Kelly Clarkson & P!nk perform at the 45th American Music Awards

Kelly Clarkson & P!nk perform at the 45th American Music Awards

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In a year marked by tragedy, pop queens Kelly Clarkson and P!nk opened the 45th American Music Awards with a stunning vocal collaboration. The dynamic duo, who both made artistic comebacks with new records last month, were in tip-top shape, soaring on a rendition of R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts." Electric guitar flavored the straightforward rock arrangement, each singer taking lead on the lyrics.

"If you feel like letting go / If you think you've had too much of this life...oh, hang on," the pair sang, their voices splitting the room in two like lightning. On the backdrop, startling images of pivotal 2017 events splashed across the screen. "Hold on," the two came together on the smoldering climax.

Leading up to the performance, Clarkson and Alecia Moore traded gushing compliments on social media and in the press. "I think we met in passing, like, quickly on the "Today" show right after I won "American Idol," like, 15 years ago [in 2002]," Clarkson told Entertainment Tonight. "But we didn't really talk. She was talking to Justin [Guarini] because they're both from Philly, and I guess went to the same school [Central Bucks]. So I didn't really get to talk to her then."

She continued, "I think, honestly, at the end of the day, even though we're different artists, at the core, we both love great singers, we both love soulful music. She's branched out just like me, in like the singer-songwriter kinda country stuff or rock 'n' roll. We both love a lot of the same things. I think, too, just the level of respect that comes with that, the admiration. Even though we are different, we do have a lot of similarities. I've been really excited about doing this with her."

Clarkson recently dropped her first Atlantic Records album titled Meaning of Life, while P!nk issued her first full-player in five years called Beautiful Trauma.

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