Kelly Clark­son, awards host and ‘su­per­fan’

USA TODAY US Edition - - LIFE - Bryan Alexan­der

Kelly Clark­son in­sists she agreed to host the Bill­board Mu­sic Awards only be­cause she thought she’d be a co­me­dian’s wing­man. Then The Voice star found she’d be solo on­stage in her first-ever host­ing gig. ❚ “That was a DEFCON, red-alert, to­tal run-for-the-hills mo­ment,” Clark­son says. “But then we fig­ured out some­thing fun and cool to do that’s to­tally in my wheel­house. Now I’m not re­ally ner­vous. ❚ “And I’m not afraid to look like an id­iot, so we’ll start with that.”

Here’s what Clark­son has in mind for Sun­day’s live show from Las Ve­gas (NBC, 8 ET/5 PT), the day be­fore The Voice’s two-part fi­nale (Mon­day, 8 ET/ PT, and Tues­day, 9 ET/PT).

She won’t do mu­si­cian jokes

Clark­son im­me­di­ately laid down the law: No lam­poon­ing fel­low mu­si­cians in the show’s open­ing num­ber. That’s best left to the pros.

“I can­not pull that off, mak­ing fun of peo­ple. Ev­ery time I’d make a joke, I’d be like: ‘I’m just kid­ding. We’re cool, right?’ ” Clark­son says. “But we’ve found a way to do this.”

Mark Bracco, a BBMA ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer, says the open­ing will key on Clark­son’s ra­bid fan­dom in a num­ber “cel­e­brat­ing the year in mu­sic that will set the en­tire show’s tone.”

She will per­form more than once

Clark­son will rock out to an “awe­some” new song, Whole Lotta Wo­man, from her al­bum Mean­ing of Life. She also will sing along with one of the evening’s star per­form­ers. (She’s not say­ing who.)

The singer is in­tent on meet­ing

“When I get ner­vous, I just don’t shut up. The plane never lands.”

Janet Jack­son, who will per­form and re­ceive the Icon Award.

“If I agree to host this show, I def­i­nitely de­serve to meet Janet Jack­son,” Clark­son says. “That’s my big goal.”

She will talk ... a lot

You don’t try to stop Clark­son from hi­lar­i­ously ram­bling at the podium, you just try to con­tain her.

“When I get ner­vous, I just don’t shut up,” she says. “The plane never lands.”

Even her in­tro­duc­tions are go­ing to be ram­bling riffs. “They are just go­ing to put bul­let points in the prompter, and I’ll say what­ever is in my head at the mo­ment.”

There will be at least one tele­vised flub, and that’s OK

Clark­son makes no bones about her per­son­al­ity on live TV.

“Hands down, I will trip, there will be some kind of wardrobe thing. Some­thing will hap­pen with Spanx,” she says. “I’m that per­son: If it can hap­pen, it will hap­pen.”

But she’s not sweat­ing that: “I do not get em­bar­rassed, hon­estly. If I trip, I’ll get back up and be like, ‘That’s funny!’ ”

Her true fear is mis­pro­nounc­ing a name.

“I don’t want to pull a John Tra­volta and be like Nazee What­ever,” Clark­son says, re­fer­ring to Tra­volta’s in­fa­mous 2014 Os­cars flub when he in­tro­duced Id­ina Men­zel.

“I just don’t want to in­sult some­one.”

She will rock the looks and have fun

Clark­son vows to show off fan­tas­tic out­fits with mul­ti­ple changes.

“Hell, yeah!” she says. “And I’m not al­ways per­form­ing, so I can even do stuff that’s un­com­fort­able.”

The evening will be a great night for her to watch per­form­ers, who’ll in­clude Jen­nifer Lopez and John Leg­end.

“I’m a su­per­fan with four kids, and I work a lot. I don’t get to see a lot of shows. I can’t wait.”


No shar­ing the stage: Clark­son hosts Sun­day’s “Bill­board Mu­sic Awards” solo.



Kelly Clark­son now spreads the wealth as a coach on “The Voice.”

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