Kelly Clarkson: Aretha Franklin helped my shyness

Kelly Clarkson has revealed she overcame her shyness because of Aretha Franklin as she paid tribute to the late soul legend for ABC’s ‘2018: In Memoriam’.

The 36-year-old star has paid tribute to the late soul legend – who died at the age of 76 in August after a battle with pancreatic cancer – and has admitted it was the ‘Respect’ singer’s music that gave her the confidence to pursue her dreams of becoming an artist.

Speaking on ABC’s ‘2018: In Memoriam’ – which will air on Monday night (17.12.18) – she said: “When I was little I just had such a hard time communicating, which is actually why I started to write before I even could sing. It was just to get my emotions [out], and because I was afraid to let down walls because so many crappy things happened. Aretha was the one singer that reached real down in me. Then it was like, ‘It’s OK to cry, it’s OK to be mad at something, it’s OK to get through something.’ ”

The ‘Piece By Piece’ hitmaker explained she was “afraid to be embarrassed” until Aretha helped break down “barriers”.

She added: “I feel like she’s the reason why I’m not so shy. I was terribly shy when I was a kid … just afraid to do anything because I was afraid to be embarrassed. And now I’m the complete opposite. Music really did give me that confidence and she really did stir something inside me that broke down those barriers that I had built up as a child.”

Kelly has opened up about her love for Aretha in the past, and in 2017 she revealed the influence she had on her recent album ‘Meaning of Life’.

She previously said: “These are the kind of soulful, bluesy songs I love. You have to have gone through some stuff in life in order to translate that emotion into them … Not to poo-poo on all my other records, because they’re all me too, but this is the sound of powerful women like Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, and Whitney Houston. They inspired me as a little girl who had nothing but thought maybe I could be something one day.”

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