‘I Needed to Write It’: Kelly Clarkson’s Next Album Will Grapple With the Fallout of Her Divorce

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NBCUniversal Upfront Events - Season 2022 - Credit: Eric Liebowitz/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images
NBCUniversal Upfront Events - Season 2022 - Credit: Eric Liebowitz/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Kelly Clarkson’s long-awaited new album, which will be released in 2023, chronicles the emotional tumult of the singer/talk show host’s divorce from her ex-husband, Brandon Blackstock.

Clarkson confirmed the LP and its arrival next year in a new interview with Variety, saying, “[T]his is an important album. I’m working on this in therapy: I have a hard time vocalizing what I’m feeling sometimes, so music is helpful for me. It’s just been really healing. I recorded the record quite some time ago.”

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Clarkson’s last album of all original material was 2017’s Meaning of Life. Since then, she’s been busy with a variety of projects, including serving as a judge on The Voice and hosting The Kelly Clarkson Show; her musical output has been fairly limited to the covers she performs on her show and her 2021 Christmas album, When Christmas Comes Around…

But Clarkson noted that much of the material that will appear on her as-yet-untitled 2023 album was written over two years ago — she just wasn’t ready to release it until now.

“When my ex and I first separated, there were many emotions,” she explained. “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!’”

Clarkson noted that in between Meaning of Life and filing for divorce in 2020, she was too busy with other work projects and parenting to think much about music. “But then the whole divorce thing happened, and I needed to write it,” she said.

She also admitted to being unsure whether or not she wanted to release the material at all: “[Y]ou can be very angry in that state of mind,” she said. “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.”

Clarkson noted that she hopes to plan a tour behind her new album as well and clearly hopes the record will offer fans a similar catharsis. “I know there are other guys and girls out there that have been through this kind of breakup who are going to need to scream at the top of their lungs — you can come and join me,” she said.

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