Kelly Clarkson takes knowing how to grin and bear it to a whole new level!
The star, 37, who will be kicking off her new NBC syndicated talk show on Sept. 9, opened up to PEOPLE in this week’s cover story—and shared that after pulling off the major feat of hosting the Billboard Awards with a burst appendix back in May, she suffered yet another painful health scare, and again on live TV!
At the Billboard Awards, “I just didn’t want to leave people hanging,” she says of how she managed to belt out numerous hits with a smile throughout the live show on May 1.
With her doctors aware of her condition and standing by at the ready, she pushed forward. “I was just thinking about trying to relax,” she says. But in reality, “I was in so much pain!”
After undergoing emergency surgery right after the show, Clarkson healed quickly and was back onscreen just a week later, filming live shows for The Voice. But the superstar singer reveals pain struck again as the cameras rolled.
“Blake [Shelton] was talking to me and all of the sudden, everything he said just went away and I had to grab his arm and I was like, ‘Something is wrong.'”
And that something, she later learned, was a cyst bursting on her ovary. “That was more painful than the appendicitis,” she says. “It was literally a week after my surgery so I was freaking out!”
After another trip to a busy E.R. (“I was like, ‘Anyone a fan? can someone help me get a hospital room?’”) Clarkson now says all is well. But the random back-to-back health scares did throw her for a loop.
“I was hysterically laughing and crying at one point in the E.R. like ‘What is happening?’” she says. Thankfully, “I’m great now. I’m totally great now.”
For more on Kelly Clarkson’s journey from American Idol winner to the new face of daytime, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.