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"Even though I'm a pop singer, I really have more the life of a country singer," Kelly explains to Lucky magazine. "I put on the Hank Williams and the Patsy Cline and the Rosemary Clooney on vinyl -- I'm not trying to be some cool indie-rock person, I just love the way it sounds -- and throw on a T-shirt and jeans. In Texas, we practically come out of the womb in jeans."
Kelly keeps close ties to country music in her personal life as well. Her career is managed by Reba McEntire's husband, Narvel Blackstock, whose son, Brandon (pictured above with Kelly), is also her boyfriend. But lest anyone think she is living a diva's life, the 30-year-old, who says her beau took her turkey shooting on her birthday, is happily staying as normal as possible.
"The hardest thing about being in this business is just being able to be yourself," Kelly acknowledges. "People act like there's this one set of rules to follow to be a pop star, and I think, 'Well, you say I'm a pop star, so maybe that's not true.'"
Kelly currently resides in Nashville but is spending plenty of time in Los Angeles, thanks to her role on "Duets," alongside Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, John Legend and Robin Thicke. Being on the other side of a reality TV talent show has brought back plenty of memories of the show that jump-started her own career.
"Last week, one of the "Duets" contestants was crying," she recalls. "She said, 'I gave everything up to come here, and I'm scared.' I thought back to 'Idol' and how I didn't know much except that I was scared, and that I had nothing left to lose. I told her, 'That fear? It's your power in this situation. Use it, because it's your fire.'"
Kelly, who recently surpassed Carrie Underwood for best-selling single by an "Idol" alum, is also spending much of her summer on the road, including stops in Washington, Connecticut and Nevada. Keep track of her tour schedule here.
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