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Kelly Clarkson confesses she doesn’t know the Backstreet Boys’ music

Kelly Clarkson confesses to Jimmy Fallon she doesn’t know Backstreet Boys’ music: ‘I wasn’t a boy band kid’

The “Stronger” singer promised she’ll rectify her mistake in a future Kellyoke performance on her talk show.

Published on October 14, 2023

It’s safe to say that the Backstreet Boys weren’t Kelly Clarkson‘s fire or her one desire.

The “Breakaway” singer, whose daytime talk show returns next week, sat down with Jimmy Fallon for a music-themed game on Friday’s episode of The Tonight Show in which they attempted to identify several songs played backwards. However, the boy band’s 1999 hit “I Want It That Way” left Clarkson — and Fallon! — totally stumped.

When Questlove later revealed its title, Clarkson looked confused as she replied, “What’s that?” But she did seem to recognize the song after it was played normally, scrunching up her face and knocking a fist on Fallon’s desk.

“I wasn’t a boy band kid!” she announced.

Outraged by her confession, Fallon let out a gasp and replied, “That’s a classic!”

“They’re great. I just wasn’t a boy band — I didn’t know that one,” Clarkson admitted. “I wouldn’t know it forward.”

“You gotta do that Kellyoke,” a laughing Fallon said, referencing Clarkson’s popular talk-show segment in which she covers various songs from the likes of Journey, Destiny’s Child, and Dolly Parton.

The good news? Clarkson is game to rectify her fatal error in the future. “I know! I’ll do it now,” she said. “Thank you for all the ideas.”

Kelly Clarkson; Backstreet Boys.
Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty; Rob Kim/Getty

Things only got more difficult for Clarkson throughout the rest of the game, as she failed to recognize Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be” and Miley Cyrus‘ “Wrecking Ball.”

“I feel really confident about myself right now,” she joked.

The worst moment, however, came when she missed her own song “Stronger” in the final round, causing a stunned Clarkson to leap out of her chair, wave goodbye to the audience, and pretend to almost walk off stage.

“Oh my god,” she said. “Wow.”

Watch Clarkson and Fallon go toe-to-toe in the clip above.

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