- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 28, 2018

NBC “The Voice” coach and Grammy Award-winning singer Kelly Clarkson fired back on Twitter Tuesday after an eliminated gay contestant accused her of being “small-minded.”

Competitor Molly Stevens said Tuesday in a now-deleted Instagram post that Ms. Clarkson stereotyped her by comparing her music to the Indigo Girls and Melissa Etheridge, who are openly gay.

“While I’m extremely honored to be in that category of talent, I do believe that comment did us all a disservice and only threw us into a labeling trap,” Ms. Stevens wrote. “It felt small minded to me and exactly what I feel we need to bring attention to the world. I am a singer-songwriter who happens to be gay. And so it @melissa_etheridge and @indigogirlsmusic … It’s a common stereotype that happens too often. People put us in boxes. How about today I am just Molly Stevens and you be you too?”

Ms. Clarkson fired back on Twitter, writing that she also compared Ms. Stevens to famed folk singer Patty Griffin, who dated Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant.

“Wow. This really bums me out,” Ms. Clarkson tweeted. “I need everyone to hear me and hear ALL OF THE WORDS I SAY. I compared Molly to Melissa Etheridge, Patty Griffin (a name that was left out conveniently), and the Indigo Girls purely because of the rasp in her voice and that she’s an amazing storyteller.”

Several hours later, Ms. Stevens tweeted an apology.

“I sincerely apologize for any hurt I may have caused with my words,” she wrote. “This was not my intention at all. For the people who know me well, you know my heart well too. I strive to live in truth and light. @kelly_clarkson I truly apologize for thinking differently. I look up to you.”

Ms. Clarkson has not publicly responded to Ms. Stevens‘ apology.

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