Kelly Clarkson has never abandoned her Texas roots in being real, and always appreciating old friends. The superstar singer-songwriter from Burleson, Texas was very real in giving praise to Simon Cowell on his very special day of receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It took place Wednesday (August 22) and was reported by TODAY, ABC News, and numerous other outlets on August 23. In many ways, it's hard to believe that it’s been 16 years since Kelly Clarkson stood with Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul to be crowned as the inaugural winner on “American Idol.” Clarkson can still hit those heavenly realms in her high register, and the soulful authenticity of her latest album, “Meaning of Life, captures love and womanliness on a whole new level.

Simon Cowell has never missed a step in being truthful or in staying authentic, and those qualities were praised with sincerity by Kelly Clarkson during the talent icon’s ceremony.

The same eye and honesty

Kelly Clarkson is now a near-constantly working wife and mother of two, but for a moment in her remarks, she took a stroll in the past. She remembered her “American Idol” season as “beautiful, organic...really fresh and innocent…a really beautiful moment,” also giving a nod to Randy Jackson, who also was in attendance. Apart from a tad more gray hair, Simon Cowell looks much the same as he did in 2002. Fatherhood certainly seems to have widened the judge’s heart by several sizes, as the Grinch might say. He is just as honest as he ever was but seems much more invested into the lives and stories of the talents he scouts than he once was.

Kelly Clarkson praised Cowell as being “the best friend you could ever have” because of his capability of “being honest with you,” despite disagreements and being supportive. Clarkson never felt the brunt of Simon Cowell's brutal truth-telling, especially in his earlier judging days, the way that Jennifer Hudson and Mandisa, among others, felt. Clarkson playfully confessed that she was among the fortunate “that you were never mean to” to the sharp-tongued Cowell, but she still may not be in the clear, saying “I'm still waiting” for any future barrage of comments to come. The evolution of Simon Cowell's conscience can be seen in the current season of “America's Got Talent,” which features contestants like comedian Vicki Barbolak and singer, Christina Wells, both of whom have earned Cowell’s genuine support because their immense talent cannot be defined by a dress size. As for the current season, Glennis Grace performed well in the quarterfinals [VIDEO].

What Kelly Clarkson most appreciates in Simon Cowell is his “appreciation for authenticity” and she pointed to the diverse range of talents that the producer and entertainment mogul has cultivated over decades.

Along with Clarkson, the entire contingent of Simon Cowell's fellow “America's Got Talent” judges were there to celebrate, along with Louis Tomlinson, Katharine McPhee, David Foster, and more personal friends and colleagues. Simon’s son, Eric, proudly displayed his dad's honorary plaque, being in front with Cowell’s longtime partner, Lauren Silverman. Zayn Malik has also hinted at a possible One Direction reunion.

Kelly Clarkson praised Cowell for his acuity in finding performers “who can be themselves” above perfect performance. She also decried the need for constant approval, asserting that “it's not a friend to have a yes-person around you,” but instead someone who “gives you their truth.” She surmised that Simon Cowell’s sharp critiques were generally always “constructive,” and he is still someone she trusts for advice.

Still crafting talent

Kelly Clarkson got praise for more than just her tribute to Simon Cowell, looking stunning as she remains an aficionado of Steven R Gundry’s principles in “The Plant Paradox” that put her on a path of understanding healthy eating beyond diets and yo-yo tries with weight loss and gain. Simon Cowell explained to Access that this event represented “what it's all about” for him, because beyond wanting to create shows that “do well,” he strives to create “real artists” from the raw talents he discovers. He called the experience of having Kelly Clarkson open the ceremony for him "surreal." In addition to this, Clarkson spoke after the CMT Music Awards about her thyroid problem [VIDEO].

Kelly Clarkson honored the man who “helped change my life,” standing by the same arena where she became an American idol. She continues to do the work of constantly creating and growing as an artist, but it's nice to see that she still holds gratitude for the person who saw the seeds of her talent, ready to grow tall.