Fifteen-year-old Brynn Cartelli is the youngest winner in the history of The Voice, but she has a pretty good mentor — Kelly Clarkson! The “Piece by Piece” singer knows a thing or two about vocal competitions, and she shared some of her words of wisdom for the newly minted star at a press conference following the show’s finale.
First and foremost, Clarkson, 36, stressed the importance of a good single to announce your arrival in the pop world.
“You have to capitalize on the momentum. It’s amazing that she’s already got all these songwriters and producers that are into her,” she told reporters. “It’s amazing that she’s already, by the way, an amazing songwriter, as well. So to have this young, gifted girl make [her new] album, while this single, ‘Walk My Way‘ is coming out bridging that gap, is going to be pretty key.”
But business strategy aside, Clarkson also gave her tips on how to stay sane throughout the dizzying ascent to global fame.
“I always tell her to stop and enjoy it, and don’t get too overwhelmed. It’s good to keep the momentum, but not to be miserable. I didn’t have anybody tell me that, so I’m constantly annoying her with this message: ‘It’s not worth it unless you’re having a good time.’ None of it is worth it. Any job would be better. It is not worth it. It is hard. It is a lot of work.”
Cartelli also echoed the sentiment from Clarkson. “The biggest lesson I learned from Kelly is, as she said, to have fun with this and not let it steal everything from you,” she told reports after the finale. “It is important to stay grounded and keep that normalcy in your life. She has definitely taught me that.”
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The freshman admitted that it’s “going to be weird going back” to her high school studies. “Balancing it all has been very hard for me, but it is definitely worth it to know this is in the forefront of my life right now and I want to continue that.”
Clarkson revealed that she sees a lot of herself in the strong-willed young singer — and the qualities will serve her well throughout the course of her musical life.
“Everybody in this industry since the beginning of my career has been telling me to kind of not be me,” she says. “It’s like, ‘We want you to do something else.’ I think the reason why I’m still here is because I am me, and I don’t really care either way. I love myself and it’s cool if you dig it, it’s cool if you don’t, I’m totally down either way. She has that same attitude, and that’s why we really get along.”
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While she cautions Cartelli about leaning on people who only stand to benefit from her success, Clarkson made it clear that she’ll stan for her any day of the week.
“I am excited to just be her cheerleader. I don’t need anything from her. I just desire for her to be successful and most of all happy — because I wasn’t happy for a long time, and I think it was because I didn’t have anybody constantly checking in. I hope that I am that for her.”