, ‘Oh, only one person can be one the chart.’ Who cares? You’re achieving your dream. You’re achieving what you always wanted to do.” She added, “That’s really why I started singing. I just loved it and I didn’t really want to be a waitress anymore as well. Because it only paid so much. But I was a good one. I love people.”
The Texas tornado ended by saying, “I want to lift up and support everyone. I think that’s the most powerful thing and powerful presence you can be in any industry, let alone the creative industry where we should be accepting of everyone.”
Kelly offered one more thank you and then closed. “Awards are great. I’m very, very flattered, but I think it’s more the people you surround yourself [with], the way you lift people up, and that kind of stuff comes back to you. The universe gives you that back.”
How about an amen?