Kelly Clarkson thumbed her way from LA back to Knoxville for the latest “Kellyoke” installment on her talk show Wednesday (June 1), delivering a heartfelt cover of Ronnie Milsap’s 1980 hit, “Smoky Mountain Rain.”
“I’ll keep on searching / I can’t go on hurting this way / She’s somewhere in the Smoky Mountain rain,” she sings, adding some soul with her powerful vocals to the country classic. The song was written by Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan. In 2010, the song became Tennessee’s eighth official state song.
“Smoky Mountain Rain” also saw success on the Billboard charts upon its release. The song peaked at No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart dated February 28, 1981. The track is also one of Milsap’s 35 No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart, topping the tally dated December 6, 1980.
Last week, Clarkson shared the news that she’ll be releasing her long-requested Kellyoke EP on June 9. Arriving via Atlantic Records, the six-song project features her take on Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever” as its lead single and will also include covers of hits by Linda Ronstadt (“Blue Bayou”), The Weeknd (“Call Out My Name”), Whitney Houston (“Queen of the Night”) and more.
Watch Kelly Clarkson’s cover of Milsap’s “Smoky Mountain Rain” below.