Kelly Clarkson put her own unique twist on Demi Lovato’s “Anyone” with a "Kellyoke" performance Wednesday on "The Kelly Clarkson Show."
Standing on a dark stage resembling the one where Lovato first performed the song live at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, Clarkson and her musical director Jason Halbert performed a shortened and slightly rearranged version of the song to thunderous applause and cheering.
Clarkson, 40, embraced the vulnerability of the song with her rich low voice and rhythmic freedom throughout. Though the cover was a shortened version with slight alterations to the accompaniment, she glided through the verse and pre-chorus, climbing to a strength in her higher octave to effortlessly belt the chorus. With not a single note off key, Clarkson ended her cover with bouncing between octaves and adding extra riffs for her own personal touch.
Lovato recorded “Anyone,” a song praised by critics for its vulnerability and rawness, four days before their near-lethal overdose in July 2018. Lyrics like “Please send me anyone” and “Nobody’s listening to me” nod to the singer’s battles with mental health issues including addiction. The song is the lead single on their 2020 album, “Dancing with the Devil… the Art of Starting Over,” with their Grammy performance of the song marking their return to the stage.
In an interview with "New Music Daily with Zane Lowe" before the release, Lovato said the song brings listeners in to their headspace before the overdose.
“At the time when I was recording it, I almost listened back and hear these lyrics as a cry for help,” they said. “And you kind of listen back to it and you kind of think, How did nobody listen to this song and think, ‘Let’s help this girl?’”
Although Clarkson did not sing the second verse or second chorus of the original song, commenters on the YouTube video commended the singer and talk show host for the care with which she handled the personal song.
“I’m only a few seconds in but I just want to say that Kelly is the first person besides Demi Lovato who makes me feel that the necessary emotions of the song,” one user wrote. “I usually feel that nobody on earth should cover this, because it’s so personal to Demi, but Kelly did a really great job with the phrasing right from the beginning.”
Other viewers of Clarkson’s rendition agreed on the singer’s ability to deliver the song.
“If anyone was meant to sing this other than Demi, it’s Kelly,” someone commented.
Other recent “Kellyoke” covers have included “RSVP” by Maren Morris and “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers. The singer also recently released an EP titled “Kellyoke” on June 9 featuring six full-length covers. Lovato is set to release their newest album, “Holy Fvck,” on Aug. 19.