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Kelly Clarkson attends the 2020 Hollywood Beauty Awards at The Taglyan Complex on February 6, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (AFP/Tibrina Hobson)
Kelly Clarkson is “a very open person”—a quality that lends itself perfectly to her job as the host of her eponymous daytime talk show.
But though her job description now includes tackling a wide range of issues, from racism and police brutality to mental health struggles, there’s one thing she’s wary of touching: her divorce.
“I think I will navigate a way in which to be open and honest about it eventually, probably via the show, and it will probably—I’m assuming—happen organically, when someone says something in a conversation. It definitely wouldn’t be planned,” she related in a recent article in the Los Angeles Times.
Last June, claiming “irreconcilable differences, the 38-year-old pop star filed for divorce from her husband of seven years, Brandon Blackstock. They have two children: 6-year-old daughter, River Rose, and 4-year-old son, Remington Alexander. Brandon also has two other kids from a previous marriage.
They’re the main reason Kelly isn’t keen on divulging more than she feels she should about the separation. “I’m not going to be truly open about this in certain aspects, because there are kids involved,” she pointed out.
“There are a lot of little hearts involved. And while people feel, ‘Oh my gosh, what a loss,’ imagine how it is in the epicenter of the storm. It’s a lot to process and deal with, just as a family,” Kelly added. “So because it’s not just me, I probably won’t go too deep with it.”
But while the nitty-gritty of the divorce is something she wants to keep to herself for the time being, her current state of mind and heart was something she can afford to be candid about.
“I mean, it’s no secret. My life has been a little bit of a dumpster… Personally, it has been a little hard the last couple months,” Kelly admitted in a recent video interview with the Today show. “I have been talking to friends who have been through divorce. I don’t know how people go through that without having some kind of outlet because it’s the worst thing ever for everyone involved.”
Fortunately, songwriting will always be there for Kelly as an emotional outlet. And given what she’s been through, one could expect her upcoming album to be a very personal one—a ride of all the “emotions you experience from the beginning of a relationship to the end of what it is or where it is now.”
“I’m very lucky. Even in my childhood, my mom told me I had a problem expressing my emotions … and that I should start writing. So, that’s me expressing it. I leave it in the songs, and that’s usually my therapy,” Kelly told the LA Times.
The singer-songwriter continued: “Some days are fine: You’re laughing about it and there are comedic things about it—in a dark comedy kind of way. But then, there are other times that are so low you just don’t know if you’re going to get picked back up. And then there are other times when you’re like, ‘OK, fresh start.’
“I’m incapable of not incorporating it into my music because that’s my outlet,” she added.
Singing onstage and recording albums have always been Kelly’s ultimate dream—something that came to fruition, after winning the first season of the popular singing contest American Idol in 2002. Now, after 25 million albums sold and three Grammy awards later, Kelly finds herself branching out into hosting—something she has never dreamed of doing.
“I will be completely honest, and I have been since the beginning: I didn’t want this job,” she said of The Kelly Clarkson Show, whose second season will employ a combination of live and video interviews in adherence to safety protocols prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
But after getting the chance to have meaningful conversations with celebrities and people from all walks of life, Kelly can now say that hosting is “the dream I didn’t know I had.”
“I have talked to the people who have been hit hardest by this (COVID-19 pandemic)—financially, emotionally, mentally … it’s really the everyday people in this show who have just lifted my spirits when I’m feeling like, ‘Oh my God, nothing else could possibly go wrong at this point, like, send in the locusts,’” she said.
As it turned out, she may be as good a host as she is an entertainer. Her talk show, which aptly features karaoke segments, won for Kelly the outstanding entertainment talk show host trophy at this year’s Daytime Emmy Awards, beating out the likes of Ryan Seacrest, Kelly Rippa and Sharon Osbourne.
The show’s pilot week also reportedly attracted 2.6 million viewers—the best premiere rating for a new first-run show since Katie in 2012.
“I totally forgot that the Emmys were on,” she told “Today.” “I’m sitting there playing with Legos with my kid. And my executive producer Alex called me and was like, ‘You’re the best host.’ And I was, like, ‘Thank you.’ I was having kind of a hard week, and I literally almost started crying, because I was like, ‘This is just the nicest thing, to call someone out of nowhere and just be kind.’”
“‘No, no, no, no,’ she said, ‘You won the Emmy…’ And I was, like, ‘What?!’”
“Insane” pretty much sums up the unexpected win. “I was shocked,” Kelly said.
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