American Idols (Taylor's Version)
Kelly Clarkson and Taylor Swift's friendship goes back over a decade.
Taylor Swift & Kelly Clarkson Have Been Supporting Each Other For Years

Lowkey friendships always hit different.

Kelly Clarkson is long overdue for a friendship bracelet. Taylor Swift has several notable friendships that exist outside her new squad. She recently shined light on her bond with Beyoncé, which slightly calmed down the months-long bickering between their fandoms on social media. Well, stan Twitter. Meanwhile, there seem to be new eyes on Swift and Clarkson’s chemistry, which has been going strong for quite some time now.

The two stars have always supported one another. However, it might’ve flown under the radar, as their support thrives in a subtle way. From Clarkson’s potential involvement in Swift re-recording her discography to her musical shoutouts on her daytime show, here’s a timeline of the two singers’ special friendship that most fans might not know all the details about.

February 2009: Clarkson & Swift Took Photos At A Grammy Event
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It’s not clear when Swift and Clarkson met; however, it seems their first public interaction happened in February 2009. That month, the two singers attended the Grammy’s Salute To Industry Icons event that honored Clive Davis. The duo were seen talking to one another at the dinner table, before snagging a few group photos with Miley Cyrus and One Republic’s Ryan Tedder.

This shot feels full circle, but not just in terms of Clarkson and Swift’s friendship. In 2017, nearly eight years after this moment, Clarkson and Cyrus briefly reunited on Season 13 of NBC’s The Voice.

June 2009: Clarkson Gushed Over Swift’s Songwriting Skills

Whether praising another singer’s work ethic or releasing song covers, Clarkson has never been shy in giving other artists their flowers. In 2009, Swift became the next musician to receive Clarkson’s support. In an interview with The New York Times that year, the American Idol icon shared all the artists she’d been listening to at the time, and Swift was at the top of the list.

“I love Fearless,” Clarkson said, adding she had a soft spot for the album’s Big Machine version. “I just recently ran into her, and I was like, ‘If you ever want to have any songs on my album, I’d be happy to hear them.’”

Clarkson also complimented Swift’s lyricism, noting her songwriting feels authentic rather than an attempt to go No. 1. She said, “Her melodies are addictive. She’s just writing how she writes. It’s a breath of fresh air.”

September 2009: Clarkson Defended Swift After That Infamous VMAs Interruption

It’s been 14 years since Kanye West and Swift made pop culture history — and not in a pleasant way. To this day, the 1989 singer still references West interjecting himself into her speech at the 2009 VMAs. And while her reflections on it now are more lighthearted, this was definitely a serious moment when it first happened.

Many celebrities publicly supported Swift after the incident, including Clarkson. On Sept. 14, one day after the award show, the Breakaway singer wrote an open letter to West on her IAmKelly blog.

“I think we’re all just curious as to what would make a grown man go on national television and make a talented artist, let alone teenager, feel like sh*t,” Clarkson began the scathing note. “I’ve seen you do some pretty sh*tty things, but you just keep amazing me with your tactless, a*shole ways. I was actually nominated in the same category that Taylor won and I was excited for her…so why can’t you be? I’m not even mad at you for being an a*shole — I just pity you because you’re a sad human being.”

She then ended the post on a light note, encouraging Swift to “outsell” West and keep up the good work.

July 2019: Clarkson Offered A Major Idea To Swift Amid Her Feud With Scooter Braun
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Swift’s plan to re-record her entire discography (and include previously unreleased songs on each album) has become a staple in her career. And for that, Swifties might have to tip their hats to Clarkson.

Let’s backtrack a bit. In June 2019, Scooter Braun’s company Ithaca Holdings acquired Swift’s original masters from Big Machine, a record label she signed with in 2005. At the time, Swift was no longer involved with the company — her contract expired with them in November 2018 — and she moved on to Republic Records. Shortly after Braun secured her catalog, Swift voiced her concern and claimed she had no idea about the sale until it went public.

In Clarkson’s “girls’ girl” fashion, she hinted a way Swift could skirt the issue on Twitter that following month. “just a thought, U should go in & re-record all the songs that U don’t own the masters on,” she wrote in July 2019. “I’d buy all of the new versions just to prove a point.”

This suggestion later spawned Swift’s re-recording streak, where she’s given albums such as 1989, Fearless, Red, and Speak Now the “Taylor’s Version” tag.

September 2019: Clarkson & Swift Appeared On The Voice Together
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This was definitely ~the~ year of their friendship. Nearly two months after Clarkson’s supportive tweet, it was announced that Swift would join Season 17 of The Voice as a “Mega Mentor.” She previously held that same title during the show’s 14th season in 2014; however, this second time was special. She would be reunited with Clarkson, who was one of the show’s consistent judges.

Swift appeared in the season’s battle episodes, where she helped each judge prepare their team members for the sing-off. Clarkson showed some behind-the-scenes moments from her segment with Swift, and the two friends were all smiles.

November 2019: Clarkson Covered Swift’s “Delicate” On Her Daytime TV Show

The Voice wasn’t the only public stage Clarkson supported Swift on. On Nov. 5, she covered Swift’s Reputation track “Delicate” on her self-titled talk show. According to Bustle, Swift reportedly retweeted the video of the performance, alluding she’s a fan of the cover.

January 2023: Clarkson Showed Love To Another Swift Track During Her Kellyoke Segment
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Clarkson once again flaunted her Swiftie stan card on her talk show. In the Jan. 23 segment of Kellyoke, the singer braced her vocals for a stunning cover of Swift’s “Better Man.”

The track, which appeared on 2012’s Red, sees Swift mourning the end of an unhealthy relationship over a guitar-led pop melody. Clarkson added some country-rock elements to her cover, which only emboldened how somber the lyrics are. Clearly, we love an artist with a good ear for emotions.

April 2023: Clarkson Showed Off Love For Swift’s 1989 Album In A Special Way

Nearly three months later, Clarkson returned to her Swiftie feels. In the April 12 episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, the singer performed a cover of Swift’s 1989 track “Clean.” Similar to her other two renditions, she aced the song’s emotional dread with ease.

October 2023: Clarkson Revealed Swift’s Special Tradition In Honoring Her Re-Released Albums

This revelation adds a sweet layer to the re-recording situation. On Nov. 9, Clarkson told E! that Swift honors each of her re-released albums by sending her flowers. And as part of 1989 (Taylor’s Version)’s release last month, Clarkson recently received her floral gift. “You know what’s so funny? She just sent me flowers. She’s so nice,” Clarkson said. “She was like, ‘Every time I release something’—’cause she just did 1989. I got that really cute cardigan, too.”

Clarkson also lauded her as “a very smart businesswoman” and that she would eventually come up with the idea to re-record her music, regardless of her 2019 tweet. She said, “It just sucks when you see artists that you admire and you respect really wanting something and it’s special to them. You know, if they’re going to find a loophole, you find a loophole. And she did it and [I feel like] she’s literally the best-selling artist of all-time now.”