OFFSTAGE: Kelly Clarkson Turns 30, Loses 30

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

What didn’t kill her made her stronger. It’s like Kelly Clarkson’s own song empowered her. Just a month after turning 30, the 2002 American Idol champ and pop star has revealed a newer slimmer (and possibly stronger) figure after years of facing tabloid scrutiny over the ups and downs of her weight. And here’s the secret magic formula that helped Clarkson lose the pounds: diet and exercise. She tells Us magazine she worked out five days a week and ate smaller portions and the occasional margarita. It took her six months, and she reportedly wants to lose another 10 pounds. She says her boyfriend Brandon Blackstock, who is Reba McEntire’s stepson and Blake Shelton’s manager, was part of the inspiration to lose weight. “No one likes to be not toned when you are dating someone,” she said. The magazine also quotes Clarkson as saying, “The most important thing to do here is just be yourself and be comfortable and confident in that.” She sure seems confident on Duets, the new talent show where she, Jennifer Nettles, Robin Thicke and John Legend sing duets with amateur singers.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.