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Kelly Clarkson Thought She Had Cancer the Night She Won First Grammy

Kelly Clarkson Cancer Grammys
Stephen Shugerman, Getty Images

The tears Kelly Clarkson cried the night she won her first two Grammys in 2006 may not have been exclusively happy ones — she told Billboard‘s Pop Shop podcast she was bracing for the possibility of cancer.

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Clarkson, who won for Best Female Pop Vocal and Best Pop Vocal album over acts like Mariah Carey and Gwen Stefani at the 48th annual show, said that she received disturbing news the morning of the show that changed her experience entirely.

“Well, not many people know this — not to be a Debbie Downer — but I was told that morning that I had cancerous results for something,” she shared. “Here’s the horrible part: I went the whole day crying. They redid my makeup, like, four times because I was like, ‘Wow, so young.’ I was just completely freaking out. Then when I won, I thought, ‘Oh, my God. This is like God giving me one more thing before something horrible happens.’”

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Clarkson said she then received a message from her doctor the next day that she was in the clear, and that her results had been mixed up.

“I was like, ‘You completely ruined my entire [experience],’” she said. “The first time for an artist…as a kid watching the Grammys, that was a big dream! It was kind of the worst/greatest day. And the next day was also the worst/greatest day because I wanted to punch someone. I was like, ‘Who mixes up results? Why wouldn’t you test again?’ It was very much a roller coaster ride, that day, for me. So, it’s kind of unfortunate, but a lot of the moments got stolen from that mishap. But hey, I didn’t have cancer!”

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