Kelly Clarkson Gets 'Oprah'd' by Thomas Rhett's Touching Adoption Story, Covers Madonna's 'Like a Prayer'

Kelly Clarkson Show
Courtesy Photo

Kelly Clarkson covers Madonna's "Like A Prayer" on the Kelly Clarkson Show.

Thursday's (April 30) edition of The Kelly Clarkson Show was touching as heck.

There is nothing that can slow Kelly Clarkson down. And there's no way she's going to stop blowing our minds with new Kellyoke covers during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Oops, she did it again on Thursday (April 30) when she casually crushed a rendition of Madonna's holy rollin' 1989 smash "Like a Prayer" from the safety of her Montana ranch during her daytime talk show.

Singing from a corner of her cabin surrounded by a series of screen effects and joined remotely by her house band, Clarkson took the song to church, lifting hopes and spirits with her take on the song.

Thursday's edition of The Kelly Clarkson Show was touching in another way, too. Clarkson spoke to country singer Thomas Rhett and his wife, Lauren Akins, to hear the touching story of the adoption of their four-year-old daughter Willa Gray Akins.

"I just thought it was really cool," said Akins, who shared that her mom was adopted and that she'd "always talked" about adopting a child. "We'd talked about it off and on, but it wasn't something that we had sat down and had, like, a full-on adoption conversation."

The dream became a reality after Akins visited Uganda in 2016 with the 147 Million Orphans organization and shared a photo of Willa on social media, realizing after a chat with Rhett that they had to find her a "forever home." Clarkson got emotional listening to the story, tearing up as Akins described the process.

"I was, like, so moved. I mean, the second I touched her, it was, like, electric," Akins said. "I was like, 'Oh my word. This little girl has just taken my heart.' I was like, 'Honey, we've gotta find her her forever home. Like, I know that's why I'm here is to get this girl to her home.'"

Clarkson joked that the couple had "Oprah'd" her, after she did her own makeup and did not use waterproof mascara. "It's so beautiful because I know that feeling," said Clarkson, mother of two and stepmother to husband Brandon Blackstock's two children from a previous marriage. "As a mama, you touch them and you hug them. It doesn't matter if it's yours or not. We're a blended family. You're like, this is my purpose. It's such a powerful thing."

Rhett kept the tears coming when he remembered talking to Akins after one of his shows and telling her he was certain about adoption. "I don't fully remember even saying it," Rhett recalled. "It was, like, such a spiritual thing for me that it came out of my body. Then, literally two weeks after, we were having home assessments and talking to adoption agencies."

Watch the "Like a Prayer" cover and interview with Rhett and Akins below.


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