The bubbling soul anthem from Adele’s third album, 2015’s 25, was right in Clarkson’s sweet spot: riding on a chugging guitar line, simple drums and a handclap beat as her vocals simmered before blooming in the chorus.
Back by gospel-like backing vocals, Clarkson sang the track’s plea for romantic mercy, “If you’re gonna let me down/ Let me down gently don’t pretend/ That you don’t want me/ Our love ain’t water under the bridge.” It was the perfect way to ease into a new week of Kellyoke performances, as it built up to a crescendo before ending with a soaring a cappella section.
The original track, produced by Greg Kurstin, was the fourth and final single from Adele’s most recent album, peaking at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in February 2017. 25 won Grammys for album of the year and best pop vocal album. Adele and Clarkson are the only two-time winners in the latter category, which originated in 1994. Adele won for 21 and 25; Clarkson for Breakaway and Stronger.
Clarkson warmed up for Monday’s performance by appearing at this weekend’s “We’re Texas” all-star fundraising concert benefitting those impacted by February’s devastating winter storms. At the event organized by Matthew McConaughey and his wife, Camila Alves, the Fort Worth native brought the thunder with her rendition of “Whole Lotta Woman,” the soul-stirring anthem from Clarkson’s eight studio album, 2017’s Meaning of Life.
Watch “Water Under the Bridge” below.