How Kelly Clarkson's Divorce Played Into Her Christmas Music The Last Two Years

Kelly Clarkson on The Kelly Clarkson Show.
(Image credit: NBC)

Kelly Clarkson has been open about how tough the past couple of years have been for her. In 2020 she filed for divorce from Brandon Blackstock, embarking on two years of court battles with her ex and his family that will extend into 2023, despite her divorce being finalized in March. For a songwriter like Clarkson, there’s no way she could go through such an emotional time and not have it translate into her music. However, it turns out that while she was trying to navigate all of her complex feelings about the end of her marriage, she was also able to find a different kind of outlet through her Christmas music. 

Next year, the OG American Idol winner is set to release her first studio album of original music since 2017. Kelly Clarkson spoke with Variety about all of the emotions she’s felt over the past two years, saying she needed to process her experiences a bit before eternalizing them in album form. That need for a pause had the unintended benefit — for fans and for Clarkson — of additional Christmas music from the artist. She explained: 

When my ex and I first separated, there were many emotions. It was hard. 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. 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!’

I don’t see anything wrong with choosing to focus on something happier like the holidays, rather than relive the heartbreak of what went down with Brandon Blackstock. It’s not like her 2021 Christmas album When Christmas Comes Around… didn’t hint at her personal life anyway, with the first single being a ditty called “Christmas Isn’t Canceled (Just You).” The mix of original songs and covers also includes her popular duet with fellow former coach on The Voice, Ariana Grande, “Santa, Can’t You Hear Me.”

Whatever genre of music Kelly Clarkson is writing, there’s no denying the emotion she puts into it. She estimates that while going through her divorce, she’s written “like, 60 songs,” which was therapeutic, regardless of how many of those end up being included on her upcoming album. 

The biggest struggle Kelly Clarkson may have had in filtering through all of those songs she’s written was figuring out what to share and what to keep private, knowing that her children are going to hear it. She said that’s been the hardest thing to navigate — trying to be completely honest but knowing there are other people involved.

It sounds like whatever she chooses, the star's fans are in for some gut-wrenching emotion when her new album drops in 2023, and until then, she’s given us plenty of Christmas songs to enjoy. Check your local TV listings to see how to watch The Kelly Clarkson Show in your area, and see what shows are premiering through the rest of 2022 with our 2022 TV schedule

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.