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The holiday season isn't always merry and bright for everyone.
That's the message Kelly Clarkson recently shared with her fans during her new NBC special, Kelly Clarkson Presents: When Christmas Comes Around, which aired earlier this week on Dec. 1.
Ahead of performing her latest song, "Merry Christmas (to the One I Used to Know)," The Voice coach opened up about the not-so-cheery side to the holidays.
"The holidays come with a whole range of emotions," Kelly said. "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."
She continued, "And 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."
The musician explained that Dolly's hitmaker is "about getting through a tough holiday," adding, "I absolutely love that song and it allowed me to write this."
Kelly gave an emotional performance of "Merry Christmas (to the One I Used to Know)," which included lyrics: "If everything was like a dream, you'd be by my side / And who I thought you were was true not made up in my mind / You'd be here in my arms where I thought you'd be tonight / Instead of me left wondering, was everything a lie?"
The Kelly Clarkson Show host also performed "Christmas Isn't Canceled," a breakup anthem she released in September.
"I was honestly a little nervous about sharing this one because it's not your typical Christmas single," she said during her special, before singing the tune, per Us Weekly. "But it was the first song that I wrote for this album and I wrote it because a lot of things were taken from us over the last couple of years: people, relationships, jobs, etc."
She added, "But instead of looking at everything that's gone wrong, we should be looking at all the things that have gone right. And that's what my therapist tells me anyway, so that's who I'm singing to! But no matter what people try to take from you, nobody can cancel Christmas, y'all."
The American Idol alum hasn't shied away from discussing her heartbreak since she filed for divorce from husband Brandon Blackstock in June 2020 after seven years of marriage. They share two kids, River, 7, and Remington, 5.
Last December, Kelly explained just how "horrible" it has been to go through a divorce.
"There are so many hard parts and the hardest for me is the kids," she detailed on her talk show at the time. "That's the hardest part for me. You know, I always think as women, especially we're trained...to take it all on and you can deal with it and you're fine. But it's your babies that you worry about."
This past March, the award-winning singer was in much higher spirits, sharing on The Kelly Clarkson Show, "I'm actually in that place where I think a lot of people, I've heard, that go through a divorce, it's almost like you start dating yourself again. You actually make time for you again, and I love dating me. I'm actually not looking for it."
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