Kelly Clarkson reached back to the early 1980s on Wednesday (July 7) for her latest Kellyoke cover when she slid into the driver’s seat for a slow, sensual take on the The Cars’ signature ballad, “Drive.” The song, originally written by late Cars singer Ric Ocasek and sung by late bassist Benjamin Orr, was a No. 3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for the new wave group in 1984.
It was a perfect fit for the longing in Clarkson’s voice as she sang, “You can’t go on/ Thinking nothing’s wrong, oh no/ Who’s gonna drive you home/ Tonight?” Clarkson kept things pretty mellow for her cover, bathing the stage in blue and green light, a sharp break from the dramatic visual for the song from the Cars’ multi-platinum Heartbeat City album.
The original, directed by actor Timothy Hutton, featured then-18-year-old model Paulina Porizkova, who would later marry and have two sons with Ocasek. Wednesday’s cover came after Clarkson paid homage to moms who held down the fort through the global pandemic on her daily syndicated show on Tuesday with Starship’s inspiring “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”
Watch Clarkson’s performance of “Drive” below.