Kelly Clarkson hasn’t released a studio album of original songs since 2017 and there is a reason for that. In a new interview conducted right before the OG American Idol winner headed out on vacation with her kids, Kelly shared that she can’t write music that isn’t honest. And coming off a messy divorce from Brandon Blackstock, with so many people involved, including her young children, it’s tricky.
“It’s been the hardest thing to navigate,” Kelly told The Chart Show with Brooke Reese on Apple Music 1. “I’ve never had this difficult of a project,” she said.
Because her fans and her record company Atlantic, want new music sooner rather than later, Kelly decided to release an EP of covers she performed on her show. The “Kellyoke” covers of songs from a wide range of genres are a wildly popular segment on her afternoon talk show, The Kelly Clarkson Show.
She wasn’t planning on releasing an album of covers. “I kinda figured they were on Youtube…people can hear them if they want.” However, she performs 1:30 versions of the songs on her show, and her fans wanted full versions.
“My label, I keep having talks with, because I’m just not ready to release my album”
“Also, my label, I keep having talks with, because I’m just not ready to release my album,” Kelly confessed. “I’ve never had something so huge happen in my life in a way where I’m like, ‘I can’t quite navigate it’ especially when it’s not just me. I’m having such a hard time with that album!”
So instead, Kelly dropped what she calls a “bridge project,” the six-song Kellyoke EP.
While the singer and TV personality figured she was giving fans what they asked for, she became nervous. “Are people going to hate this because it’s not an album?” she wondered. But she’s not pretending that it’s anything other than a stopgap until the next album. “I’ve been doing Kellyokes even before the TV show. I’ve been doing that on the road for years,” She also noted, ” I’ve never covered a song on my albums, not ever.”
Kelly confessed, “I’ve never had this difficult of a project. I’m a human, I’ve gone through something huge…a big huge divorce.” She added, “It’s been two years [the divorce], and not easy with kids. Forget if I’m famous in the limelight. My outlet in general is just writing.” But it’s only therapeutic if she is “completely honest.”
For instance, she used “Happier Than Ever,” the Billie Eilish cover that went viral after she covered it.”That song I’m sure means a whole heap of different things for her. And it’s her world and why she wrote it. But Kelly notes the inevitable “domino effect of her releasing that and how it affects so many other people.”
“I’m just navigating what I’m comfortable with releasing”
“Those are the songs when you are completely honest and you’re angry and you’re sad and you’re hurt. That equation makes for the best songs,” Kelly continued. “So I’m just navigating what I’m comfortable with releasing.”
The singer assured fans they won’t have to wait forever. “It’s coming,” Kelly promises. “I just gotta get my crap together. I just gotta figure out what I’m going to release.”
It took two years for Kelly to settle her divorce with Blackstock. He recently moved out of the Montana ranch they lived in together during the quarantine. He didn’t want to leave. The court granted Kelly ownership of the property, but she had to give him a small percentage.