February 8, 2006 was a day that changed Kelly Clarkson‘s life forever. Only 23 at the time, she never could have imagined the events that unfolded that day.
On one hand, it was one of the happiest days of her life. It was the day of the 48th Grammys, and Clarkson was nominated for two awards. She was previously nominated for a Grammy in 2004, but 2006 marked the first time that she ever won.
Clarkson took home an award that night in both categories she was nominated in: the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “Since U Been Gone” and the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album for Breakaway.
Although she was thrilled about her two big wins, Clarkson was hiding a secret that kept her from being able to fully enjoy them. Her doctor just told her that morning that a test showed she had cancer.
With the 59th Grammy Awards fast-approaching, Billboard is running a Grammy Awards Preview Edition of their Pop Shop Podcast. Clarkson was the guest of honor for Tuesday’s (February 7) episode of the show, during which she talked about her first Grammy win. During that same interview, she finally opened up about the terrifying moment she learned of the cancer diagnosis.
“I was told that morning that I had cancerous results,” she said. “When I won I thought this was God giving me one good thing before something horrible happened.”
Looking back on that day, Clarkson calls it the “the worst, [and] greatest day,” of her life up to that point. But although she was happy about her Grammys, she felt she was somehow less deserving of them than the other nominees.
“I was like, ‘How did I beat Bonnie Raitt and a Beatle? I’m totally going to die.‘”
However, Clarkson’s horrifying nightmare ended as quickly as it began. The day after the Grammys, her doctor called her with a huge apology. It turns out that the office had mixed up Clarkson’s test results, and she was actually cancer-free.
Understandably, the news came as a huge relief to Clarkson. She explained the reason why she’s never really opened up about her scare before, saying that the story is “kind of a Debbie downer.”
We’re so grateful that Clarkson is happy and healthy today. She’s currently working on a new, soul-style album but has also kept busy with some other projects. She recently recorded a song with her good friends Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood for McEntire’s new album, Sing it Now: Songs of Faith & Hope. Tune in below to watch Clarkson and McEntire perform the song live with Tammy Rogers.