Kelly Clarkson lends her voice to ‘The Voice’ again

The first ‘American Idol’ returns to NBC singing contest

Kelly Clarkson continues her coaching role in “The Voice” Mondays on NBC.

Kelly Clarkson has had a great run on “The Voice” so far, with her team winning both seasons of her first two.

Now, can she make it three?

The original “American Idol” surely will try as the Emmy-winning NBC singing competition begins its 16th round Monday, Feb. 25. Fellow mentors and coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton – who have been there from the start — also will return, and a newcomer will be introduced to the rotating-chair panel this time: “EGOT” (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winner) John Legend, who has done a lot of work for NBC during the past year. Carson Daly, also a producer of “The Voice,” continues as host.

“We all knew each other in some sense already,” the lively Clarkson says of her “Voice” peers. “Alicia (Keys) handed me my first Grammy, and I’d met Jennifer (Hudson) years ago when she was on ‘Idol.’ I’ve worked with John in a different capacity as well, and we’ve been with each other on tour, so it’s kind of cool. It’s really important for the whole vibe and personality of the show for us to be able to give each other s… and poke at each other.

“Blake and I are really good at it,” notes Clarkson. “We’re like brother and sister. He can’t stand me, but in that ‘sister’ way where he has to like me. Adam and I have toured together as well, and we’ve had it out like sister and brother, too. It’s helpful to have relationships like that in that environment, because it’s playful. And John is like a breath of fresh air. He’s one of those guys who’s so incredibly talented, obviously, but he’s super-helpful and just really smart all the way around. And super-sweet, too. Everybody’s gonna love him.”

A Grammy nominee again recently for best pop vocal album for “Meaning of Life,” Clarkson is about to become a closer member of the NBC family, too. This fall, she’ll begin hosting a weekday talk show produced by the company’s syndication arm.

“I watched so many of them during my pregnancy, I’m pretty much up to speed on how my favorites do it,” Clarkson muses, “but after doing my pilot, I was kind of like, ‘What am I doing?’ I was a cocktail waitress in a comedy club, and to watch all of them get up there and be funny, I was like, ‘I could never do that.’

“You kind of have to do that at the top of your show, though, and I have a little experience from hosting the Billboard Music Awards last year. Anytime I don’t know what I’m doing, I’ll just turn it into something that I can do.”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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