Kelly Clarkson Gives Emotional Speech About Reba McEntire, Calls Her A ‘Hero’ And ‘Rad Grandma’

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

Kelly Clarkson just gave the sweetest tribute to her “hero” Reba McEntire.

Reba was one of several honorees in the spotlight at the 2018 Kennedy Center Honors, along with Cher, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and other artists.

Kelly took the stage to make a speech for Reba. The Voice coach was the perfect person for the job — not only has she admired Reba for a long time, but she became Reba’s daughter-in-law a few years ago.

For Kelly, just making the speech at all was a major show of love.

“Reba knows I’m not excited about this — I hate giving speeches, but I love her so much that I’m gonna do it,” Kelly said.

Kelly married Reba’s former stepson, Brandon Blackstock, in 2013.

Kelly and Brandon have two children together — River Rose, 4, and Remington, 2 — plus Brandon’s two children from his previous marriage. Reba is now divorced from Brandon’s dad, but she remains close to the whole family.

“Thank you for being a really rad grandma for my kids,” Kelly continued through tears.

“I love you so much. I hope you enjoy this song. Don’t judge me.”

She went on to sing Reba’s song “Fancy” — to Reba’s loud applause.

This year’s Kennedy Center Honors paid tribute to several legendary artists, including Reba McEntire and Cher.

Kelly Clarkson stepped up to make a heartfelt speech about Reba, a longtime hero of hers.

She started off by pointing out how much she was dreading the speech.

“I hate giving speeches,” Kelly admitted. “But I love her so much that I’m gonna do it.”

Then she went on to explain the special nature of her relationship with Reba.

“If we’re all being honest, sometimes when we meet our heroes it doesn’t always pan out how you hope,” she said.

“But meeting Reba, being friends with her, and eventually becoming family has been one of the highlights of my life — truly.”

“Thank you so much, Reba, for listening to me vent as an artist,” Kelly continued.

“Thank you so much for comforting me on the phone through my tears like a friend, and thank you for being a really rad grandma for my kids.”

At this point, Kelly was getting choked up.

“I love you so much,” she finished. “I hope you enjoy this song. Don’t judge me.”

Kelly went on to do an impeccable rendition of Reba’s “Fancy.”

Of course, there was no judgment from Reba, who simply applauded for her daughter-in-law.

Reba and Kelly have been close since Kelly married Reba’s former stepson, Brandon Blackstock, in 2013.

Two years later, Reba divorced Brandon’s dad after 26 years of marriage. She’s now with a new boyfriend, Skeeter Lasuzzo, a geologist and photographer.

But the country star remains close to Brandon, Kelly, and their four children.

Brandon has two older children from a previous marriage — Savannah, 16, and Seth, 11. He and Kelly share 4-year-old River Rose and 2-year-old Remington.

You can watch Kelly’s entire speech and performance when the ceremony airs on CBS on December 26.