Kelly Clarkson is following the recent footsteps of Kacey Musgraves, Adele, the Chicks and Miranda Lambert as she preps a post-divorce album. “When my ex and I first separated, there were many emotions. It was hard,” Clarkson told Variety in a new cover story about the songs she’s written in the midst of her separation and subsequent divorce filing against ex-husband Brandon Blackstock in 2020.
“My producer and I were laughing yesterday because I was like, ‘Remember that time we wrote, like, 25 songs in a week?’ A lot of those are the ones that are on the album,” she said of the as-yet-untitled collection. “I literally wrote most of these almost two years ago. Then I told my label, ‘I can’t talk about this until I’ve gone through it,’ and it’s just taken some time to do that. That’s one of the reasons we’ve done a lot of Christmas stuff the past two years — because I was like, ‘Well, that’s happy!’”; Clarkson released the holiday album When Christmas Comes Around in 2021.
As Clarkson gears up for the upcoming season four premiere of her eponymous daytime talk show — as well as the release of her revamp of “9 to 5” with Dolly Parton — the singer said she’s planning to release the “important” album next year as the long-awaited follow-up to 2017’s Meaning of Life. “I’m working on this in therapy: I have a hard time vocalizing what I’m feeling sometimes, so music is helpful for me,” she told Variety. “It’s just been really healing. I recorded the record quite some time ago.”
The new music was reportedly inspired by the “emotional journey” Clarkson went through during her tumultuous split with Blackstone, with whom she has two young children. “I hadn’t really been working hardcore on an album until I needed to. I was just very busy,” she said of the album that will be released by Atlantic Records.
“There were so many jobs, and I’m a single mom — well, even with being married, it’s a lot, trying to fit kids’ schedules in and all that stuff. But then the whole divorce thing happened, and I needed to write it. And then I didn’t know if I was going to release it, because you can be very angry in that state of mind. So some of the songs, they definitely cover the gamut of emotions; there’s everything on the album. It’s almost like the arc of a relationship, because the beginning is so beautiful and so sweet, and then it evolves. And sometimes it doesn’t evolve how you want.”
Clarkson said she’s “definitely” going to tour and do some shows, but while she’s looking forward to getting back on stage at some point, she has to work gigs in around the schedule of her talk show and her gig on The Voice. We’re figuring that out,” she said. “But when you write an album that’s so personal, it’s just therapeutic to be able to get up there… I know there are other guys and girls out there that have been through this kind of breakup who are going to need to scream at the top of their lungs — you can come and join me.”