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Kelly Clarkson changes lyrics to song ‘Piece By Piece’ following split from ex-husband

“This song I initially wrote just super hopeful, right?” she said as she introduced the song to her live audience.
/ Source: TODAY

Kelly Clarkson changed the lyrics to her song "Piece By Piece" during an Aug. 5 Las Vegas concert. The lyrics reflect her divorce from her now-ex husband, Brandon Blackstock.

The two, who wed in October 2013, split in 2020. Clarkson filed for divorce from Blackstock in June of that year and settled in March 2022.

Clarkson, who was performing Aug. 5 as part of her residency in Las Vegas, swapped some of the lyrics during the show to the 2015 song "Piece By Piece" that had previously celebrated Blackstock's role in her life.

Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock in formal attire sit at a table. White flowers can be seen in the foreground.
Blackstock and Clarkson attend "Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night XXI" on March 28, 2015.Michael Buckner / Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night

"This song I initially wrote just super hopeful, right?" she said as she introduced the song to her live audience. "And well, sometimes 'hopeful' turns into 'hopeless' so here we go, 'Piece by Piece.'"

The song, written contrasting Blackstock to her father, originally said the following:

“Piece by piece, he collected me up / Off the ground, where you abandoned things, yeah / Piece by piece, he filled the holes that you burned in me / At 6 years old and you know.”

Saturday night, Clarkson changed it to:

"Piece by piece, I collected me up / Off the ground where you abandoned things, yeah / And piece by piece, I filled the holes that you burned in me at 6 years old

She also changed the chorus. It originally said: 

“He never walks away / He never asks for money / He takes care of me / He loves me” 

Clarkson swapped it to be a message of self-empowerment: 

“I just walk away / When they ask for money / I take care of me / ’Cause I love me.”

The latter lyrical swap seems to be a reference to Clarkson's settlement with Blackstock. The two fought in court over money for years before eventually Clarkson was ordered to pay Blackstock, who served as her manager while they were married, to pay more than $1.3 million along with spousal support and child support each month.

According to court documents obtained by in March 2022, Clarkson agreed to pay her ex a one-time payment of $1,326,161, as well as monthly payments of $115,000 in spousal support until Jan. 31, 2024, and $45,601 monthly in child support for their two children, River Rose, now 9, and Remington Alexander, now 7. Clarkson and Blackstock share joint legal custody of their kids.

Other times Kelly Clarkson sang about her divorce

This isn't the first time Clarkson has used her lyrics to insinuate her experience splitting from Blackstock.

She released her 10th studio album, "Chemistry," in June and some of her passionate songs like "Mine" and "Me" seemingly point to problems in her marriage.

In "Mine", Clarkson sings the following:

“I hope one day someone will take your heart and hold it tight / Make you feel like you’re invincible deep inside / And right when you think that you’ll try again, they cross a line / And steal your shine like you did mine.”

She performed it on her titular talk show on April 18, telling her studio audience that the lyrics in that song “are pretty self-evident.”

“I was feeling all the feelings when I wrote that one,” she said at the time. 

“I was also just very angry and sad. But anyway, I did, I let it out and I feel great now,” she told her audience.

How songwriting helped Kelly Clarkson move forward

In an interview with TODAY's Hoda and Jenna in June, she said that writing the album allowed her to heal.

Clarkson added that she is an “optimist” who felt like she could fix her relationship.

“It’s beautiful but it can also be very hard. Because you see what’s never going to be there, which is very unhealthy. That’s what I meant, I think at a certain point you love someone so much, you love your family so much, nobody sets out for that so you think you can do it and you try and then just one day you realize you’ve been treading water for years and it’s exhausting."

She went on to say that she left out many songs that crossed the line when it came to what she was comfortable sharing publicly.

'There is a point, you have kids, and you're like 'Hmm, what's appropriate? What's that line for me?" she said. "There's plenty that I will never talk about and that's a personal thing between me and my ex...I kept those songs for me."

Clarkson has said that "Chemistry" isn't just about the dissolution of her relationship, however. It's more the "arc of an entire relationship," she said in a Twitter video in March.

"And a whole relationship shouldn’t be just brought down to one thing. So there’s the good, the bad and the ugly kind of thing going on in it."