Kelly Clarkson will always be a loyal friend to her team members from The Voice. The 37-year-old country star sang at the 2019 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday — along with Chevel Shepherd, 16, the singing competition’s Season 15 winner. Although many fans adored both Clarkson’s and Shepherd’s performances, one troll on Twitter harshly criticized the teen’s rendition of “God Bless America.” Clarkson wasn’t having any of it, and quickly fired back at the critic, according to Entertainment Tonight.
Clarkson performed the national anthem at the event on Sunday, a performance followed by Shepherd’s “God Bless America.” The troll only tagged Clarkson in their tweet, under the impression that she sang both songs.
“Indy 500 – Absolute WORST version of God Bless America I’ve ever heard!!!” the user wrote. “Sing it the way it was written, without all the slow whining, the ‘stylizing,’ the chirps and warbles.”
They concluded that the “right” way to sing it would resemble something akin to the delivery of the tune’s original vocalist, Kate Smith.
The American Idol alum was quick to set the record straight and shut down the troll’s negativity.
“I didn’t actually sing that song today but the 16 yr old girl that did, nailed it,” Clarkson fired back in a tweet. “Also, think about the fact that U signed in online & took the time 2 drag a 16 yr old girl… Ur showing the worst side of U & I have faith that you’re cooler than this.”
Clarkson’s reaction was met with endless support from fans.
“We need more Kelly Clarkson in this world full of negativity and hate,” one user replied, while another said, “Don’t mess with Kelly’s Voice peeps.”
Meanwhile, Clarkson and Shepherd praised each other on Twitter following their Indy 500 performances. Each singer said the other had “killed it.”
Shepherd — a Farmington, New Mexico native — was crowned the winner of The Voice Season 15. Clarkson served as her coach, marking the “Broken and Beautiful” singer’s second win in two years. Clarkson’s young prodigy is known for her powerful vocals delivered in old-school, Loretta Lynn-esque country style.
Following Shepherd’s performance of “Broken Hearts” in the Season 15 finale, Clarkson admitted that she teared up because of how much the teen reminds her of her own youth, USA Today reported. The Grammy winner called Shepherd’s rendition “beautiful” and “pure country.”
Shepherd returned home to New Mexico to be a “normal teen” for a while after The Voice, with plans to record an album soon. She will turn 17 years old on June 18.