Kelly Clarkson covered a song by a fan during Tuesday's episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, performing Reba McEntire's "How Blue." Backed by appropriately blue lighting, Clarkson performed the song on stage with her band and backing singer, making the heartbroken track sound like her own, as she always does with her impeccable covers.
"How blue can you make me / How long 'til I heal," she sang. "How can I go on loving you when you're gone / How blue can I feel." "How Blue" was McEntire's third No. 1 country hit and was released in September 1984 as the first single from her album My Kind of Country. McEntire is Clarkson's former stepmother-in law, as McEntire was previously married to Narvel Blackstock, the father of Clarkson's ex-husband Brandon Blackstock. The two singers have long expressed their admiration for each other, and Clarkson told fans before her "Kellyoke" segment that she has "been a fan of Reba since I was a little girl." She added, "Her voice has always felt nostalgic for me. Even as an adult, there’s something about her tone and her storytelling that just feels like home."
"Sometimes when we meet our heroes, it doesn’t always pan out how you hope. But meeting Reba — being friends with her, and eventually becoming family — has been one of the highlights of my life, truly," she added after her performance. "So thank you so much for listening to me vent as an artist. Thank you so much for comforting me on the phone through my tears, like a friend. And thank you for being a really rad grandma for my kids."
Clarkson and Blackstock share daughter River, 6, and son Remington, 5. During an interview with Extra in October, Clarkson opened up about how she's helping her kids through her divorce, sharing that "We have a lot of help as far as therapists or child psychologists because we want to do it right."
"I definitely want to do it right," she added. "Everyone's sad and it’s okay to be sad." The Texas native explained, "It's just one day when you're like, 'Wow, this has forever changed and it's not just my heart has changed, there's other little hearts, too.'"
Clarkson has been candid about her divorce since filing last summer and explained that while it's been difficult, she has a strong support system. "I have a great family and friends that are there for me," she said. "It's a very hard thing to navigate, to be able to be honest and share your story, so maybe you can help someone else, but at the same time protecting these little kids you adore."