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The Voice's Molly Stevens Apologizes for Calling Kelly Clarkson 'Small-Minded' 

The Voice's Molly Stevens Apologizes for Calling Kelly Clarkson 'Small-Minded' 

Molly Stevens and Kelly Clarkson

Stevens took umbrage at Clarkson favorably comparing her to lesbian singers Melissa Etheridge and the Indigo Girls while also omitting a comparison to Patty Griffin.

A bit of a kerfuffle about putting LGBT people into boxes occurred when out country/roots music singer Molly Stevens was eliminated from The Voice during the battle rounds on Monday. Her coach Kelly Clarkson compared the 34-year-old North Carolina-based singer to two-time Grammy-winner and Oscar-winner Melissa Etheridge, beloved singer-songwriters the Indigo Girls, and one of her favorites, Patty Griffin, because of Stevens's grit and rasp.

Clarkson ultimately chose Stevens's battle partner Justin Kilgore, who is also gay and a country singer, to move on to the reality show's next round. Despite initially thanking her coach for the opportunity, Stevens posted a message on Instagram calling Clarkson "small-minded" for supposedly pigeonholing her with other queer singers, then deleted it amid the backlash. But Clarkson, a longtime LGBT ally, made sure to clarify that Stevens had selectively chosen to leave out the comparison to Griffin, who is straight.

Stevens, whose coming out as a lesbian was a big part of her Voice blind audition package and who informed Clarkson that she and Kilgore had something in common because they were both gay, wrote in her post that Clarkson had compared her to famous musicians (who happen to also be lesbians) Etheridge and the Indigo Girls (Emily Saliers and Amy Ray), as if Voice coaches aren't continually mentioning the singers contestants remind them of.

"While I'm extremely honored to be in that category of talent I do believe that comment did us all a disservice and only threw us into a labeling trap," Stevens wrote. "It felt small-minded to me and exactly what I feel we need to bring attention to the world. I am a singer-songwriter who happens to be gay. ... But it's a common stereotype that happens too often. People put us in boxes. How about for today I am just Molly Stevens."

The Instagram post hit a sour note that was completely different in tone from her first social media post following the battle, when she tweeted:

Clarkson, who has long been an ally to LGBT people, having supported marriage equality and included a gay couple in her video for "Love So Soft," responded to Stevens's criticism by pointing out that the contestant conveniently left Griffin's name out of her post. What made the omission even stranger was that Stevens auditioned for the show with Griffin's "Heavenly Day," and at that point, Clarkson said, "That's one of my favorite singer-songwriters!"

Stevens drew a fair amount of backlash for her post deriding Clarkson and later deleted it with an apology.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist