Kelly Clarkson has hit back after being accused of stereotyping a gay contestant on The Voice.
The 'Since U Been Gone' singer, who is currently serving as a mentor on the 14th season of the NBC singing competition, was criticised by 34-year-old contestant Molly Stevens for putting her into a 'box' by comparing her voice to lesbian artists Melissa Etheridge and the Indigo Girls.
Following her elimination from the competition this week, Stevens wrote in a now-deleted Instagra post: "That comment did us all a disservice and only threw us into a labeling trap
"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."
Clarkson, who served as Stevens' mentor on the show, responded to the controversy on Twitter, saying she was 'bummed out' by the accusation of stereotyping.
"Wow. This really bums me out", the 35-year-old American Idol winner wrote.
"I need everyone 2 hear me & hear ALL OF THE WORDS I SAY. I compared Molly to Melissa Etheridge, Patty Griffin (a name that was left out conveniently), & the Indigo Girls purely because of the rasp in her voice & that she's an amazing storyteller."
Following Clarkson's response, Stevens apologised for her comments and deleted the original Instagram post.
In a separate tweet, she wrote: "For the people who know me well, you know my heart well too. I strive to live in truth and light.
"@kelly_clarkson I truly apologize for thinking differently. I look up to you."