Kelly Clarkson Covers Mr. Rogers Classic, ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’

Billboard Music Awards host Kelly Clarkson attends a photo call at Universal Studios Hollywood on May 17, 2018.
Phillip Faraone / Getty Images

Kelly Clarkson covered the theme song from the iconic children’s television series Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” for the opening of the latest episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show.

At the beginning of each episode, Kelly covers tunes from other artists for the “Kellyoke” portion of her series. For the Tuesday, December 3 show, she chose the classic tune that heralded the beginning of each episode of the long-running PBS television series.

Clarkson jazzed up the series’ theme song for her audience, and the result was a beautiful and heartfelt version that wowed both her audience and viewers alike.

Instead of walking out behind her studio audience and descending the stairs while mingling with the crowd as she usually does, Kelly instead opened the show standing on stage backed with a four-piece band as she leaned on a mic stand.

Kelly wore a floral dress in fall colors, and her long, blond hair cascaded down her shoulders as she sang. She looked stunning, accenting the overall look with black stockings, knee boots, and simple gold hoops on her ears.

Behind her, a silhouette of a dancer, in character as Fred Rogers, took off his jacket, hung it up, and put on a sweater. The dancer then took off his sneakers and tossed them up in the air to catch them, as Fred did during every episode opening of the series.

The camera then zoomed in on Kelly for a close-up shot. Her eyes were closed as she sang and the dancer, silhouetted behind a curtain, performed a sweet dance montage that continued as Kelly wrapped up the tune.

In a touching tribute to Fred Rogers, Kelly’s band was outfitted in the host’s iconic red sweater, as were members of the studio audience.

The theme of the show continued as Kelly welcomed Tom Hanks, who played Fred Rogers in the film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, as a guest-star on the popular talk series.

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Fans were delighted by the surprising song cover. This was reflected in the statements they made on the show’s Instagram page where the performance was featured.

In the comments section of the post, one fan remarked that they were eagerly waiting for an album of cover songs Kelly has performed on her talk show and included several hearts, clapping hands, and smiling face emoji. Another told The Voice coach that they would be her neighbor, in reference to the song’s lyrics.

Another viewer stated sentimentally, “Very touching and beautiful! I cried. Loved Mr. Rogers & I love Kelly!”

“Soooo fabulous! Thank you, Kelly Clarkson… Thank you, Mr. Rogers,” commented another fan on Instagram.