Demi Lovato has credited Kelly Clarkson for helping to make her the woman she is today by facing her insecurities and anxieties.

The two singers sat down for a chat, which aired on The Kelly Clarkson Show on Thursday (25Jun20), and Demi thanked the first American Idol champ for being a role model to look up to when she was starting out as a teenager.

Demi has been open about her mental health issues, which have led to rehab stints, but Kelly helped her understand early on she didn’t need to be perfect to be a pop star – and inspired her to speak up about issues that were important.

“You were like the first idol that I ever had,” the Sorry Not Sorry singer explains. “I wouldn’t be the artist or even the person that I am with being so outspoken and vulnerable and fearless if I hadn’t had you to look up to, so I thank you for that.

“I looked at you as my idol growing up. You are fearless and courageous and real as f**k, you know? I love that about you. When I was younger I always thought to myself, ‘If I make it, I want to be like her because she’s real and she’s genuine’.”

Kelly thanked Demi for her glowing praise, adding, “It takes work. I think everybody looks at us, like even when you overcome something, they’re like, ‘OK, she’s already overcome that’. I’m like, ‘No, no, no that’s a daily effort in trying to be positive’. That’s not a given, like, you’re just over it and you went to some magic therapy session and it’s over. I think that’s a daily thing you work at and a daily thing that I work out.”

The interview came as Kelly picks up the pieces after filing for divorce from her husband of more than six years, Brandon Blackstock.

During the chat with Demi, the 38-year-old singer also heaped praise on her guest for speaking out about mental health issues, revealing she has been battling depression for years.

“I love how open you are about mental health because I have similar issues, and I’ve suffered from depression,” Kelly said. “I think a lot of people, especially in the creative world or just from childhood, you’ve been trained to just keep going and you can handle it. Especially as a woman, it’s like, ‘Don’t let them see you sweat’. I just love that you’re open about that because not everybody’s as vulnerable being like that. And I think it’s helpful for your fans.”