Kelly Clarkson Honors Etta James During Concert

Kelly Clarkson(Photo: Reuters/Carlo Allegri)Singer Kelly Clarkson performs at the Z100's Jingle Ball concert at Madison Square Garden in New York December 9, 2011.

Kelly Clarkson has paid tribute to the woman whose music helped her through her audition for “American Idol,” Etta James. Clarkson took a moment to honor James during a concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

During a concert for her Stronger tour, Clarkson told the audience, “This isn’t ‘At Last’ because everyone really covers that, and so I wanted to do my favorite, actually. My favorite song is ‘I’d Rather Go Blind.’ So this is for Etta!”

Clarkson performed “At Last” as part of her audition for “American Idol,” which she won in 2002. She has since had such hits as “A Moment Like This” and, most recently, “Mr. Know It All.” Clarkson’s Stronger tour kicked off on Jan. 13 in Mashantucket, CT. Last night’s performance was the latest stop before the tour moves to New Hampshire and the rest of the East coast.

Clarkson has announced that she will be a guest mentor on the new season of NBC’s “The Voice,” another musical competition show. She will be working alongside celebrity hosts Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, and Adam Levine.

She explains her writing style as being deeply personal: “That’s why I tend to write or choose songs about how just being you is okay. People associate me with break-up songs, but most of the time the song isn’t even about a guy. I always relate the topic to different situations in my life, whether it’s family, friends, or work.”

Her new tour features new songs “Walk Away,” “Never Again,” and “Miss Independent” and celebrates the strong female spirit. “I have more confidence in myself and that changed everything. I can’t wait to perform these songs on tour. I love that people still get excited about new music.”