Why Was Keith Urban Really Crying During Kelly Clarkson’s American Idol Performance?

Keith Urban was visibly moved when Kelly Clarkson performed an emotional stripped-back version of her single “Piece By Piece” on Fox’s American Idol on February 25, but why was he so teary?

According to a new report by Hollywood Life, it wasn’t just empathy for Clarkson that had Urban wiping away the tears during Kelly’s performance, as the song also allegedly made Keith think about his late father.

“Keith was touched by Kelly’s raw emotions during her performance but it was really his own emotions that had him feeling overwhelmed,” a source close to Urban told the site following the big American Idol performance earlier this week.

“Her song was all about her father and the father of her children which struck a chord with him. Unlike Kelly, Keith grew up having a great relationship with his father Bob,” the source continued, adding that Urban is still “heartbroken” by his dad’s death in December 2015.

“Hearing Kelly sing about what a great father her husband is got to Keith,” the source said.

Hollywood Life is also claiming that Clarkson’s stunning song really hit home for Urban as dad, who has two daughters of his own with wife Nicole Kidman.

“Keith is a dad as well to two beautiful daughters. Being the best father he can be to his two little angels is the most important thing in the word to Keith,” the source told Hollywood Life. “Kelly’s song hit home on all sorts of levels and [Keith] couldn’t help but break down in tears.”

Keith has made no secret of his heartbreak following his father’s death late last year when he issued a statement thanking fans for their support after his father lost his battle with cancer.

“I’ve been deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support that [Nicole] and I, and our family, have received since my Dad’s passing on Saturday night,” Urban said in a sincere statement back in December according to Entertainment Tonight.

“His long battle with cancer is now over and he is finally at peace,” Urban continued, admitting that it was his father’s love of country music that lead his to Nashville to become the country music megastar that he is today.

“My Dad’s love of country music and America set me on my life’s journey, and shaped so much of who I am today,” Keith Urban said at the time. “Thank you to everyone who has kept us all in your thoughts and prayers.”

Urban took to social media following Kelly’s performance – which also saw Clarkson break down and fellow American Idol judge Jenner Lopez tear up – where Keith admitted that the passionate performance left him “speechless.”

“I am truly speechless. Thank you for gracing us tonight with your beautiful heart, soul, gift, & your pure humanity,” Urban tweeted to Kelly on February 26.

Urban later described “Piece By Piece” as “insane” in a post-American Idol interview with Entertainment Tonight, where Keith joked that anyone not tearing up needs “to check [their] pulse.”

“It’s an amazing song,” Urban continued to the site. “The humanity in that moment was just [incredible]… You never see that, let alone on TV, so I was so grateful to be there to witness it.”

Fans took to social media to praise Keith after showing his emotions on the show, with many thinking him for showing it’s okay to cry.

“Thank you for letting the world know its ok to show #allthefeels,” @kmichelle1969 tweeted out, “You amaze me. #goodman.” @ymartinez731 also added on the 140-character site “Omg did u all see @KeithUrban cry like a baby. He really is a man if he cries that much n that fast. It’s ok Keith ur still awesome. Lol”

Watch Kelly Clarkson’s emotional performance of “Piece By Piece,” and Keith Urban’s teary reaction, on American Idol below.

[Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images]