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Kelly Clarkson says celebs were 'really mean' to her during 'American Idol'

Clarkson told her guest, Jennifer Love Hewitt, that a piece of advice she gave her on a red carpet almost 20 years ago has stuck with her ever since.
/ Source: TODAY

Kelly Clarkson recently opened up about her early days of fame during her time on "American Idol." On Thursday's episode of “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” the 38-year-old host took a moment before her interview with Jennifer Love Hewitt to thank the actor for advice years prior.

“Okay, you probably don’t remember this but it stuck with me so long, like for almost 20 years now,” Clarkson told Hewitt. “You have no idea I’m about to say this and you probably don’t remember, but it was at some kind of MTV awards, I don’t know what it was, but you ran up to me and it was right when the final three of ‘Idol.’"

She continued, explaining, "We were just so slammed and everything was happening in a whirlwind and people were really mean to us because we’re from a talent show and it was the first season. Like everyone was so rude to us, like at the carpet, at the show.”

The “9-1-1“ actor, 41, chimed in to ask Clarkson, “Why?”, to which she replied, “I don’t know, it was so bad.”

“It was a horrible experience and you came up to me and ran up to me out of nowhere and were like ‘Oh my gosh, I’m really rooting for you,’” Clarkson recalled. “You told me, ‘Please keep the ones you love so close and it’ll end up being about a few people in your life, unfortunately, but this business can be really hard and just remember to keep those people that really love you.’”

Ryan Seacrest, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Justin Guarini, Paula Abdul, and Kelly Clarkson of "American Idol" backstage at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards.Frank Micelotta Archive / Getty Images

She added, “You just gave me this advice that was really, really kind in such an unkind time for me personally. So thank you so much.”

“You probably don’t even remember it. It was probably something you did off the cuff where you were like, ‘Oh, hi!’ But it meant the world to me,” Clarkson said. “You were so nice. I’ve been looking forward to interviewing you.”

"The Kelly Clarkson Show" show was officially renewed last month for two more seasons through 2022 after winning three Emmy awards in its first season, including one for Clarkson herself.

"One ray of sunshine in this wildly unpredictable year is that we get to continue to deliver to stations and fans a show that brings people together," said Tracie Wilson, executive vice president, NBCUniversal Syndication Studios, in a news release.

"This wouldn't be possible without the heart and humor of the talented and dedicated Kelly Clarkson and our production team, led by the incomparable Alex Duda, both of whom are masters of storytelling. It's easy to see why Emmy voters, critics and viewers have become such loyal fans of the show."