“This is the worst situation for me, I’m gonna buy all these dogs and bring them home.”
Hoda Kotb just published her first children’s book, I’ve Loved You Since Forever, and the title has a very special meaning for the Today co-host.
“As I was waiting and hoping and wishing for Haley, when I started to believe that maybe I could be a mom too, maybe I didn’t miss my window, maybe there’s still hope here … It was that kind of revival,” Kotb tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue.
“I was scribbling in my journal and waiting to see if it would come to pass and I could feel that child. I felt like they were sleeping under the same moon and stars,” she continues.
“Somewhere out there this child is there for me and that phrase, ‘I’ve loved you since forever,’ was something that I had written down because that’s what it felt like.”
After a battle with breast cancer a decade ago left her unable to have a child, Kotb adopted daughter Haley Joy, born Feb. 14, 2017.
“Sometimes you can love someone before you’ve met them,” the new mom says. “You just know. I feel like this book, that’s kind of where it started.”
Once Kotb wrote her book, she asked pal Kelly Clarkson to turn her words into music. “My heart exploded,” Kotb says after hearing the song for the first time. (The song will premiere on Today Thursday).
“Kelly is an unbelievable human being. She changed my life. This song is now part of our family history. It’s amazing that she did that for Haley and for me and for anyone that listens to it and feels like the song is about them.”
Kotb’s book, I’ve Loved You Since Forever, is available Tuesday.
For more on Hoda Kotb and Kelly Clarkson, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
I’ve added screencaps and stills of Kelly from the most recent episode of The Voice as well as a couple of promotional images for season 14. Big thanks to my friend Mouza from Team Shevine for her donations. I’ve also added a new and gorgeous photo session of Kelly. Enjoy!
The singer explains why it’s important to validate people for their talents at a young age.
In her song “Whole Lotta Woman,” Kelly Clarkson describes herself as, “a strong bad-ass chick with classic confidence” and it’s easy to see why. Over the course of her 15-year music career, she’s accumulated 100 number-one songs on the Billboard charts, and sold more than 25 million albums worldwide. She’s currently a coach on season 14 of The Voice while also promoting her eighth studio album, Meaning of Life.
Before she became a Grammy award-winning artist, Clarkson’s path in life wasn’t always clear. When she was in seventh grade, she says that “there was just nothing really special [about me], I was kind of the kid that didn’t stand out in anyway.”
The turning point came when she was 13 and performed Mariah Carey’s “Vision of Love” at her school talent show. Clarkson says after the show, a stranger, who she assumed was a classmate’s grandfather, approached her and said, “That was so amazing, you’re gonna do this for the rest of your life.”
She was stunned. “I don’t even think I said ‘thank you.’” she says. “I was taken aback because I’d never received any kind of compliment like that.”
That compliment gave her the inspiration to pursue a career in music. “It was a really pivotal moment for someone to come up to me and instill that confidence at such a young age,” she says. “From that moment, all I focused on was singing, whether it was getting a scholarship for college or trying out for [American] Idol.”
Now in her current roles (as a mother and a coach on The Voice), Clarkson still thinks back to seventh grade and says it’s important that people feel validated for their hard work and talent.
She was never able to track down the stranger who gave her the ultimate compliment and now jokes, “Was he real?” “We all have these moments in our life that are so pivotal… that really was that fork in the road that sent [me] on a completely different path.”
Even though this experience was a positive one, Clarkson says not all her feedback is like that, and it’s important to keep going anyway.
“Not everybody’s gonna think your poo smells like roses,” she says. “None of us are Jesus Christ.”
Soooo many photos added to the gallery! I’ve added new and additional photos of Kelly from all her recent appearances plus the premiere episode of The Voice. Big thanks to my friend Mouza for her donations. Enjoy all the pretties!
Kelly was on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon tonight. Check out the interview and game played as well as photos from her appearance. She killed it, like she does everything. #TeamKelly
I’ve added a few missing photos to the gallery from The Voice, The Today Show and photo sessions. I have more to add so please be sure to check back. Thanks to Mouza for her donations.