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18 Years Later, Kelly Clarkson Reflects on Her ‘American Idol’ Win

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It feels like just yesterday that our Tuesday nights consisted of Simon, Paula, and Randy, as we watched hopefuls (at least try to) land an invite to Hollywood. Well, allow American Idol’s season 1 winner to remind us exactly how much time has passed. We should warn ya, we’ve suddenly never felt older…

Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, American Idol
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Over the weekend, Kelly Clarkson took to Instagram to reflect on the very moment that brought her from small-town, Texas girl, to well, an American ‘idol.’ As you already know, a moment like this doesn’t come around too often, so hang on as we break it down for you guys.

Kelly Clarkson, American Idol
Kevin Winter ImageDirect via Getty Images

“18 years ago today was the finale of the first season of American Idol, and it changed my life!” the Hollywood starlet shared on September 4th. “I’m still hustling 18 years later because I know I am blessed to have the opportunities, and I still love my purpose!”

In case you already forgot, (not that we blame you, I mean, it was nearly 2 decades ago…), the Breakaway singer was initially up against aspiring artist, Justin Guarini, for the swanky title as America’s first-ever idol; And well, you already know how that story ends.

What words of wisdom does the American Idol winner now have for the rest of us?

Kelly Clarkson, American Idol
Kevin Winter for ImageDirect / FOX via Getty Images

“Find your purpose! Seek out what keeps that fire in you burning,” Clarkson continued on Instagram. Well, you heard it here first, folks: Don’t wait a lifetime for a moment like this.