On Wednesday (May 5), The Kelly Clarkson Show shared a digital exclusive of the host playing a game where she had to pick between her favorite ’90s artists — and it came down to the wire when she had to choose between Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.
Before chatting with the cast of the new Peacock series Girls5eva, starring Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Busy Philipps and Paula Pell as a reuniting ’90s girl group, Clarkson paid homage to the era with a game of Who Would You Rather: ’90s Music Edition. Clarkson said she’d rather play beer pong with Cher over Madonna, be in a group text with Destiny’s Child over Spice Girls, trust *NSYNC over Hanson to run her social media, and when it came to who she would trust between Brandy and Monica to keep her biggest secret, the choice was Brandy.
“I’ve met Brandy and I’d trust ‘Sittin’ Up in My Room,’ anybody who could write that jam. I would trust her with anything,” she said, while tossing in a mention of her titular role in the 1997 musical TV film Cinderella. “‘Member when she and Whitney did Cinderella?”
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But between Whitney and Mimi, Clarkson concluded that she would share the Super Bowl halftime stage with the latter for a pretty obvious reason. “I guess I’d pick Mariah Carey because, well, she’s alive,” she pointed out matter-of-factly. “If they were both alive, that would be a really hard thing for me. Those two women are seriously two of the reasons why I’m a singer. I’m just such a huge fan of Whitney and Mariah.”
She mentioned how much their collaboration “When You Believe” from the 1998 DreamWorks animated film The Prince of Egypt touched her and impacted her own singing career early on. “I might’ve sang it in a talent show and won,” the inaugural American Idol winner slipped in. Clarkson wished the two had performed together at the Super Bowl around the time they released “When You Believe” and reflected on how both legendary divas were unnecessarily pitted against each other in the music industry, an all-too-common tale for female singers.
“Everybody used to pit them against each other. And let’s be real: They’re very different,” the “Since U Been Gone” singer argued. “Yes, they are both soulful pop singers, like they’ve got that whole thing going for them, but they’re totally different artists. And nobody gives Mariah, I think, the credit that she deserves as a songwriter. Like Mariah wrote almost every single, if not most of them or all of them. She’s an amazing songwriter as well. Then there’s The Bodyguard. And I could watch that every month.”