Kelly Clarkson Defends Blake Shelton's 'Sexiest Man Alive' Honor: 'Let Him Be Sexy!' (Exclusive)
By Desiree Murphy
Kelly Clarkson was just as surprised by Blake Shelton's "Sexiest Man Alive" honor as the rest of us… but she digs it!
While chatting with ET on Thursday, the 35-year-old singer revealed that she found out about her future fellow Voice coach’s People magazine title on Twitter, and explained why haters need to stop giving him so much "flack."
"Oh my God, what's so funny is, my husband [Brandon Blackstock] manages him and I didn't even realize it," said Clarkson, who was promoting her latest partnership with Cracker Barrel's "Rocking and Stockings" content series. "We don't really talk about work with other clients, so I didn't even realize it."
"I just thought it was amazing," she continued. "Like, hilarious."
Clarkson admitted, however, that she was more surprised by all the negative reactions he's received. Immediately following the announcement, Twitter users slammed People's decision, writing things like, "Whole squad looking. Can't find the sexy," "He's not even the sexiest man in country music" and "I can think of 100 people a lot sexier than Blake Shelton."
"That's rude!" Clarkson explained to ET, defending the 41-year-old country crooner. "He's sexy. Let him be sexy!"
"Sexy is different to everyone," she added. "And he's a jokester. I think I like that about him. He didn't vote himself that -- obviously People magazine did. I think it's funny that he takes it with a grain of salt and he also takes the criticism the same way."
Clarkson said she's "always loved" surrounding herself with friends that could be comedic, which explains why she and Shelton get along so well. She also talked about her newfound friendship with Shelton's girlfriend of two years, Gwen Stefani. Interestingly enough, the two have both referred to their significant others as their "cowboy" in previous interviews with ET.
"Recently we did get to hang at Gwen's house, which is insanely gorgeous," the brunette beauty gushed. "It was really cool. Brandon, Blake and I, we're all southern. Gwen's a southern Cali girl, yes, but I just mean… we're all different. I think the common denominator is that we're all very chill, we love what we do, we're just kinda all normal kids. It sounds really funny."
"And God, I grew up listening to Gwen, from No Doubt days," she continued. "So, it's just really cool. She's really sweet and down-to-earth. And [Blake's] sweet and down-to-earth, my husband's like that. We're all just kinda very chill."
Clarkson continued to marvel over their most recent hang sesh with Shelton and Stefani, telling ET that she actually got to meet the "Misery" singer's entire family.
"Her whole family was there and they're so awesome," Clarkson said. "She has the nicest, most warm, loving family."
"I think a lot of people find Blake and Gwen different, which, I agree," she added. "When my husband and I first found out [they were dating], I was like, 'Wait, what?' But then you think about it and you see them together, and it's like, 'It could work, even though we grew up in different places.' People do have similarities in the sense that they both love music, they love performing, they love writing."
Clarkson said she's well aware Shelton puts on this front "where he's kind of an a**hole," but deep down, he's a true southern gentleman.
"A lot of that is kind of for show," she joked. "They're just sweet people, both of them."
Ahead of Shelton's SMA announcement, ET's Nancy O'Dell sat down with Stefani, where she revealed what she finds sexiest about her beau.
"What defines sexy?" the No Doubt rocker asked. "I think somebody that is humble, kind, down-to-earth, talented, on the top of their game, should I keep going?"
Hear more from the exclusive interview in the video below!
The “Cracker Barrel Rocking and Stockings” content series features exclusive performances by Clarkson and Brett Eldredge on Cracker Barrel’s YouTube channel, running weekly now through Dec. 12. Eldredge’s albums, Brett Eldredge and Glow, as well as Clarkson’s Meaning of Life and both children’s books are available at Cracker Barrel locations nationwide and online at shop.crackerbarrel.com. Be sure to return to ETonline.com next Tuesday for more on the collaboration and Clarkson's holiday plans!