Kelly Clarkson’s divorce from Brandon Blackwell was one of the most tumultuous in recent history as far as celebrity splits go. The pair married in 2013 after a little more than a year of dating, and seven years (and two kids) later, the American Idol alum filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.
It took two years for the divorce to be finalized, and throughout the process, Clarkson was candid about the unfortunate realities of dissolving a marriage — in general and as a public figure — while trying to maintain privacy for the sake of herself and her kids. One thing in particular that she made very clear is that she would be writing an album about the experience, as music is her way of coping with life’s challenges.
From Kelly Clarkson to Angelina Jolie, these celebrity divorce cases are mighty expensive! We wonder how many of them signed a prenup prior to their union. 👀 https://t.co/Dqv7cplmvi
— SheKnows (@SheKnows) July 30, 2021
During a 2020 interview on Sunday Today With Willie Geist, the “Since U Been Gone” singer revealed, “This next record, this will probably be the most personal one I’ve ever released. The whole record is basically every emotion you experience from the beginning of a relationship to the end of what it is now or where it is now.” She added, “It’s been very therapeutic for me. It’s very honest.”
She spoke in more detail about the upcoming album, titled Chemistry, during a 2022 interview with Variety, telling the outlet, “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.” The Voice judge continued, “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.”
Kelly Clarkson's latest album, 'Chemistry,' offers an insightful look inside her relationship with Brandon Blackstock. https://t.co/b8tSwM7Ert
— SheKnows (@SheKnows) April 14, 2023
With the release of two singles from Chemistry, it’s clear that Clarkson won’t be holding back any lingering thoughts and feelings about her divorce from Blackwell much longer. On April 14, the multi-award-winning artist released “Mine” and “Me” from what will be her tenth studio album, and the lyrics tell the brutal story of a devolving relationship.
In “Mine,” Clarkson sings, “Someone’s gonna show you how a heart can be used, like you did mine.” The pointed lyrics continue in “Me,” which includes the lines, “Your insecurity was the death of you and me / Too many times you questioned what were my intentions.”
While we wait for the entire album to drop in June, we’re taking a look back on the most candid, vulnerable things Clarkson has said about life after divorce.
Divorce Touches More Than Two People
During the season 2 opener of The Kelly Clarkson Show in September 2020, Clarkson touched on the complexity of divorce. She explained, “What I am dealing with is hard because it involves more than just my heart. It involves a lot of little hearts.”
The “Already Gone” singer continued, “We have four kids and divorce is never easy. We’re both from divorced families, so we know the best thing here is to protect our children and their little hearts.”
She concluded, “I’m usually very open, and I usually talk about everything, but in this case, I will talk a little bit here and there about how it affects me personally, but probably won’t go too far into it. Because, you know, I’m a mamma bear and my kids come first.”
Sometimes Relationships Don’t Work Out As Expected
Days later, the Grammy award-winning artist also appeared on TODAY and chatted with Hoda Kotb about her divorce. “You can ask anyone that’s gone through divorce, I don’t think anyone expects it,” Clarkson said.
“You know, you see yourself growing old with someone and then life has a different path,” she shared. “And it’s so hard on everyone. You know me, I’m really open so it just… I try to be open and share because we all go through things and can help each other not feel alone.”
On the Importance of a Support System
Clarkson explained how she was able to navigate divorce with the help of her support system, telling Extra in October 2020, “I have a great family and friends that are there for me.” She continued, “We have a lot of help as far as therapists or child psychologists because we want to do it right. Everyone’s sad and it’s okay to be sad.”
Out With the Old, In With the New
While speaking with Fran Drescher during a December 2020 episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, the “Heartbreak Song” singer shared some of the things she was doing to feel happy again.
She said, “I got a new house, it’s very white and clean … and I also redid my office here [at the show]. I looked at Kevin in our art department and I was like, ‘Please help me make this make sense.'” Clarkson added, “I just wanted to feel happy. The colors make me feel very good.”
Co-Parenting As Divorced Partners
Chatting with Khloé Kardashian about the struggles of co-parenting during a February 2021 episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, the talk show host said, “It’s tough. I know with me and Brandon, it’s just a difficult thing because we’re in different places, and it’s like, we both agree on the main things, but it’s a hard thing when you’re not together all the time, for me personally.”
Shying Away From Another Marriage
Talking with Gwyneth Paltrow during a March 2021 episode of her show, Clarkson expressed a disinterest in marrying again. The musician said, “Coming from someone who’s literally amidst a divorce, I can’t even imagine doing it again.”
She added, “So that’s amazing that you found love [after divorce], and you found the space and the vulnerability — that level to say yes, and do it again.”
During her December 2021 Kelly Clarkson Presents: When Christmas Comes Around special, the “Underneath the Tree” singer said, “The holidays come with a whole range of emotions.”
Before performing her song “Merry Christmas (To the One I Used to Know),” she explained, “I’m gonna be real with y’all — when I wrote this next song, I was crying my face off, which happens even at Christmastime, everyone. I had just put my kids to bed and I was just going through it, having a really hard time, and it’s been a really tough year for a lot of us.”
Clarkson continued, “I wrote this song for me, but also because there aren’t many holiday songs for people feeling alone or lost or just plain sad other than Dolly Parton’s classic ‘Hard Candy Christmas,’ which we all love. It’s about getting through a tough holiday. I absolutely love that song and it allowed me to write this.”
No Regrets, Only Growth
During a December 2021 appearance on the Love Someone with Delilah podcast, Clarkson explained why she has no regrets about her divorce. “I feel like that’s what shapes you, it’s what makes you a better person, it’s what makes you recognize: ‘OK I missed those red flags, I missed that, I ignored that on purpose.’”
Adding that she wasn’t ready to start dating, she said, “I don’t think you have to have someone with you all the time. I really do enjoy my work, my kids, my creative self, that sometimes — I got stifled. Like in relationships, it’s hard to be as creative as I can because I wear my heart on my sleeve, so I really enjoy [being single].”
The Voice judge mused, “Maybe in the future, you never know — well, I do know I won’t get married again — but you never know about love. I think we’re engineered, especially from where I’m from, to have to have that, and I don’t have that need. And I think that’s also what you learn about yourself in those hard moments.”
Moving On At Her Own Pace
Joking about her reluctance to date during a January 2023 appearance on Access Daily, Clarkson said, “My therapist, it’s funny, was literally like, ‘You should go on a date,’ and I’m like, ‘No.'”
She explained, “I sound like such a cliche, but I’m really enjoying, like, me. I also, I don’t think marriage has to be for everyone. I think that you can exist in a relationship and it can be what you want it to be.”
Divorce Isn’t Ever in the Plan
“I think the thing about divorce — especially having it publicized, and people thinking they know the whole thing — the hardest part of that is, like, it wasn’t an overnight decision,” Clarkson explained during a March 2023 appearance on the Angie Martinez IRL podcast.
She went on, “Anyone that’s been divorced [knows]. That was years in trying to make — not make it work, ’cause I never wanted to be part of something to ‘make it work.’ I wanted to make it beautiful. I wanted to make it awesome. I wanted to make it everything it possibly could be, and sometimes that just doesn’t happen,” the singer said.
Helping Her Kids Work Through Big Divorce-Related Feelings
During her chat with Martinez, the “Breakaway” singer also revealed how she encourages her kids to feel however they truly feel regarding the divorce and how she tries to help them work through their emotions.
“I literally ask my kids every night when we’re snuggling, ‘Are you happy? And if you’re not, what could make you happier?’” she shared. “Sometimes they’ll say — especially the past two years — a lot of it — and it kills me — and I want them to be honest, so I don’t ever say, ‘Oh God, don’t tell me that.’ But a lot of times it would be like, ‘You know, I’m just really sad. I wish mommy and daddy were in the same house.’ And they’re really honest about it. And I’m raising that kind of individual,” Clarkson said.
She continued, “I just sit there and I’m like, ‘I get it. I’m from a divorced family as well. I get it. That sucks. But we’re going to work it out. And you are so loved by both of us.’”
The “Stronger” singer concluded, “I think communicating with them and not treating them — not treating them like an adult, because they’re not — but not treating them like a child [is key]. They’re not small feelings. Those are huge feelings, and those are huge emotions.”
Open to Love, But Not to Marriage
“I won’t be getting married,” Clarkson also told Martinez during the podcast episode. “In my life, I’ve been through a couple of divorces in my own family as a kid. I would love to fall in love. I would love to find someone and fall in love and do that thing, but I have children and that’s why I say [that,]” she explained.
The multi-award-winning artist revealed, “I didn’t have the most positive experience with step-situations and re-marrying and I didn’t have the most positive situation growing up. I will not do that to my children.” She concluded, “I would love to fall in love, but I don’t want another dude in my house with my children.”
Leave a Comment