Kelly Clarkson debuted her new song “Piece by Piece” on American Idol last week, bringing herself, the judges, and the audience to tears. Now, the mom-to-be is opening up about the inspiration behind the emotional song, and how her father’s absence affected her throughout her life.
Kelly Clarkson’s father has been absent the majority of her life, and although it was hard on her growing up, she said she didn’t realize just how much it bothered her until she was pregnant with her daughter.
“I don’t even think I understood the gravity of [my relationship with my father] until I was pregnant with [River Rose],” Clarkson told Ryan Seacrest during a radio interview on On-Air with Ryan Seacrest on Monday, February 29. “I was like, ‘I cannot imagine not seeing this kid to his or her full potential and just seeing what she’s going to do, what she’s going to be like.’ … I don’t think I knew how much [my relationship with my father] affected me until writing that song. I definitely didn’t know how it would affect me like it does when I sing it live because that’s not fun.”
Clarkson, who has a 19-month-old daughter, River Rose, is expecting her second child, a little boy, with her husband Brandon Blackstock. Being a mother, Clarkson said, and watching Blackstock with their daughter, made her realize just how much of an impact her own father had on her life. “Piece by Piece,” Clarkson said, is about a father who abandons his daughter, and how a supportive husband teaches her to love and trust again.
“Watching my husband love on his daughter all the time, you know, go to her events and just be there and, like, be present is, like, hard to watch but beautiful to watch,” Clarkson explained. “I know that my kids are going to have that. Y’all are totally going to make me cry on this interview. I’m so glad you can’t see me.”
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) March 1, 2016
Clarkson, who is now 33 years old, said she is no longer angry at her father, but she is tired of trying to salvage their relationship when it only ends with her getting hurt.
“I’m 33 years old, I’m a grown woman. But it’s more of that thing where you can try your hardest to salvage relationships — and I did — but at the end of the day, if you keep getting hurt by someone because they just don’t know how to properly love people, it’s just not worth it,” she said. “It’s not worth the strain in your heart and it starts to bleed into your other relationships and it becomes super dysfunctional.”
— SoundsLikeNashville (@SoundsLikeNash) March 1, 2016
On Thursday, February 25, Clarkson, the original American Idol, stepped on the stage and belted out the lyrics to “Piece by Piece.” The entire crowd, including the judges, were hanging on her every word, and had tears streaming down their faces by the time the song was over. Clarkson, herself, had to take a moment in the midst of the song to regain her composure after becoming overwhelmed with emotion.
“I’m pregnant and it’s nostalgic and I can’t believe it’s the last season,” Clarkson said at the time. “Yeah, really sorry I just bawled.”
“I am still overwhelmed and in shock from last night,” Kelly Clarkson said in a statement on Friday, according to People Magazine. “The response to ‘Piece By Piece’ has me in tears. To say last night was nostalgic would be an understatement. It was an unforgettable moment and to have my family and friends there with me made it even more magical.”
[Photo by Victoria Will/ Invision/ Associated Press]