Kelly Clarkson let her emotions take over while recording her latest album, Chemistry, her first since ending her marriage to Brandon Blackstock.
Clarkson first met Blackstock in May 2006 and they were married in October 2013. They went on to have two children together, 8-year-old daughter River and 7-year-old son Remington, before announcing their split in 2020. Their divorce was finalized a year later.
“I was just crying, like, a lot,” Clarkson told Nancy O’Dell on TalkShopLive of making music largely inspired by her breakup. “Ending a relationship, you know, that’s gone on for years. You have children. It’s so involved. There are so many layers to it. …I just wrote a bunch of music, like two and a half to three years ago. And then I think the thinking came in when it was like, what’s appropriate and inappropriate.”
The 41-year-old singer and talk show host admitted that she was hesitant at first to release this album given the personal subject matter in the songs.
“It’s hard when you have kids and you’re like, ‘OK, how do I address this?’ I picked the [songs for this album] that I thought were, I mean there are definitely ones on there where ‘Mommy was angry’ but mommies get angry and that’s healthy, that happens. I don’t polish my life and show it to my children. They see it as a whole, which I think is healthier.”
Clarkson added that she’s now in a very different head space than she was when she wrote Chemistry, but admitted that it is sometimes tough to now perform these songs live.
“I wrote these so long ago that I’m in a different place. But it is hard, because I’ve had to sing them all live,” she shared. “And I’m incapable of not feeling and going to that moment, so that’s hard, emotionally, but I’m in a different place now than when I wrote these, and a much healthier place.”
Even though they faced hard times and ultimately broke up, Clarkson explained that the title of her album is a nod to Blackstock.
“I never really connected before my ex-husband. And I never connected with anybody like that. I’d never felt that,” she shared. “I just remembered the first time we even met, I was like, ‘Whoa.’ I just felt something. And then it can go very poorly, chemistry. You can have amazing chemistry with somebody who you really shouldn’t be with, you know? Not that that one person is good or bad, whatever. It’s just not a healthy environment. I just feel like chemistry is a beautiful and amazing thing but it’s powerful for the good and the bad. It makes you do stupid stuff.”
Clarkson is now about to undergo another big change as she’s decided to move The Kelly Clarkson Show and her family from Los Angeles to New York City. She said the decision was “100 percent” her idea and told her crew that she could not continue hosting the program unless she went back east.
Now that she’s in a new city, is Clarkson ready for love again?
“I definitely am open to love. I’m not looking for it,” she said. “First of all, I won’t dive in unless I feel [chemistry]. I mean, I was single ’til I was like, 30, basically. I’m not looking for that because I feel like I just now got to such a peaceful place.”
Clarkson continued, “I think a lot of people jump out of relationships and jump right into another one. I’m not judging, do you. But I just think maybe it’s a bad decision in the long run. So I feel like I’m taking time for me and my kids and enjoying this move, enjoying New York. But I mean if it comes along, I’m not an idiot, I’ll jump in if I feel a chemical reaction. I love that kind of high.”
Chemistry, Clarkson’s 10th studio album, will be released on June 23.
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