Kelly Clarkson in no rush to become country star

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LOS ANGELES — There’s a reason Kelly Clarkson has performed duets with country superstars like Reba McEntire, Jason Aldean and Vince Gill but never one of her Top 40 colleagues in the 10 years since she became the first “American Idol”. They’ve turned her down — eight times.

“I have, like, 5,000 duets in country music,” Clarkson says. “I don’t have one in pop. That’s legitimately because everyone turns me down. I’m not even kidding. I’ve asked sooo many artists to sing with me. Everyone legitimately turns me down! The only one that hasn’t was Chris Daughtry.”

One of Clarkson’s duets, the “Don’t You Wanna Stay” collaboration with Aldean, helped her score a nomination for female vocalist of the year at the Country Music Association Awards. Obvious fan interest combined with her affinity for the music has led to speculation she might one day release a country album.

Despite the camaraderie she feels from the Nashville music scene, she isn’t fully committed to making a leap from pop diva to country star. Though she isn’t ruling out goin’ country from time to time.

“I’m not ever gonna be one thing,” she says. “I want great music. I don’t care what it is. I’m not gonna record a country song just to be on country radio. I want it to be something I’d legitimately have on my album, if I’m having a pop, R&B, whatever album. I guess it’s hard for people to wrap their heads around. I don’t want to be pigeonholed.”

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