Kelly Clarkson on Her Overnight Success: ‘I Was in a Very Dark Place for a Long Time’ 

Kelly Clarkson and Her Kids Meet the Princesses at Disney World
Kelly Clarkson spent her Saturday afternoon meeting princesses...

This much is certain: You were always going to know Kelly Clarkson. Even before she won American Idol in 2002 she was already offered record deals, but she turned them down. It’s one thing to become a world-famous singer, it’s quite another to do it on your own terms. In the December issue of Good Housekeeping, Clarkson discusses her sudden fame, blazing her own path in music and settling into parenthood.

“They were like, ‘You have to lose 20 pounds and basically sign your life away’ — and I was small then, by the way,” she said of her first experience with record labels. “I don’t want to start a relationship with somebody who says something like that. And this is my gift, and they wanted to take all the profit from me working my butt off. Why would I?”

But, even after becoming a household name with the clout to make her own decisions, life in the limelight was costly for the singer.

“I was in a very dark place for a long time,” Clarkson revealed. “It’s just so hard to have normalcy. I love to sing, and I love to talk to people at meet-and-greets. It’s just all the crap that comes along with this job…I don’t love traveling because I’m never home. It’s hard when you have a family.”

Clarkson shared that she and husband Brandon Blackstock stay close by constantly working to make time for each other.

We try our best. Brandon and I have a date night every night — we’ll get the kids to bed and go out by the lake with a glass of wine, and the next thing we know, it’s 2 A.M. We’re tired in the morning, but we need that time to stay connected.”

The 34-year-old performer also explained the inspiration behind her latest project, a kid’s book dedicated to her two-year-old daughter titled River Rose and Magical Lullaby.

“I was on a flight back from London with River, and I thought about all the cool places she’s been that she’s not going to remember,” she said. “I decided to write them into little stories that she could read about the time she was in Australia and met a kangaroo, or how I sang her lullabies each night.”