How Did Kelly Clarkson Meet Her Ex-Husband Brandon Blackstock?

It's hard to believe that nearly two decades have passed since American sweetheart and pop powerhouse Kelly Clarkson out-crooned the competition to be crowned the first winner of "American Idol." Not only did the show make Clarkson an overnight sensation, but it also launched an impressive career that includes six platinum records and three Grammys to boot.

Clarkson has remained remarkably true to herself despite her meteoric rise from small-town girl to pop superstar, eschewing many of the pitfalls of fame and fortune to remain consistently relatable to her audience.

The Texas native announced her engagement to Brandon Blackstock in 2012, after a year of dating the talent manager, as per Us Weekly. "Brandon's totally the one," she told Cosmopolitan at the time. "I've never been so happy." The two tied the knot in 2013 and welcomed their daughter, River Rose, in 2014, and son, Remington "Remy" Alexander, in 2016, before their 2020 divorce. But who is Brandon Blackstock, and how did he get involved with the OG American Idol?

The two met long before dating each other

It wasn't long after Kelly Clarkson shot to fame as the first winner of "American Idol" that she began rubbing elbows with showbiz elites, including Reba McEntire, whom Clarkson first met during the first season finale of "Idol" in 2002. At the time, the Queen of Country was married to Narvel Blackstock, who managed Clarkson under Starstruck Management for thirteen years. Navel Blackstock introduced the songstress to her son, Brandon Blackstock, who also worked as a music manager for artists including Blake Shelton and Rascal Flatts, according to The U.S. Sun. At the time, Brandon was married, but fate would bring the two together once again during Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.

"Brandon is my manager's son. I've known him for six years, but he was married for most of that time," Clarkson told Daily Mail. "Then, suddenly, there he was at the Super Bowl, and he was single." The singer attended the big game as a guest of honor, high-noting her way through the national anthem that year, and the two reportedly hit it off at the Lucas Oil Stadium as the Giants defeated the Patriots.

Clarkson and Blackstock called it quits in 2020

The two enjoyed a year-long courtship until Brandon Blackstock's client and country music powerhouse, Blake Shelton, pushed the music manager to pop the question. "I told Brandon, 'Man, you need to grow up and you figure out that you need to marry this girl," Shelton told the Huffington Post in 2012. "I will do the music at the wedding or whatever you want to do, I'll be that guy. I will play for four hours if I have to, cause you need to get you[r] head out of your a** and ask that girl to marry you." And so he did — dropping down onto one knee and proposing to Kelly Clarkson with a 5-carat yellow canary diamond ring.

By now, most Kellebrities are probably well aware that Clarkson and Blackstock didn't get the happy ending they were after. As per Us Weekly, the two called it quits in June 2020, after nearly seven years of marriage, with the "Because of You" vocalist citing "irreconcilable differences."

"You see yourself growing old with someone and then life has a different path," Clarkson explained to Hoda Kotb on "Today," (via People). The once-lovebirds had a lengthy — and at times straight up contentious — divorce as they worked to separate their marital possessions. Their divorce was finalized in August 2021, and these days the "American Idol" alum is happy to be spending some quality time dating herself.