Reba McEntire is coming to the defense of her daughter-in-law, Kelly Clarkson — not that she needs to.

Clarkson has endured intense scrutiny and harsh criticism from some quarters over her weight recently, and she also raised a few eyebrows when she admitted that she has been having a hard time finding artists who want to collaborate with her on her new album.

“I honestly would collaborate with a lot of people, but everyone usually says no," Clarkson says. “I’m not kidding you. I have legitimately asked several people that I’m not going to call out."

While there has been some speculation that Clarkson's past criticism of music mogul Clive Davis may have made some potential collaborators gun shy, she admits it's partly her own standards that are to blame.

“I ask good people. I don’t want to sing with crap people, so I mean, I ask people who are great vocalists, but I’m not going to point out anyone,” she says. “I have asked several people … Sometimes I feel like I have the plague, or leprosy, they’re like, ‘If you get too close …’”

Even so, as far as McEntire is concerned, Clarkson doesn't need her help.

"You know Kelly's a big girl," the legend tells Entertainment Tonight. "She's always been able to defend herself and take up for herself. But if there's any slack needed to be taken up, I'll be there for her in a heartbeat."

McEntire herself has recorded with Clarkson, and she says she's "thrilled to death" that the former American Idol champion has married her stepson, Brandon Blackstock.

"I'm very proud of her," said McEntire. "She's a girl with a big heart. Very giving, loving, and talented. Everybody knows she's talented but sometimes they don't see that big-hearted loving person that she really is. And I'm so happy for her, I've never seen her happier than she is right now."

Clarkson and Blackstock welcomed their first child, a daughter named River Rose, last year.

You Think You Know Reba McEntire?

More From Taste of Country