Kellyoke listeners across the world, the time for mobilization (and memorization) is now. American Idol winner and American sweetheart Kelly Clarkson says she has a new album coming out next year, and a tour planned to match. The record will be Clarkson’s first album in five years.
“I’m working on my album this week. It’s coming out next year,” Clarkson tells Variety in a new interview. “And this 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.”
Since Clarkson released her last project, 2017's Meaning Of Life, she’s become far more than just a singer. The Kelly Clarkson Show, Clarkson’s wildly popular morning talk show that’s also home to her masterful library of “Kellyoke” covers, now inhabits the same spot Ellen DeGeneres once held. In just three seasons, the show has already won 13 Emmys.
But life has a way of knocking us all on our ass, and being Miss Independent hasn’t always meant happiness for Clarkson. The singer says her new album grapples heavily with her divorce from ex-husband Brandon Blackstock, with whom she shares two young children. Clarkson filed for divorce in June 2020 after nearly seven years of marriage, citing “irreconcilable differences.” Clarkson said she wrote most of the songs on her album almost two years ago, in the painful heat of that moment.
“When my ex and I first separated, there were many emotions. 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?’” Clarkson recalls. “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.
Although Clarkson’s busy talk show schedule informs the way she can tour—she says it’ll have to be a summertime moment—she’s more than happy with where she is, and how she’s progressing.
“At this point in my career, the way I’m going to do it may not be the norm, but I’m going to do it anyway,” Clarkson shares. “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.”