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Kelly Clarkson says she was hesitant to release post-divorce album as a mom: ‘How do I address this?’

The 41-year-old singer details the emotional experience of recording "Chemistry," and why she feels "ready" to release it now.
/ Source: TODAY

Kelly Clarkson is getting real about releasing her new post-breakup album.

In a recent interview on TalkShopLive with Nancy O’Dell, the Grammy winner opened up about her emotional experience recording "Chemistry" while dealing with a divorce, and her initial hesitancy to release the raw and vulnerable new album.

"I was just crying, like a lot," Clarkson told O'Dell when asked about writing the songs.

“The Kelly Clarkson Show” host began working on the album when she and her ex-husband, Brandon Blackstock, separated in June 2020 after 7 years of marriage. The divorce was settled earlier last year, nearly two years after Clarkson first filed the paperwork to legally split.

“It’s a big decision ending a relationship ... that’s gone on for years. You have children. It’s so involved. There’s so many layers to it,” Clarkson said.

The Emmy-winning host described how writing music helped her process going through a breakup in the public eye.

“I don't think I thought really at all until afterwards ... I just wrote a bunch of music like two and a half to three years ago, then the thinking came in about what’s appropriate and inappropriate (to feature on the album),” she said.

The singer revealed that she was initially hesitant to release the post-divorce album as a parent.

"We're adults ... we understand feelings, and we understand that a lot of these songs are moments, not forever. But it's hard when you have kids and you're like, 'How do I address this?'" Clarkson said.

Clarkson and Blackstock, 46, have two children together: daughter River Rose, 8, and son Remington Alexander, 7.

"Definitely there's (songs) on there where 'mommy was angry,' but moms get angry ... that's healthy and it happens," Clarkson said. "I don't polish my life and show it to my children. They see it as a whole, which I think is healthier."

Clarkson previously opened up about the conversations she’s had with her children about the divorce.

On an episode of the “Angie Martinez IRL” podcast in March, she said her children have expressed to her, “I wish Mommy and Daddy were in the same house,“ to which she responds, “I get it.” She then tells her children, “That sucks. But we’re going to work it out. And you are so loved by both of us.” 

Part of the motivation for writing the album was to help others in similar situations, Clarkson told O'Dell. But it was also an opportunity for her to process her own experience.

“I write for me first and foremost, selfishly-speaking, it’s how I almost communicate with myself,” she said.

The full album is set to be released on June 23, Clarkson announced on Instagram.

Clarkson previously explained that she named the album “Chemistry" because “having chemistry with someone is an incredible, and overwhelming, feeling. It’s like you have no choice in the matter. You are just drawn to each other. This can be good and bad.”

When asked whether she is nervous about revealing her emotions to the world in her new music, Clarkson said she is not, adding that she is "in a much healthier place."

"When we were mixing and mastering the album, which actually is the longest process, I think I was nervous during that part but ... at this point ... I wrote these so long ago, I'm in a different place," Clarkson told O'Dell.

However, she explained that performing the new breakup songs live can be challenging emotionally.

"It is hard because I've had to sing them all live and I'm incapable of not feeling or going to that moment, but ... I think I’m just ready," she said.

Clarkson said what has helped her the most so far was performing the album in April at her birthday concert at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles.

On May 19, Clarkson released her new single “Favorite Kind of High" from "Chemistry," accompanied by a video of the live performance.

"Favorite Kind of High" was the third single Clarkson dropped from "Chemistry," after "Me" and "Mine," ahead of the June release date.

In an April press release, Clarkson explained she released the two songs at the same time because they represent different stages of heartbreak.

“There are many stages of grief and loss on this album. Each song is a different stage and emotional state,” said Clarkson, whose fans praised her "powerful" and "relatable" lyrics on her Instagram.

After an emotional performance of "Mine" on the "The Kelly Clarkson Show," Clarkson said that she was "feeling all the feelings" while writing the song and singing it was "therapeutic."