Kelly Clarkson Recalls Karaoke Night with Amy Winehouse Before 'Back to Black' Success: 'She Had Such a Presence'

"We all went to karaoke and she sang Etta James and I was like, 'Wait, what?'" Clarkson said during the Thursday, May 16 episode of 'The Kelly Clarkson Show'

Kelly Clarkson has some fond memories of Amy Winehouse.

During the Thursday, May 16 episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, the pop star, 42, opened up about getting to know the "Rehab" artist — who died of alcohol toxicity at the age of 27 in 2011 — before she was famous.

"It's funny, I actually saw her before she was who she was," Clarkson told guest Marisa Abela, who is portraying Winehouse in the biopic Back to Black. "She was just coming over with her boyfriend and it was while I was shooting this movie that I absolutely hate [From Justin to Kelly]."

<p>Cindy Ord/Getty Images; JMEnternational/Redferns</p> Kelly Clarkson; Amy Winehouse

Cindy Ord/Getty Images; JMEnternational/Redferns

Kelly Clarkson; Amy Winehouse

Related: Bryan Adams Details Friendship with Amy Winehouse: 'I Tried to Help Her'

The "Breakaway" singer continued: "But anyway, we all did a karaoke night. And it was before she was her, and she almost sounded a little different as well. It was, like, before she became Amy Winehouse. I don't think she had a record deal or anything at that time. But we all went to karaoke and she sang Etta James and I was like, 'Wait, what?' It was like she, just from the jump, had such a presence about her voice. It almost became, like, more of a character, too, like with herself throughout her career."

Abela then jumped in and spoke about how much the late musician's sound changed from 2003's Frank to 2006's Back to Black.

"The singing, people ask me now, 'Can you get up and do it?'" It's like being an athlete, singing like that. I look at singers now with so much more respect — not that I didn't before. But the technical, it's so hard," the Industry actress, 27, told the host.

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<p>Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images</p> Marisa Abela attending the world premiere of Back to Black at the Odeon Luxe in London in April 2024

Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images

Marisa Abela attending the world premiere of Back to Black at the Odeon Luxe in London in April 2024

Related: Billie Piper Says Childhood Friend Amy Winehouse Was Bullied at School: 'It Wasn't the Easiest Ride'

Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, Back to Black is the "extraordinary story of Amy Winehouse’s early rise to fame from her early days in Camden through the making of her groundbreaking album Back to Black that catapulted Winehouse to global fame," per an official synopsis.

It continued: "Told through Amy’s eyes and inspired by her deeply personal lyrics, the film explores and embraces the many layers of the iconic artist and the tumultuous love story at the center of one of the most legendary albums of all time."

The film will include sequences like Winehouse's infamous 2008 Grammy's performance and will cover her personal life, including her romance with Blake Fielder-Civil and her close relationship with her mother Janis Winehouse.

Back to Black hits theaters Friday, May 17.

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