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Kelly Clarkson walked the red carpet on her new NBC show American Song Contest and talked about how one song in 2003 changed her career forever.

Kelly told Today that 2003’s “Miss Independent” off of her debut album, Thankful, was a game-changer. Earning Clarkson her first Grammy nomination. She offered, “My big first single was ‘Miss Independent,’ and I had to fight so hard to get that song on my record, like, with the guitars how I liked it and everything how I liked it.”

Clarkson added, “Everybody wanted me to do ballads straight off of ‘(American) Idol.’ I was like, ‘No, I really like this song. I want to set up some kind of precedent.’ It was very important to me as an artist, and I got to write on it as well, which was important to me.”

“Miss Independent” was also co-written by Matt Morris, Rhett Lawrence, and Christina Aguilera.

Kelly also noted that while she loves singing and it’s her “favorite thing” to do, “Writing is such a part of me not just because I’m a singer because it’s my outlet for my emotions. So that’s why I love this competition. You get to see where everyone’s at emotionally.”

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