Kelly Clarkson is paying tribute to one of her fellow American Idol alums.
On Wednesday’s episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, the Texas-born songstress covered Carrie Underwood‘s 2006 hit “Before He Cheats” — belting the country hit out during the popular show-opening “Kellyoke” segment.
“Before He Cheats” was Underwood’s biggest crossover hit, coming six months after she won the third season of American Idol. The song topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for five consecutive weeks and spent a record 64 consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, making it the sixth longest-charting single in history.
The revenge anthem was written by Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear, and was on Underwood’s debut studio album, Some Hearts.
Of course, Clarkson was Idol‘s first winner, way back when the show premiered 17 years ago.
In August, Clarkson gushed to PEOPLE about her experience on the show, saying that though it was “not fun in the beginning,” it’s “really cool, where it’s brought me.”
Idol didn’t just bring Clarkson, 37, and Underwood, 36, fame; it also brought them friendship.
The two have remained friends, hanging out at the Radio Disney Music Awards in June 2018 and even exchanging love on social media that April.
“I think we’re both winning in life and pretty blessed!” Clarkson wrote. “Singers, mamas, CEOs…. #AmbitiousBlondes go ahead @carrieunderwood.”
“Love ya,” Underwood gushed in response.
Clarkson also talked about her friendship with Underwood in December 2016 when she revealed that people regularly confuse her with the country star.
“People come up to me all the time. Okay, we look nothing alike, we sound nothing alike, there’s nothing about us that’s similar, really, except we were both on Idol,” she said on Z100‘s Elvis Duran and The Morning Show. “People are always like, ‘I love your song, “So Small,” and I’m like, ‘Thank you. Thank you, I think you’re thinking I’m Carrie Underwood.’ It always happens!”
Kelly Clarkson His ‘One Wish’ Is to Work with Original American Idol Judges Again
Clarkson’s nod to Underwood isn’t the first nod to Idol she’s made on The Kelly Clarkson Show.
Last month, she reunited with original Idol judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson — as well as runner-up Justin Guarini and Idol host Ryan Seacrest — for a special episode of her talk show.
All reminisced about their time spent on the competition show.
“I actually genuinely do not believe we would not be sitting here today if you hadn’t ended the show that year,” Cowell told Clarkson. “The whole premise of the show was, we had to find a star that was going to sell records. We found some great people that whole year, but when you delivered that moment on that first live show and when you sang that winning song at the end…”
“We wouldn’t be here without you,” Cowell continued. “The fact that you’re one of the most successful singers in the world. I have to say something about you, Kelly. Unlike the majority, you are the same person off-camera as you are on camera. You’ve always respected people and you’ve been very loyal and you’re a great friend. I’m absolutely thrilled for you, genuinely. You’ve worked hard.”
Meanwhile, Clarkson’s “Before He Cheats” cover is just one of a number of tunes to which she’s lent her powerhouse pipes.
Other “Kellyoke” songs have included Lizzo’s “Juice,” Annie Lennox’s “Walking on Broken Glass,” Madonna’s “Express Yourself,” Aretha Franklin’s “Think,” and Lady Gaga‘s “Bad Romance.” She kicked off the show with a cover of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5.”
Opening each show with a cover song is something Clarkson honed during her years on the road.
“I’ve been doing that forever,” Clarkson told PEOPLE. “We’ve made the show an extension of what I already do on tour.”
The Kelly Clarkson Show airs weekdays in syndication (check local listings).
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