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No ‘Idol’ praise from Kelly Clarkson

Two-time Grammy winner fails to mention show that launched her career
Kelly Clarkson holds her Grammy's for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2006, in Los Angeles.Reed Saxon / AP
/ Source: Reuters

Kelly Clarkson beat out singers including Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow and Paul McCartney to become the first contestant from “American Idol” to win a Grammy Wednesday, but she failed to thank the wildly popular TV talent show that made her famous.

Clarkson thanked Jesus, God, the radio, her fans and her mother when she picked up Grammys for best pop vocal album and for best female pop vocal performance, but in two speeches she omitted any mention of “American Idol,” which aired on Fox against the CBS broadcast of the 48th annual Grammy Awards for part of the night.

An overwhelmed Clarkson, who could not hold back tears during her first acceptance speech, could not believe her good fortune in winning the second.

“I don’t know what is going on but thank you Jesus and God and everyone else who supported my career,” she said in what might have been an extremely oblique reference to “American Idol.”

Clarkson picked up the Grammy for best female pop vocal performance for her hit, “Since U Been Gone,” and also performed her single “Because of You” on the telecast.

Some television analysts have speculated that one of the more intriguing competitions of the evening will be the ratings contest between the Grammys and “Idol” for the hour in which they both aired at the same time.

A CBS spokesman said Clarkson was never restricted from mentioning the rival network’s talent show, which ranks as the most watched series on U.S. television.

“She’s absolutely free to say whatever she wants up there,” he said, when asked if the singer had been requested to avoid referring to the competing program.

A few weeks ago, “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell slammed Clarkson for supposedly refusing to let the show which launched her career use her hits on the program, while a spokesman for the pop star denied there was ever a dispute over song rights.

He said then that Clarkson, by far the biggest “Idol” success story, had been happy to hear her song, “Since U Been Gone,” on “American Idol” the previous night. A contestant on the premiere of the show’s fifth season warbled Clarkson’s massive hit in the first few minutes of the program.

Cowell, speaking to a gathering of TV critics earlier that day, said Clarkson would be making a “big mistake” if she barred “Idol” from using her songs after the show catapulted her to stardom. “No matter how talented Kelly Clarkson is, she would not be in the position she’s in now without winning this show,” he said.