Kelly Clarkson's Ex Told Her She Wasn't "Sexy" Enough for "The Voice"

"A wife doesn’t forget a time she gets told she’s not a sex symbol," the singer said in court.

Kelly Clarkson spent several seasons as a coach on the reality competition series The Voice, but according to court documents, her ex-husband told her she wasn't cut out for it. The New York Post reports that the singer made the claim while testifying for the California Labor Commissioner in 2023 regarding a case involving her ex and former manager, Brandon Blackstock. Clarkson testified that Blackstock told her The Voice wouldn't want her—because she wasn't a "sex symbol."

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Clarkson and Blackstock got married in 2013, and he also served as her manager when they were together. She filed for divorce in 2020, and it was settled in 2022. The former couple share two children: nine-year-old River and seven-year-old Remy.

In November 2023, it was determined by the California Labor Commissioner that Blackstock had unlawfully secured business deals for Clarkson that should have been handled by her agents. These included deals with Wayfair, Norwegian Cruise Lines, the Billboard Music Awards, and The Voice. He was ordered to repay Clarkson $2.6 million for overcharging her for these deals. According to Page Six, Blackstock has appealed the decision.

The court documents for this case include Clarkson's claims about Blackstock's response to her desire to join The Voice. The 41-year-old star said that she had wanted to be a coach on the show for years, but Blackstock told her that network executives were "looking for a more sex symbol type" and cited Rihanna as an example. The 41-year-old also claimed that her ex said that the producers of The Voice "had to have someone that was Black … They had to have a diverse thing" and that she was "too similar" to Voice coach Blake Shelton, who appeared on the series from Season 1 through Season 23.

Kelly Clarkson, Brandon Blackstock, and family at the premiere of "Ugly Dolls" in 2019
DFree / Shutterstock

According to the New York Post, Clarkson's lawyer asked her how she remembered their conversation about The Voice, and she responded, "Well, a wife doesn't forget a time she gets told she's not a sex symbol, so that stays."

Eventually, Blackstock did get Clarkson a coaching position on The Voice, which is one of the deals the court determined he shouldn't have brokered. She was on the show from Season 14 in 2018 through Season 21 in 2021 and returned for Season 23 last year. Prior to being a coach, she was a part-time advisor in Seasons 2 and 13.

The "Piece by Piece" singer has opened up about her divorce in the time since, including in a new interview with People. Clarkson explained that she is grateful for the creative outlet of working on music after her marriage ended.

"I cannot express how appreciative I feel for having that kind of healthy outlet," she said. "Because the level of depression and things that come with divorce or grieving is extraordinarily hard. You feel alone, and it's just a blessing to be able to have that outlet for those emotions that are overwhelming." The talk show host added, "Sometimes you don't know what life has in store for you, and you think your life is going to go one way, and it's OK that it doesn't. You never know how beautiful that might be."

Best Life has reached out to Blackstock for comment on the newly released testimony.

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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