Kelly Clarkson might be on the brink of edging out Ellen to take the daytime TV throne with The Kelly Clarkson Show – when she’s not busy sitting in one of the swivel chairs on The Voice (and America’s Got Talent, once or twice) and preparing for a (postponed) Las Vegas residency – but our Forever One True Original Idol™ hasn’t forgotten about the whole singing thing that launched her to superstardom nearly twenty years ago.
The 38-year-old “Don’t Let Me Stop You” powerhouse vocalist is doing the press rounds at the moment, just ahead of the premiere of the second season of her award-winning show.
And, Lord knows, there are plenty of not-so-comfy things to discuss at the moment, which she’s just thrilled to dig into, I’m sure: the pandemic, the toxic workplace allegations coming to light over in nearby studios and, of course, her divorce from Brandon Blackstock earlier in the year after almost seven years of marriage.
She’s tackling all the tough topics, at least indirectly, while doing the interviews thus far, remaining diplomatic and thoughtful and kind as always. And what she hasn’t explicitly said about latest developments in her personal life may very well be coming out in the form of the follow-up to 2017’s Meaning of Life, which seems to be taking shape.
During an upcoming appearance on Sunday Today With Willie Geist, Kelly opened up about what to expect from the album.
“This next record, this will probably be the most personal one I’ve ever released,” she said.
“The whole record is basically every emotion you experience from the beginning of a relationship, to the end of what it is now. It’s been very therapeutic for me. It’s very honest. There’s one that my kids sing in the car. ‘Cause I’m going through mixes, and I’m just, like…this is weird,” she laughed.
“Like, it’s your relationship. I’ve never written about my life to where my kids are, like, singing along…they’re 4 and 6, and so, that’s a little different, but whatever. It is what it is.”
It is! So what if her kids are possibly scream-singing in the backseat along to the equivalent of a sequel to “Never Again”? As long as they’re having fun!
She also told ET Canada’s Graeme O’Neil something that ought to have the Little Clarksonators scrambling through footage from the past few months: there’s a duet coming, and it’s with someone she sang with recently.
“I already have several, many songs for the album recorded. I actually just recorded a duet I wish I could talk about…it’s so good. I happened to sing with this person within the last six months or whatever,” she hinted.
“We love singing together so much. It’s so cool how our voices just sounded together, so my label found this perfect song, and we just recorded. It might be the next thing we release…it’s a different flow of a duet as well. It’s interesting to record a duet so far apart from the other person.”
As for anticipation for The Divorce Album™, Kelly told the LA Times that the process is proving therapeutic as always.
“It’s funny, I actually told my therapist recently, ‘I have no idea how one goes through any kind of huge life change, like a divorce, that doesn’t have some kind of an outlet.’ I am very lucky. Even from my childhood, my mom told me I had a problem expressing my emotions and all these things when I was really young and that I should start writing. So that’s me expressing it. I usually leave it in the songs and that’s usually my therapy,” she explained.
“It’s just like people dealing with the pandemic. Some days are fine, you’re laughing about it and there’s comedic things about it — in a dark comedy kind of way — but then there are other times that are so low that you just don’t know if you’re going to get picked back up. And then there’s other times when you’re like, ‘OK, fresh start’…I’m incapable of not incorporating it into my music because that is my outlet.”
Although declarations of “Most Personal” records can occasionally prove disappointing, it’s easy to have full faith in the woman who’s given us songs like “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” “Sober, a song I have never made through the full way without crying, “Irvine,” “You Love Me” and “Piece By Piece” over the years to turn all of those extreme emotions into an incredible body of work – and, hopefully, a healing one at that.
Prepare accordingly for Breakaway 2: Break Harder and/or My Permanent December: Winter Is Coming.
Photo credit: Atlantic Records / Carter Smith