Behind those hazel eyes, Kelly Clarkson knows better than to risk her popularity with her fans.
The season one American Idol winner has backed down from her reported decision to block current Idol contestants from performing her songs, following a blistering attack by Simon Cowell, who publicly criticized her for “ignoring the audience” responsible for her fame.
The controversy came about after Sony BMG spokesman Roger Widynowski confirmed that the “Since U Been Gone” singer had chosen not to license any of her material for other uses. “It has nothing to do with Idol,” he said.
Nonetheless, Cowell was outraged at the apparent snub to the show that launched Clarkson’s career.
“No matter how talented Kelly Clarkson is, she would not be in the position she’s in now without winning this show,” Cowell said Tuesday. “And forget the way she feels about us or the producers or anybody else or the terrible songwriters she alleges she was with which sold her millions of records.
“It’s the public who bothered to pick up the phone to vote for her,” he said. “If she refuses to give songs to be used on the show, it’s like saying to every person who voted for you, ‘you know what? Thank you. I’m not interested in you anymore.’ “
Cowell’s words may have resonated with Clarkson. On Wednesday, Widynowski said the singer was willing to allow Idol to use her songs “within reason.”
“As far as [Clarkson] is concerned, there is no conflict between her and the TV show,” Widynowski said. “She intended all along to license additional material to the show and will do so when asked and within reason.”
After releasing her first album, 2003’s Thankful, Clarkson took her first steps toward forging her own identity by firing Idol creator, Simon Fuller, as her manager, saying she needed someone who could give her career more attention.
The move apparently paid off. Among other accolades, her chart-topping sophomore album, Breakaway, recently landed a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal album.
Despite her post-Idol successes, Clarkson has said that she has no problem being identified as a former reality contestant.
“That’s where I got my start,” she told the Associated Press last year. “They always talk about the big first thing that you did. I think the only thing that I do mind is I don’t want people to only focus on that.”