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As her fans know, Kelly Clarkson didn’t have the easiest childhood. Besides the fact that she’s publicly spoken about her estranged father since achieving Hollywood superstardom following her 2002 win on season 1 of American Idol , the “Because of You” singer has also chatted about her relationship with her siblings.
Although she couldn’t be closer with her sister, Alyssa Clarkson, and her brother, Jason Clarkson, the 37-year-old beauty once revealed that she actually didn’t grow up with them. During an interview with SiriusXM in August 2009, Kelly opened up about her confusing family dynamic and explained how she connected with her siblings after being kept apart for so many years.
“We didn’t grow up together — at all,” The Kelly Clarkson Show star shared with the radio hosts at the time, mentioning that they were split up because of their mom and dad’s bitter divorce. “My sister grew up with my aunt and uncle in North Carolina and my brother grew up with my dad in California and I grew up in Texas with my mom.”
Kelly explained that prior to auditioning for the first-ever season of American Idol , her and her siblings reconnected. “We all met up and everything, and then they got really excited because Idol happened, so,” she said, adding that she barely even knew her brother or sister. “Not really at all,” she said. “Which is really weird if you saw them — we’re exactly the same. It’s like we grew up together, it’s really weird.”
A post shared by Kelly Clarkson (@kellyclarkson) on May 14, 2017 at 8:38am PDT.
The Voice judge explained that although they knew each other existed, reconnecting was hard because they “were all very poor” and “spread out” over the country. It wasn’t until her brother, Jason, got married in 2001 that the family finally reunited. “The year before I actually auditioned for Idol , my brother got married in Alaska and we all met up there and it was kind of then [that] we kept in contact,” she gushed. So cool!
Although most would be ashamed of their family’s dysfunctional past, Kelly has learned to embrace it over the years. In an interview with Scandinavian talk show Skavlan in November 2017, the “Stronger” songstress — who has since created a beautiful life with husband Brandon Blackstock and their blended family of four kids — got candid about how she’s matured because of her tumultuous upbringing.
“I’m kind of a comedian about it. I have a very good ‘brush it off your shoulder’ [attitude],” Kelly said of growing up with a thick skin. “I think you have to … for survival in this industry. Some crazy stuff gets said to you. Mean, weird [stuff] … People get really, really cruel, and it’s a lot to handle.”
Although her and her siblings had a rough start, we bet Kelly couldn’t be happier to be in each others lives.
Scroll through the gallery below to learn about Kelly’s siblings, Alyssa and Jason!
Jason Clarkson, 46.
Kelly’s older brother, Jason, was born in 1973. When he was a teenager, Jason moved to California with his father, Stephen Michael Clarkson, following his parents’ divorce.
Nearly almost a decade later, Kelly and Jason finally reunited at his wedding in 2001. After coming together after years and years apart, Kelly and Jason’s brother-sister bond flourished. He was even featured as one of the men in Kelly’s 2006 music video for Walk Away.
Although there is not much about Jason on the internet, we know he and Kelly still share a special friendship all these years later.
Alyssa Clarkson, 43.
When Kelly’s parents divorced during her childhood, she was also forced to lose contact with her sister, Alyssa. After being born in 1976, Alyssa moved to North Carolina to grow up with her aunt.
Like Jason, Kelly reunited with Alyssa at her brother’s wedding. Although they spent a short time together during their earliest years, Kelly told SiriusXM that they were making up for lost time by living down the street from each other.
“We have a lot of land — we all live on the same land,” Kelly explained in 2009, joking that it was like the Clarkson family compound. “My land kind of slopes — I live up on the top part, my brother lives at the way bottom and my sister lives on the side. It’s cool though!”
Although Alyssa and Kelly remain the best of friends, like her brother, she’s laid low when it comes to her famous sister’s Hollywood limelight.