Kelly Clarkson Explains Why She Won't Replace Katy Perry on 'American Idol' (Exclusive)

Kelly Clarkson tells ET why being the next 'American Idol' judge wouldn't be the right fit for her.

American Idol is still searching for its next judge following Katy Perry's exit. And while fans of the hit series have been clamoring for Kelly Clarkson to replace Perry, the daytime talk show host tells ET there's a very heartwarming reason as to why she just can't.

Clarkson shared the deets Friday night at the 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards -- after her eponymous talk show scored a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Daytime Talk Series -- telling ET's Deidre Behar that while she has quite a few big things lined up later this year American Idol is just not part of that mix.

"No. No. I can't do that, only  because I promised my kids. I was like, 'I wanna be there as much as I possibly can,'" Clarkson tells ET. "And it would put me in L.A., and that's why I had to quit The Voice, which I love that team. And I miss them so much."

By the way, Luke Bryan recently spoke to ET in Nashville where he tossed out three names that could replace Perry, including Meghan Trainor, who previously told ET she definitely wants the job.

In any event, Clarkson explained in 2023 that her exit from The Voice stemmed from "struggling" and not being able to "smile anymore," and thus why she felt it necessary to relocate her family. Clarkson shares two children -- River Rose, 9, and Remington, 8 -- with her ex-husband, Brandon Blackstock.

Clarkson, the very first American Idol winner in September 2002, moved her popular talk show to New York after four seasons in Los Angeles. Ahead of her season 5 premiere, Clarkson told ET that the move paid huge dividends for her and her family. 

Kelly Clarkson accepts a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Daytime Talk Series. - Getty

Months and months after the big move, Clarkson tells ET that life's still pretty great in The City That Never Sleeps.

"I wanted a life for us. And we enjoy the park every day and we enjoy each other," she says. "As a parent -- people get this --  you only get so much time until they don't want to hang out with you."

She added, "That's the reason [I can't do Idol]. It's my kiddos."

During her acceptance speech, Clarkson thanked NBC brass for listening to her and accommodating the show's move from one end of the country to the other.

"The fact that NBC, a huge company, took time and listened when I said, 'Hey, my life is not going super great. I don't know if I can live here anymore. I don't know if I can do this,'" she said onstage accepting the award. "They really wrapped their arms around us, and they helped us move."