In a preview of the discussion, during which she discussed selecting the six songs to cover on her latest release, the talk-show host said she knew that Billie Eilish‘s “Happier Than Ever” would be something of a no-brainer. “That song just was so, I think, poignant for so many people,” she said. “So that one really did hit home for me and I really, really, really wanted to do that one.
“Because we’d done it on [The Kelly Clarkson Show],” the American Idol winner continued, “and I was like, ‘God, this song is amazing,’ and I like the fact that I got to change it up and kind of put my own spin on it. I cover her all the time, I love her music. Just a really great songwriter. And even the vibe of the songs, their team is just so good. So I was pretty sure I wanted to do that one and that one went viral, so the ones that we know the fans like, we obviously went to as well.”
However, it turns out that the recording process behind her next release — an as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2021’s When Christmas Comes Around… — hasn’t been quite as easy for The Voice coach.
“It’s been the hardest thing to navigate,” Clarkson explained. “I’ve never had this difficult of a project. It’s one of those things where I’m a human and I’m going through something huge. Obviously, everybody knows a huge divorce [from ex-husband Brandon Blackstock] went through, and it’s been, like, two years and not easy with kids, especially that makes it just a whole different dynamic.
“Even how I said ‘Happier Than Ever,’ Billie’s song, that song I’m sure means a whole heap of different thing for her,” she went on. “But the domino effect of her releasing that and how it affects so many other people, because those are the songs when you are completely honest and you’re angry and you’re sad and you’re hurt. And all those things, that equation makes for the best songs. So I’m just navigating what I’m comfortable with releasing.”
Meanwhile, Clarkson’s last non-holiday release was 2017’s Meaning of Life, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and contained lead single “Love So Soft,” as well as highlights like “I Don’t Think About You,” “Would You Call That Love” and “Medicine.”
Clarkson’s Apple Music 1 interview airs at 6 p.m. ET on June 29.