The first Idol winner returned to the stage to sing “Piece by Piece,” a heartfelt song about her father who left her when she was six years old. She wrote the song, while she was pregnant with her first child, about how good of a father her husband is and will be.
As she neared the end of the song, Clarkson had to stop briefly to compose herself as she started crying. She received a standing ovation from Ryan Seacrest and the three judges, and Keith Urban cried as she performed.
After her performance, Seacrest joined her on stage to talk about her experience. “I’m pregnant, and it’s nostalgic, and I can’t believe it’s the last season,” said Clarkson, adding that she’s proud she got through most of the song before “bawling.”
“It’s just a touching song for me,” said the singer, “because I wrote it about my little girl when I was pregnant, and now I’m pregnant with my little boy.”
Not long after it aired on the East Coast, Clarkson’s “Piece by Piece” soared into the top 10 on Billboard + Twitter’s Trending 140 real-time chart, peaking at No. 2 Friday morning.
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter