Kelly Clarkson Dusts Off Own Catalog for Private Performance at Sea

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No Kelly-oke here. Kelly Clarkson performed a full concert for the first time in more than a year Thursday, as the Grammy winner took over the Norwegian Prima cruise ship to help kick off the brand’s inaugural voyage from Galveston, Texas.

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Telling the audience that she was “so excited” to be “playing more than two minutes of a song” (a reference to the truncated covers she performs each day on her talk show) Clarkson delivered an hour-long set that spanned both album cuts from her last non-holiday studio album Meaning of Life, to familiar fan favorites that had the crowd of 700 inside the Prima Theater up on their feet.

Born and raised in Fort Worth, Clarkson was chosen by Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) to help kick off the Galveston sailing thanks to her Texas roots. She also partnered with NCL to give away a free cruise to 100 teachers, as part of Norwegian’s “Giving Joy” campaign.

“My mom is a teacher,” Clarkson told the crowd on-board the ship, “and so I know how hard you all work.”

In addition to welcoming the teachers on board, Clarkson and NCL also teamed up to give away nearly $170,000 to three Grand Prize winners and their schools. In a press release, Norwegian says its annual teacher recognition program “shines a light on these inspiring individuals who play an integral role in shaping the lives of their students and our future.”

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Clarkson was joined on the cruise ship stage by her talk show band, and joked that they were a little rusty, having not performed in an actual concert venue “in a while.” Opening with “Walk Away,” from her hit 2004 album Breakaway, Clarkson ran through a loose and spirited set that also included songs like “Dark Side,” “Behind These Hazel Eyes” and “Heartbeat Song” (“My daughter’s favorite song of mine,” the singer shared).

Toward the end of her set, Clarkson introduced “Miss Independent” as “the first song I ever wrote and released,” adding that it’s “still as relevant as ever.” The singer closed with a one-two punch of “Since U Been Gone” and “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).”

Clarkson is no stranger to working with Norwegian Cruise Line, having been named “Godmother” of their Norwegian Encore ship. The Prima, which Clarkson performed on Thursday night, was actually christened by another superstar: Katy Perry was named the Godmother of the Norwegian Prima in March.

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