Just maybe …. No, make that probably, Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson would have succeeded in the music industry without American Idol. But AI didn’t hurt either one of them in getting to where they were on Monday.

And where they were …

Clarkson, winner of Season 1, performed “My Country Tis of Thee” during President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony in the afternoon and then Hudson, who was No. 7 in Season 3, sang “Let’s Stay Together” at one of the Inaugural Balls that night while the nation’s First Couple danced.

Just for Monday alone, Kelly and Jennifer (both of whom performed very well), owe AI a debt of gratitude.