“Why does the sun go on shining?/ Why does the sea rush to shore?/ Why do the birds go on singing?/ Why do the stars glow above?/ Don’t they know it’s the end of the world?/ It ended when I lost your love/ I wake up in the morning and I wonder/ Why everything’s the same as it was/ I can’t understand, no I can’t understand/ How life goes on the way it does,” she crooned wearing an autumn-colored floral-print dress and studded black belt.
During the episode, Clarkson welcome Joel McHale, Euphoria star Storm Reid and members of the country’s oldest women’s softball team, the Colorado Peaches, to the studio, eventually culminating in a game of snowball tic-tac-toe between the talk show host and Community actor with some help from the athletes.
The American Idol winner’s cover of Van Etten’s 2017 track — which in itself is a cover of Skeeter Davis’ 1962 original — follows other recent “Kellyoke” performances including Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young,” “Another Day in Paradise” by Phil Collins, “You Make My Dreams” by Hall and Oates and “She Used to Be Mine” from Broadway’s Waitress.
Clarkson’s also entering the new year on the heels of quite the successful holiday season, which saw the release of her second Christmas album When Christmas Comes Around… as well as the premiere of her own NBC holiday special and her fourth win as a coach on The Voice with sibling trio Girl Named Tom taking home the season 21 trophy.
Check out Clarkson’s stunning rendition of “The End of the World” below.