The Kelly Clarkson Show got a serving of early ’80s soft rock on Monday (June 13). Performing for the latest episode of Kellyoke, Kelly Clarkson and her band Y’all pulled at heartstrings with a passionate cover of Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks‘ iconic hit “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.”
Washed in purple light, the American Song Contest host performed the classic duet as a solo vocalist supported in part by backup singers. “Baby, you could never look me in the eye, you buckle with the weight of the words,” she sang, belting one of her trademark, always impressive sustained notes on the last word of “Stop draggin’ my, stop draggin’ my, stop draggin’ my heart around.”
Though “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” was a collaboration between the Fleetwood Mac frontwoman and Petty’s band, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, the song actually served as the world’s introduction to Nicks as a solo artist. Peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, it was the lead single off Nicks’ highly successful 1981 debut album, Bella Donna — which also became known for the single “Edge of Seventeen.” (Clarkson covered “Seventeen” on her talk show earlier this year.)
The duet sparked the beginning of a decades-long friendship between Nicks and Petty, as well as a professional relationship, as revealed by the late singer-songwriter in Paul Zollo’s 2005 book Conversations With Tom Petty. “As time went by, Stevie and I hung out a bit, we got to know her more and more, she would come over to my house and just hang out and play records,” he said. “And we’d sing a bit. We used to sit around and play the guitar and sing.”
Watch Kelly Clarkson perform “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty below.