Kelly Clarkson, the original winner of "American Idol," shares an emotional message in honour of the victory's 20th anniversary.

20 Years ago today I won American Idol and it forever changed the course of my life. That moment was the door that opened up so much access and opportunity, and creative partnerships that I will be grateful for all of my days. The family and friendships I have created over these 20 years in music and tv are priceless to me. We only get so many trips around the sun and while I am proud and feel abundantly blessed of the successes and failures that I have learned from, I am most proud and grateful for those friends that have become family, and for their arms that have held me when I needed it and their hearts that listened to me when I felt lost. Without them I would not be where I am. I would probably not be here at all. Thank you so much to every single person that voted 20 years ago! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I hope all of you have people in your lives that fill you with laughter, and hope, and happiness, and if you don't feel like you have that, then keep searching because I promise you they're looking for you too.

The first winner of Fox's singing competition American Idol was Kelly Clarkson, who was crowned on September 4, 2002. The singer is thanking everyone in honour of the 20th anniversary of her reality-show triumph.

American Idol's victory 20 years ago today "forever changed the course of my life,"

Clarkson posted on Instagram. "That was the moment that opened the door to so much access, opportunity, and creative partnerships that I will be grateful for the rest of my life." "The family and friendships I've built over these 20 years in music and television are priceless to me."

Clarkson released her first single "A Moment Like This" after winning American Idol, which she performed on the finale night. Clarkson has had numerous hits since then, including "Miss Independent," "Breakaway," "Since U Been Gone," "Because of You," and "Behind These Hazel Eyes."

"While I am proud and feel abundantly blessed of the successes and failures that I have learned from, I am most proud and grateful for those friends who have become family."

And for their arms that held me when I needed it, and their hearts that listened to me when I was lost. I would not be where I am today without them. "I'm not sure I'd be here at all," Clarkson added.

Clarkson won American Idol thanks to audience votes, and the singer couldn't end her emotional message without thanking the people who helped her win. 

"Thank you so much to everyone who voted 20 years ago! Thank you very much! Thank you very much! Thank you very much!

"I hope you all have people in your lives who bring you laughter, hope, and happiness, and if you don't, keep looking because I promise you they're looking for you too," she concluded.