Wednesday (September 4th) marked the 17-year anniversary of Kelly Clarkson winning the first season of American Idol.
She's come a long way since that day in 2002, and in a new interview with USA Today, she revealed all the challenges she faced in the time after her win.
“The first three years of my career was me just paying for winning a talent show,” she said. “I got real bitter. I was just looking for anyone to talk to who knew what I was going through.”
Kelly also added that many artists gave her a hard time in the beginning, or just didn't take her seriously. (Ironically, without naming names, she says some of those artists went on to become judges or coaches on other talent competition shows)
Despite all the challenges, she says that she's carried the lessons she's learned along with her into her new role as a mentor on The Voice.
"It’s actually healed that bitterness I used to carry, being able to be [a mentor] for somebody else.”
Her new talk show The Kelly Clarkson Show premieres Monday on NBC.