One reporter made Kelly Clarkson cry. Another made her laugh. The rest just asked her questions. And Clarkson just kept on answering.
“I’m long-winded. You’re welcome,” she joked to the crowd of reporters who gathered to hear about Clarkson’s first Miracle on Broadway benefit concert Saturday (Dec. 20) at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.
The charity show raised $400,000 and featured guest appearances by Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Kix Brooks, Ronnie Dunn, Meghan Trainor, Kacey Musgraves, Martina McBride, Nashville’s Charles Esten and Paramore’s Hayley Williams.
In visiting with the media during Thursday’s press conference promoting the concert, Clarkson didn’t hold back. She didn’t give cookie-cutter answers. She talked and talked and talked for about 45 minutes.
About how she is raising her daughter River: “We grew up in a duplex in a trailer. It’s always our thing to make sure our kids know we don’t want to punish them for being born into a family that has money. But you can’t grow up in your own little world. There’s a whole world out there, and there’s people who are in need.
About getting emotional talking about her baby: “Seriously. It’s like I’m pregnant again. I used to be more badass.”
About trying to recruit Dolly Parton after her husband suggested it: “‘Yeah, I’ll just email Dolly Parton,’” she said she thought at first. But then she went through with it, and Parton responded — just not via email. “First of all, I love her because she doesn’t email,” Clarkson said. “She faxes. Which makes me love her. You don’t understand. The fax? I’m actually framing it and putting it on my wall.”
About speaking in front of reporters: “This is not my thing. If I could sing right now, I would be so happy. I hate talking in public. I’ve never emceed a show. This could completely bomb. But I think you get old enough to where you go, ‘This is not about me.’”
About recruiting big stars to perform at the show: “I basically guilted people into it. I’ve never asked an artist to do anything, except for sing with me, which a lot of people say no, and it hurts my feelings. So it was a very brave thing for me.”
Of the $400,000 raised at the concert, half was raised through donations and ticket and merchandise sales. Garth Brooks and Yearwood matched that $200,000 with another $200,000 of their own. The proceeds will go to benefit Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Monroe Harding Children’s Home, Second Harvest Food Bank and Thistle Farms.